If you’re looking for a material that will stand the test of time, engineered wood flooring is the obvious choice. Not only is engineered wood durable, but it’s also just as stylish as traditional oak wood flooring. While panel and plank interiors are made from multiple layers of bonded wood, the visible exterior is made from freshly sourced hardwood. This means you get all the same natural grains and accents as you would from a solid wood floor.
At Wood Flooring Ireland, we’re specialists in engineered wood flooring. We’ve been producing bespoke flooring products for customers for more than 15 years. Since 2019, we’ve refocused our range to increase our commitment to traceability and premium materials. All of our flooring products are made from European Oak, with all trees harvested from sustainable forests. What’s more, we only work with eco-friendly finishes, meaning you won’t have to worry about VOCs and formaldehyde compromising indoor air quality.
How Long Does Engineered Wood Flooring Last?
One of the main advantages of engineered wood flooring is its longevity. If properly maintained and cared for, it can last for many decades. However, how long your long plank wood flooring or Versailles panels depend on a few key factors.
Veneer thickness has a major impact on durability. The thicker this hardwood layer is, the more freedom you have to sand away surface damage and refinish your flooring over time. Furthermore, the kind of wood used and how well it’s maintained over the years can dramatically affect its lifespan. Generally speaking, it can last between 25-30 years.
How is Engineered Wood Flooring Constructed?
Engineered wood flooring is made up of two distinct layers. The bulk of an individual panel is made from a plywood core. This core is typically made up of several individual layers that are bonded together. Not only does this plywood core make engineered wood durable, but it also provides exceptional levels of stability. Above this core is a veneer layer. This visible top layer is made with genuine hardwood, providing you with beautiful accents and authentic natural grains.
Below, we will focus on the most important factors that contribute to the lifespan of engineered wood flooring, as well as steps you can take to extend it.
The unique construction of engineered wood flooring makes it far superior to traditional hardwood floors when it comes to stability. Individual plywood layers are bonded to each other in alternating directions. This innovative construction makes it particularly resistant to temperature changes and moisture exposure.
Generally speaking, the thicker engineered flooring is, the longer it will last. If you’re looking for something affordable, a 3-ply core is a way to go. However, if you’re looking for chevron flooring or herringbone flooring that will last for decades, a 9-ply core construction is the better option.
In most cases, the veneer layer will be made from freshly harvested hardwood. If you want your engineered wood flooring to last for as long as possible, think carefully when selecting a veneer. You might prefer the contemporary aesthetics of white wood flooring, but a more robust dark wood will handle everyday wear and tear better.
The thicker the veneer layer, the less maintenance is required to keep it looking pristine. However, no matter how thick this top layer is, you’re still dealing with wood and the material is prone to superficial damage like dents and scratches. Dark woods and grey wood flooring will conceal much of this, but you’ll eventually have to think about sanding and refinishing your flooring.
Being able to restore your flooring to its former glory will extend its lifespan considerably. If you choose a 3mm veneer, you should be able to sand it a couple of times before you risk stripping away the top layer entirely. If you want to be able to sand and refinish your flooring multiple times, a veneer with a thickness of at least 6mm is advisable.
For convenience, it’s best to invest in finished engineered wood flooring. To maintain the healthy air quality in your home, it’s important to choose the flooring that’s been treated with eco-friendly finishes that contain no harmful compounds.
Finishes allow engineered wood to shine, highlighting grains and natural accents. However, these topcoats aren’t purely to improve aesthetics. A good finish will prolong the life of your engineered wood flooring and enhance durability. Finishes provide the first line of defence against everyday wear and tear, such as scratches. A thick enough coat may even be able to protect against minor dents.
Although finishes can be applied after installation, it makes sense to purchase flooring that’s been pre-finished. The reasons for this are simple. For starters, you can count on an even application that might be possible if you undertake the task yourself. Furthermore, it mitigates the chance of your flooring sustaining minor damage in transit, or when it comes to installing it.
What to Consider Before Installation
Before you think about fitting your wood floor, you should allow the material to acclimatise to the space it will be installed in. This is particularly important if you plan on installing it in a room that will experience high levels of humidity or above-average temperatures.
In other words, if you plan on installing engineered wood flooring in a kitchen, let the material adjust to its surroundings to prevent any warping before fitting it. The good news is that you don’t have to leave flooring materials sitting around for too long. Different products have different recommendations, but the acclimation periods average out around 48 hours.
How to Clean Engineered Wood Floors to Extend Lifespan
Once fitted, how you care for and maintain it will ultimately determine how long it lasts. As with any other type of flooring material, a regular cleaning schedule will keep engineered wood looking its best.
Keeping on top of dust and surface debris will go a long way in extending the lifespan of your floor. If you don’t sweep or hoover your floor regularly, dust can accumulate. In severe cases, this dust can begin to penetrate the veneer layer and cause discolouration. In worst-case scenarios, significant piles of dust can even lead to surface scratches.
It’s also important to wipe the surface of your flooring regularly. You need to be delicate when tackling this type of cleaning. Make sure you’re using cleaning products that have been formulated for use on hardwood floors. You should also avoid using too much water. Although engineered wood flooring is designed to withstand moisture damage, it’s not immune to it. A wrung-out mop or damp cloth should prove more than sufficient.
Spills should also be attended to as quickly as possible. If you’ve installed it in a kitchen, be wary of spillages as you cook or clean. You’ll also need to be vigilant if you have small children or pets running around. If its is exposed to pools of water for more than a few hours, there’s a chance the moisture can penetrate the veneer and deeper into the plywood core.
Where Can I Install an Engineered Wood Floor?
This is another factor that determines how long an engineered wood floor will last. Engineered wood flooring is a good choice for living spaces like lounges, dining rooms, and bedrooms. The material is also ideal for offices and utility rooms. You can also install them in kitchens, although you’ll need to be mindful of humidity levels and moisture exposure.
As a rule, avoid installing it in bathrooms. Although they’re resistant to moisture, it won’t be able to cope with constant bombardment from steam and standing water. It’s also not recommended to fit it in spaces like workshops, garages, and home gyms. These spaces tend to include exceptionally heavy pieces of equipment that can easily lead to deep scratches, gouges, and dents.
It Makes the Best Long-Term Investment
If you’re planning on refurbishing your home or commercial space, engineered wood is, without a doubt, the best choice of flooring material. This hard-wearing flooring material can last for decades if properly cared for, making it a more robust option than traditional hardwood. What’s more, you don’t have to settle for a second-rate style and design choices.
What are the different types of wood flooring available at Wood Flooring Ireland? We offer an extensive range of engineered wood products, including contemporary long planks in an assortment of widths.
Prefer something with more character? We also offer an incredible selection of herringbone and chevron flooring styles, not to mention luxurious Versailles panels.
Ready to take the next step? Visit our showroom in Cork today and explore the range in person. Alternatively, you can call us on 021 4629913 or drop us a message via the online contact form.