What is engineered wood flooring made of? If you’re thinking about hardwood flooring alternatives, this is a question you’ll have no doubt asked. It’s easy to assume that solid wood flooring is a superior product. However, with a premium plywood core and multi-ply construction, engineered wood can be more durable than solid wood alternatives.
At Wood Flooring Ireland, we’re committed to providing customers with more choice when it comes to flooring products. For more than 15 years, we’ve been delivering first-class flooring products to customers across Ireland and beyond.
In 2019, we decided to go back to our roots and redefine our product range with a renewed focus on responsible production and quality materials. All of our floorings is made from high-quality European oak from sustainable sources. What’s more, our manufacturing processes are some of the most environmentally friendly around. Read on for everything you need to know about how engineered wood flooring is made and why it’s a far better option than hardwood.
What is engineered wood flooring made of?
Structure and Composition
Engineered wood flooring is made up of several individual layers. However, the number of layers can vary considerably. The most basic engineered wooden floor products may only contain 3 layers of ply. However, premium engineered wood can contain upwards of a dozen layers.
A cross-layer composition ensures engineered wood flooring is incredibly sturdy. This cross-layered structure also sets it apart from traditional solid wood flooring. Once the core has been constructed, the material is cut into individual panels or planks. Tongue and groove edges are then added, allowing for easy installation.
Once the core has been constructed, a veneer layer is added. Made from genuine hardwoods, it’s this veneer that gives engineered wood flooring an authentic finish.
Veneers can be produced in a variety of ways. Slicing is one approach. Sliced veneers are produced from cross sections of trees. Meanwhile, rotary cuts produce a thin veneer sheet. Veneer slices or sheets are then bonded to the core base. Generally speaking, sliced veneers are thicker than veneer sheets produced from rotary cutting. This is ideal if you want to be able to sand and refinish your flooring over time. However, rotary cuts tend to produce more attractive grains.
Now we’ve answered the question of “what is engineered wood flooring made of?”, it’s time to focus on thicknesses. As with traditional solid wood flooring, engineered wood flooring comes in a variety of thicknesses. When choosing engineered wood products, you’ll need to think about board thickness and veneer thickness.
Engineered wooden floors will almost always come with two measurements provided. A value of 15/3 will mean that the overall board thickness is 15mm, while the veneer layer is 3mm thick. Think carefully about your long-term goals when choosing engineered wood flooring. If you’re thinking about installing it above underfloor heating systems, stick to a thinner board. If you want to be able to sand and refinish your flooring over the years, pick something with a more generous veneer layer.
Plenty of Sizing Options
The unique composition of engineered wood flooring means you’re less limited to conventional sizes. Because of its plywood core, engineered wood planks and panels can be cut to wider sizes. Unlike solid wood, you don’t have to sacrifice stability when choosing wider engineered wood planks. A wider plank is a good option for larger spaces, especially if you want to minimise the number of visible joints.
The answer to this question is determined by several factors. The overall thickness of the board, the veneer layer itself and the quality of the material all contribute to the lifespan of engineered wood flooring.
Provided your flooring has been installed correctly and it’s not being exposed to adverse conditions, it should last for up to 30 years before needing to be replaced. However, you’ll have to commit to a consistent maintenance schedule to keep your floors looking their best.
To keep your floors in premium condition, it’s best to carry out light cleaning daily. Avoid using moisture whenever possible. Instead, reach for a soft-bristle brush or vacuum cleaner to get rid of surface dust and pet hairs. Sometimes, a more aggressive approach may be called for.
If you need to remove tough surface stains, you can use a wrung-out cloth or mop. However, it’s best to stick to something like a microfibre cloth to avoid exposing your hardwood veneers to too much moisture. If you have used water or diluted cleaning agents to tackle stains, it’s always a good idea to thoroughly dry the area afterwards.
There are other ways you can extend the life of your floor. In spaces like bedrooms and lounges, make sure you’re using rugs to protect your planks and panels from heavy furniture. For smaller pieces of furniture, think about adding floor protectors to legs and feet to minimize the chance of scratches and scuffs.
Thinking about installing an engineered wood floor in a busy part of the home? Protect your boards from heavy foot traffic with a simple runner. If you wear footwear in the home, make use of welcome mats and gravel trays to keep outside debris away from your interiors.
Different Types of Wood Flooring
You’re not limited to a handful of design options with engineered wood flooring. Looking for flooring for a contemporary interior? Use long planks to open up limited square footage. Prefer more elegant styles? Add character to your spaces with parquet designs like Versailles panels, chevron flooring and herringbone flooring. You’ll find the same robust plywood cores and multi-ply construction used to produce all these styles and more.
Looking for Engineered Hardwood Flooring?
Have your hardwood floors seen better days? Perhaps you’re looking to switch out second-rate laminate with something more durable. There’s no better choice than engineered wood flooring.
At Wood Flooring Ireland, we offer an incredible range of wood flooring designs. We stock everything from wide planks to premium parquet panels. What’s more, there’s no shortage of finishes and colours to choose from. You’ll find a full range of wood grades and species, with something to accommodate every taste and budget.
Now that we’ve got to the bottom of “what is engineered wood flooring made of?” and explored its advantages, it’s time to discover our full range for yourself. Visit our showroom in Cork to see our products in person. Looking for more insights? Speak to the team today by calling 021 4629913 or drop us a message via the online contact form.