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What Is Engineered Wood Flooring? The Ultimate Guide

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Engineered wood flooring, arguably the most luxurious flooring available on the market due to it's many features and benefits. In this blog post we will discuss in detail how it is made and what the benefits are.

Sometime referred to as parquet or real wood flooring - engineered wood flooring is a very exciting product for your home. The thing that makes engineered wood flooring a better option than solid hardwood flooring is three layer construction which makes it extremely reliable and more resistant to heat and moisture fluctuations.  If you were to lay a single layer of solid wood flooring, made of a one piece of wood per plank with no structural support then the wood would expand and contract as the environment oscillates between warm and cold temperatures and varying moisture levels. This is because the material is organic and living therefore it reacts with its surrounding. This continual oscillation of the substance makes cracks and fissures appear. It can also lead the floor warping in shape and becoming uneven.

Three Layer Construction: How Is Engineered Wood Flooring Made?

The three layer construction is made of plywood and timbre. The timbre layer is a piece of natural wood that is placed as a surface layer so that you can feel the authentic texture and see the natural makeup of the wood. This top layer is called the lamella and it is the only visible layer when installed. This can have many textures or treatments applied to it to create different artistic finishes.

The middle, or sandwich layer, can be made of various materials depending on the manufacturer. In some cases spruce and fir are used due to their resilient properties. the grain of this runs perpendicular to the grain of the top lamella. This is how stability is achieved as the pieces of wood stabilise and support each other, otherwise stopping the changes in the heat and moisture levels from affecting them. This rests on the backing wood which makes up the bottom layer and the grain on this piece runs in the same direction as the top layer, again running perpendicular to the layer above it.

You will have the option of 2, 4 or no bevel edges. This is referring to the small gap at the joint of the planks. With no bevels, you have a smooth, seamless surface with no gaps separating the boards which is preferred by the people who want a sleek modern appearance. The 2 and 4 bevel options give emphasis to the edges of each plank showing off the authenticity of the real wood flooring and suiting a more traditional interior design aesthetic.

What Are The Benefits Of Engineered Wood Flooring?

Engineered wood flooring is an innovation that allows you to have a real piece of wood on the surface without all the cons of a solid hardwood flooring which can be more expensive, harder to care for and difficult to install.

The most obvious benefit is the natural wood layer that retains it's beautiful patina and texture.

The cost is also an alluring factor with this flooring as you have the real wood, the additional stability of the three layer structure which makes it great value as it does not hold the price tag of the solid hardwood flooring. With engineered wood flooring you can sleep soundly knowing that your floor won't be creaking in the night. Hardwood flooring expand and shrink with the changes in the atmosphere as they are reacting with temperature and moisture levels. You don't have this issue with engineered wood flooring as the three layer composition counteracts this undulation.

Another wonderful benefit to having engineered wood flooring is that, when treated with natural oils as many are, the wood diffuses the oil back into the air. This has a re-balancing and regulating effect on the climate of the room.

Parador Floor Fields Collection available at BRICOLFOR

Variety is another reason many people chose parquet flooring. Engineered wood flooring can undergo many treatments that result in different beautiful effects. For example, saw-marked planks give the impression of the saw that the lumberjacks use to chop the wood. This can be authentic or deliberately achieve through the use of tools in the woodworking shop later. Either of these leave a very pleasant, rough-hewn texture for a beautiful worn in look. Another example is the white-wax oiled finish which adds a white colour between the crevices of the surface structure for a fresh beach-washed feeling. These are just some of the many possibilities for this type of flooring. In this day and age there are also many eco-friendly options, such as the collections from Parador which have received the Blue Angel award, PEFC Certification and an A+ rating for low emissions.

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