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wood floorEngineered wood flooring is composed of two or more layers of wood in the form of a plank. The top layer is the wood that is visible when the flooring is installed, and is adhered to the core (or substrate) which provides the stability. Engineered wood is the most common type of wood flooring used globally. North America is the only continent that has a larger solid wood market than engineered, although engineered wood is quickly catching up in market share. Engineered floors typically are pre-finished more often than solid wood floors, and usually are supplied with beveled edges, affecting the appearance. In addition, the costs and duration of install of engineered wood floors are typically lower than solid flooring.

Engineered wood flooring has several benefits over solid wood, beyond dimensional stability and universal use. Patented installation systems (such as “unilin” or “fiboloc”) allow for faster installation and easy replacement of boards. Engineered wood also allows a ‘floating’ installation (where the planks are not fastened to the floor below or to each other), further increasing ease of repair and reducing installation time.  The glue-down method is the most popular method of install because of it’s ability to be adhered to concrete slabs.  The majority of new home construction is done in this manner, making engineered hardwood flooring an extremely popular choice.

Several steps have also been taken in the past few years to reduce the affects of a moisture-ridden or “hot” slab.  In the past, a slab such as this would have to undergo several precautionary steps to ensure that the wood floor would not be affected by the moisture.  This would add substantial time and cost to the overall project and often-times, made it difficult for some consumers to carry out the project all together.  Now, recent technology has produced adhesives that combine adhering compounds with moisture resistant components to make the process much easier on the installer and the pocketbook of the installer.  Whereas a project in the past could have several weeks added by the need to add protective layers to the slab, the newer methods cut time significantly and get the project done on time and in budget.  Many homeowners are now using the new moisture-resistant adhesives just as a precaution against potential problems to protect their investment.

Lastly, and the best part about engineered hardwood floors, is the selection.  Species and board width and texture options are virtually unlimited.  Whereas oak and hickory will also be the most prominent, recent years have seen a surge in the market share by maple, teak, rosewood, and other exotics.  Colors can range from white-wash to traditional honeytones to virtual black stained floors.  From contemporary to rustic to traditional, everyone’s needs are met with today’s engineered wood floor selections.