Engineered wood, also called composite wood, man-made wood, or manufactured board; includes a range of derivative wood products which are manufactured by binding or fixing the strands, particles, fibers, or veneers or boards of wood, together with adhesives, or other methods of fixation to form composite materials. These products are engineered to precise design specifications which are tested to meet national or international standards. Engineered wood products are used in a variety of applications, from home construction to commercial buildings to industrial products. The products can be used for joists and beams that replace steel in many building projects.
Typically, engineered wood products are made from the same hardwoods and softwoods used to manufacture lumber. Sawmill scraps and other wood waste can be used for engineered wood composed of wood particles or fibers, but whole logs are usually used for veneers, such as plywood, MDF or particle board. Some engineered wood products, like oriented strand board (OSB), can use trees from the poplar family, a common but non-structural species.
Alternatively, it is also possible to manufacture similar engineered bamboo from bamboo; and similar engineered cellulosic products from other lignin-containing materials such as rye straw, wheat straw, rice straw, hemp stalks, kenaf stalks, or sugar cane residue, in which case they contain no actual wood but rather vegetable fibers.
Engineered hardwood is made using three to four layers of wood glued together to produce a 14 mm thick plank. A real wood surface about 4 mm in thickness is applied to the top to allow it to be sanded and refinished a certain number of times to remove signs of damage, wear, and tear.
Engineered hardwood construction produces a more stable product. The greater stability means it is less prone to changes from temperature and humidity conditions in the room. This type of flooring is more attractive than a laminate floor, but it is also less expensive than solid hardwood floors.
Installing a hardwood floor yourself can save you a lot of money – if you know what you’re doing. Improper preparation and installation can lead to warping and buckling, which will ruin flooring that might otherwise remain beautiful and durable enough for your grandchildren’s grandchildren to grow up on. The most important thing you can do to ensure the structural integrity of your floor is to properly prepare.
The location of your hardwood flooring basically falls into three categories:
On Grade – at ground level
Above Grade – any second level or higher
Below Grade – any floor below ground level, including basements or sunkenliving rooms.
Traditional solid hardwood flooring is not well suited for below-grade installations, because of the possibility of moisture issues. The construction of an engineered hardwood gives it enhanced structural stability that allows it to be installed at any grade level when a moisture barrier such as Selitac Thermally Insulating Underlayment or Silent Step Ultra 3 in 1 is used during installation.
If you are considering flooring for a bathroom where continuous moisture is expected, you will want to select a product other than hardwood. While the moisture resistance of an engineered hardwood makes it suitable for rooms below grade or ground level when installed with a moisture barrier, it is not advisable to install any hardwood flooring in a bathroom.
Engineered Flooring Care
Cleaning and maintaining a hardwood floor is very important to how it looks for years after the installation. When properly maintained, a hardwood floor can look as beautiful as the day it was installed and for many decades later. While the hardness of the species does play a role in how well it will hold up to the hustle and bustle of daily life, it really all comes down to how well the floor is cared for.
Cleaning and caring for a hardwood floor depends on how it is finished, rather than the type of wood it is. This is where many owners make mistakes in the products they use to clean their hardwood floors. It is important to understand that the approach to cleaning your hardwood floor first depends on how your floor has been finished. There are two broad categories of finish types, “Surface-sealed” finishes (the predominant type of finish) and “Penetrating-seal-treated” & “Penetrating-oil-treated” finishes.
In general proper use of vacuuming, sweeping, and damp mopping is usually all that is required to maintain the cleanliness and appearance of a wood floor. Oil soaps should not be used to clean the floors. The best suggestion is to use the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning products. Excessive grit and foot traffic may affect appearance. A properly finished and maintained wood floor does not accumulate hidden soil or odorous compounds.
Our In-Stock Floor Prices are simple:
Solid 3/4″ Hardwood Floor – $2.99 a square foot and up.
Engineered 3/8″ (10mm) Wood Floor – $1.89 a square foot and up.
Laminate 1/2″ (12mm) Floor – $1.89 a square foot and up.
Call us to check on the availability! 614-853-4448