Over the last few years the popularity of engineered wood flooring has increased, as the trend for solid wood flooring has decreased. Whereas in previous years customers felt that a solid wood floor was a ‘real’ wood floor, engineered wood is now being seen the same way.
In fact here at First Floors we have noticed a huge difference in the last 5/6 years in terms of the availability of solid wood flooring with many manufacturers favouring the supply of engineered wood flooring over solid wood. This in turn is having a knock on effect of the popularity of each type of floor.
Here are a couple of common questions that our customers ask us when choosing the right wooden floor for their home.
How do I know whether the engineered wood flooring is good quality?
Firstly, if you are visiting our showroom we only stock high quality wood flooring, in fact all of our products are hand picked to ensure that we maintain the integrity of our products.
Many engineered wood products that come from untrusted or unverified sources such as those often found online are made with low quality plywood whereby the layers can come apart. When using plywood in smaller pieces such as wooden floorboards, it’s essential to use high-grade plywood so that it the layers don’t come apart
Next is the top layer, known as the wear layer. This can be made up of many types of wood, with oak and walnut being the most popular. It’s essential that these are of a certain width to enable you to sand the floor in the future if required. If you see low-grade material used as the base, then the finish on top of the floor is probably the same quality. We only stock flooring brands with a high quality wear layer to provide many, many years of wear.
Will an engineered floor look different to a solid wood floor?
This is probably the biggest concern to many of our customers. The simple answer is no. To anyone looking at the floor, it’s impossible to tell by either touching it, walking on it or looking at it. This is because the only part that’s different it the bottom layer, with the top layer being made of the same real wood.
Do I need to worry about moisture?
It’s well known that a solid wood floor is a living product. As such it reacts to changes in temperature and this is why it’s not a good idea to fit a solid wood floor in areas of high humidity such as a bathroom or shower room, and why you need to leave an expansion gap when it’s being fitted. It cannot be fitted over underfloor heating and you need to let the floor acclimatize in the room in which it’s been fitted for at least 48 hours.
Whereas when it comes to resilience to moisture, engineered wood flooring outperforms solid wood. It can also be fitted over underfloor heating and it can be fitted without acclimatization.
Is a wood floor difficult to maintain?
A wood floor is very easy to maintain, and there’s no difference between a solid and engineered wood floor.
If you have a lacquered floor it’s really simple to maintain and it’s beauty will last for many years to come. It consists of a hardwearing surface and all you should need to do is sweep or vacuum the floor and use a damp cloth or mop to clean it and wood-safe detergent.
For an oiled floor you just follow the same instructions but you may want to re oil the surface every few year or few years.
Talk to us in the showroom about the different types of finish on your engineered wood floor – there are now some incredible advancements in the lacquers used and increasingly popular is a matt lacquer which looks like an oiled board but with the hardwearing properties of a lacquer.
Our experts are in the showroom and always on hand to provide advice on the best type of engineered wood flooring or a solid wood floor for your home. You may even decide that a luxury vinyl or laminate in wood effect is the best floor for your home.
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