Some people believe that real wooden floor can only be made of solid wood boards and if it is made of engineered board, they tend to think that the engineered flooring is an imitation of wood flooring. This wood floor guide will prove the opposite. Solid wood boards are made of one solid piece of wood, when engineered floorboard is constructed of a hardwood top layer from 4 mm to 8 mm and multilayer of birch plywood either 9mm to 15 mm thick. These are glued together in opposite directions under extremely high pressure.This method has several advantages over the wood flooring made of solid wood boards.
Commonly people think that engineered wood flooring is a laminate flooring and this opinion is wrong. Laminate flooring is a synthetic flooring made of multiple materials like melamine resin and fibre board materials that fused together with a lamination process. Laminate flooring is a photographic imitation of wood flooring which is covered with the clear protective layer.
Wood is a hygroscopic material. This means that it can absorb and release the moisture from the air. This phenomenon is caused by the change in volume of wood fibres. Wood flooring swells when it absorbs moisture, and shrinks when it dries out. Emerging tension in the wood can lead to deformation, cupping or warping.
To ensure that engineered wood floor doesn't crack, it has to be constructed properly. Wooden floorboards should have a recommended width and length. Solid Wood floorboards are not suitable for underfloor heating. If you are looking for floorboards that are suitable for under-floor heating, the only options you should consider are an engineered wood flooring or our unique “3 Oak” floor construction which replaced solid oak flooring. Engineered or 3 Oak flooring will prevent deformation due to changes in temperature and humidity level.
A wooden floor can be sanded and given a new style. You should be aware that sanding can only be done a limited amount of times due to the top wear layer. Sanding will remove the wear and tear of the surface (deep dents, cracks, scratches). Proper sanding (removal of minimum wear layer - lamella) averages at about 0.2 - 0.3 mm, and it retains the original beauty of the floor. Our engineered boards are 21mm thick and have same top wear layer as solid flooring boards, which means the engineered boards can be sanded, polished, varnished and coated with oil as many times as solid wood floorboards.
Cracks Between Boards
Almost every wood floor endures some expansion and contraction as seasons and humidity levels change. When heating the home, humidity levels plummet, which results in wood contraction and leads to the increase of the gaps between the floorboards. In dry months, cracks can be as thick as a dime on the typical solid 2 1/4" oak floor. On light-coloured woods, the cracks appear larger. You can reduce the effect by using an air humidifier.
Cracks between boards, cupping and crowning are natural reactions to moisture, therefore it should not be a concern as it only occurs to a minor extent. More severe cases, however, indicate that there are more serious moisture problems that have to be looked at by a professional.
Wood floor cupping describes a condition in which there is a concave or "dished" appearance of the plank, with the height of the plank along its longer edges being higher than the centre. Humidity level is a usual and common cause of cupping, although cupping can appear due to spilt and absorbed water into the wood. As mentioned above moisture causes the wood to swell, which crushes the boards together and deforms them at the edges. In order to fix this problem, the cause of the excess moisture has to be identified.
Often, indoor humidity will have to be controlled. Other causes could include situations when plumbing has leaked into the basement causing moisture content in the sub-floor and the wood flooring. Once the cause of the excessive moisture is resolved, cupping can be reversed. Often times the floor may naturally dry out and improve over time. To increase the speed the drying the use a fan may be appropriate. After the floor is dried, it may be necessary to re-coat the floor with a new finish, or to sand and refinish the floor.
"Crowning" is the opposite of cupping: The middle of the board is higher than the edges of the board. This can occur when the surface of the floor encounters moisture. More often, it results when a floor has been sanded too soon after it has cupped. When this happens, the top edges of the board are sanded off.
Buckling is one of the most extreme reactions to moisture that can occur with a hardwood floor. It happens when the floor literally pulls away from the subfloor, up to heights as high as several inches. Fortunately, buckling is an uncommon occurrence, usually happening only after a floor has been flooded. Even in such cases, it is possible that a floor can be repaired instead of being totally replaced.