Engineered Oak Flooring vs Solid Oak
During this year’s Grand designs exhibition. One of the most common questions we were asked by many of the visitors to our stand – What is the difference between engineered and solid wood?
Well the short answer is that Engineered wood is a more sustainable, practical, versatile and stable product. It is identical in appearance and has many plus points which I will address.
For those searching to create spaces suitable for a modern lifestyle you will require a more contemporary design and Wood Flooring can make that bold statement.
Engineered flooring has improved immensely over the last 20 years. It originally was used as a method of installing Wood flooring on concreted sub floors typically found on the ground floor or the basement, but technological improvements have made huge advancements in the quality and standard of Engineered flooring.
Nowadays flooring industry professionals recognize engineered wood flooring as being much more stable, functional and reliable than solid wood planks. One of the biggest reasons engineered wood flooring has grown so much in popularity, is that it is not sensitive to weather conditions as with solid wood. I ‘m sure all of us have noticed that in the summer solid wood expands with high humidity conditions. This is why doors sometimes become stiff and harder to shut, oppositely in low humidity during winter the wood shrinks, this is the common cause of movement and gaps in solid wood floors. Engineered Wood flooring is also suitable for underfloor heating. Making it now the fastest growing product in the flooring industry.
so while engineered shares all of the characteristics of a solid board in look and feel, it has the added benefit of a more stable construction and better versatility which gives Engineered an edge over solid wood products that are less functional and adaptive to the environment.
Engineered is constructed on multiple fused layers of ply. it is important to use a high quality WBP plywood such as birch plywood which is very stable, as opposed to using poplar ply that you will see in the more inferior products on the market.
Engineered flooring can come in a variety of thicknesses ranging from 13/16mm with a 4 mm top layer to 21mm with a 6 mm top layer. This allows the board to be sanded back and re-oiled for maintenance in the exactly the same way as a solid board would. For installation of engineered you have the option to float the floor on underlay or glue directly to the subfloor if level. Solid wood is not advisable to float and is susceptible to movement due to humidity conditions. So generally only glued or nailed is a viable option with solid wood floors. Over many years of experience, engineered wood flooring is proving to be the best option for Architects and designers who want the wow factor but also need the practicality of Engineered wood in the modern world of design.