All About Engineered Hardwood



There are many myths and misconceptions that pertain to engineered hardwood flooring.


The most common misconception is that engineered hardwood is not made out of real wood.  Engineered hardwood has compressed layers of real wood as the core and then has the top layer "veneer" of real wood; this is what gives the grain pattern look of a traditional solid wood floor.  The most common way to tell the difference between engineered hardwood and solid hardwood is that the engineered hardwood has beveled edges.  This means that the edges are rounded over and the floor is not completely flat.


Another common misconception is that engineered hardwood is "cheap" and wont last long. This isn't true at all.  I have seen engineered flooring cost more then some of the solid woods out there.  As far as durability is concerned, just make sure you are purchasing the material from a reputable source.  Not all manufactures are equal, so do your research or reach out to a professional you trust.


One more thing that has always been interesting to me is that a lot of manufactures indicate that their engineered flooring (depending on thickness of the wear layer) can be sanded up to 3 times.  First of all, this is very hard to believe as the amount of material removed is a lot more then their wear layers.  Next, most of these manufacturers utilize aluminum oxide in their finish which is extremely difficult to sand off.  Since it is very difficult to sand off, a very aggressive sandpaper is required to complete the job.  This aggressive sandpaper is going to take off even more of the wear layer than a traditional sanding.  So, I would say that it can probably be sanded one time.  The refinish will cost substantially more then a traditional refinish and will remove any characteristics (saw marks, hand-scraping) in the original product.


Overall, engineered flooring can make for a wonderful floor.  Just keep in mind that at best, most engineered floors will only last 10 years before you will want to replace them.  Yes, they will last much longer than that structurally; however, most people don't want to live with a scratched up and dingy floor.  If a traditional solid hardwood floor is installed, you will be able to refinish up to 6 times in most cases and the refinishing cost will be much lower then the refinish of an engineered floor.  With a solid hardwood floor, you will also be able to have maintenance coats done which will keep the floor looking great for many, many year.  A maintenance coat is typically half the cost of a traditional refinish and will greatly extend the time until a refinish is needed.


If you ask me, a solid hardwood floor is a 100 year floor where as a engineered floor is a 10 to 15 year floor depending on how long you are willing to put up with the wear and tear on the floor.


If you are in the market to have an installation done, contact us today!  We service the entire treasure valley.  We will travel up to 100 miles from Boise, Idaho.


Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more!