While solid wood floors are often expensive, engineered hardwood offers a more affordable and durable alternative. Engineered wood flooring features a real wood veneer over a layer of HDF, which helps protect the floor from moisture and humidity. It’s available in a variety of styles to fit your decor and home style.
You can choose between textured and smooth engineered wood flooring. Textured floors feature dents, scuffs and other simulated damage in varying degrees across the plank surface. These blemishes help hide scratches and stains, making them less maintenance-intensive than smooth floors. However, if you resurface textured floors, they will lose some of their initial texture. Both options have their own advantages, so it’s important to consider your lifestyle and design preferences when choosing an engineered wood floor.
When deciding what type of engineered wood flooring to buy, it’s also worth looking at the thickness of the wood veneer used. The thicker the wear layer, the longer your engineered wood floors will last. For longevity, look for a veneer that’s at least 3 millimeters thick. This is enough to withstand the natural temperature and humidity changes that happen throughout the year.
The species of wood that’s used will determine the color and texture of your floors. Oak and maple are both popular choices that offer a classic appearance. Maple is light-colored and brightens spaces, while oak has a versatile shade that suits any style. Cherry is another popular option, with its rich reddish tones and unique graining patterns that darken over time. You can also find exotic options such as koa or eucalyptus (Australian jarrah), which have distinctive, beautiful colors that can make a statement in any space.
Other factors that you can use to narrow down your engineered wood flooring options include the width of planks. Narrower planks are typically more affordable and work well in traditional homes, while wider planks add a touch of luxury to contemporary spaces. You can also choose between a glue-down or floating floor installation method. Glue-down options have adhesive applied to the joints for maximum grip. While they’re more secure than floating floors, they’re harder to repair if damaged.
Lastly, you can select between a solid-core or multi-ply core engineered wood flooring. Solid-core floor boards have a core that’s made from all solid wood, while multi-ply floors have a core of multiple layers of fiberboard in different directions underneath the real wood veneer. Both options provide the same visual, but solid-core floors are sturdier and more resistant to moisture and humidity than multi-ply floor boards.
You can also choose between a click-and-lock or glue-down installation method for your engineered wood floors. Click-and-lock installations use tongue-and-groove boards that lock together over a foam or cork subfloor to create a floating floor. This is a quick and easy installation method that most homeowners can do themselves. Depending on the brand of engineered wood floors, you can also purchase matching moldings to finish the edges where your floors meet other types of flooring or walls.