What is Engineered Flooring?
Engineered wood flooring is an all timber flooring product. It’s so called because it is fabricated, or engineered, from two or more layers of wood bonded together.
The thicker, base layer is usually plywood. The top layer, or “wear board” is made of oak, or some other hardwood.
Engineered flooring has overtaken solid wood flooring in Europe in recent times because it is:
- More tolerant to moisture and temperature changes
- Much more versatile in terms of where it can be installed
- More dimensionally stable. It expands and contracts far less than solid wood.
- Far less prone to warping
Naked Floors offers both pre-finished and unfinished engineered oak flooring.
Contrary to the beliefs of some customers we talk to, Engineered Oak Flooring is not cheaper than solid oak. However, installation costs are likely to be lower for engineered flooring.
If you’re considering a DIY flooring project, we’d strongly recommend engineered flooring rather than solid wood because it is so much easier to install.
Another common misconception about engineered flooring is that it not “authentic / real wood”, and as such not the sort of thing you’d use for upmarket interiors, or period restorations.
This could not be further from the truth!
Before we began making floors ourselves here at Naked Floors, we specialised in high end floor refurbishment. We installed new floors in many listed buildings too. Engineered hardwood flooring was always the material of choice, where the original floors were beyond repair.
Engineered Flooring vs Laminate
Engineered flooring should not be confused with laminate flooring.
Laminate is merely a decorative or protective cladding for the underlying floor. It is not strong enough to be used for structural purposes.
By contrast, engineered wood flooring is eminently suitable as a structural flooring material.
Laminate flooring has a high density fibre board base protected by a moisture resistance backing.
The fibre board is made of reconstituted wood fibres or particles, compressed and glued together.
The top two layers of laminate flooring consist of the design layer, usually a photo or impression of wood grains and flooring joins, and the protective wear layer, which is made of melamine, a type of hard wearing plastic resin.
What Type of Installations is Engineered Flooring Suited For?
Engineered flooring is suitable for most installation types.
- Structural flooring e.g. load bearing floorboards supported by joists
- Laying on concrete screed floors
- Laying on top of existing floorboards
- Rooms with underfloor heating
- Conservatories, lofts and basements
- Kitchens and bathrooms
- Glue, screw or nail fixing methods