Category Archives: Engineered Hardwood Flooring

9 Advantages of Engineered Hardwood Flooring (2020 Update)

9 Advantages of Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Whether they’re kept bare or covered with area rugs, wooden floors impart a warm and inviting feeling to any home. And with proper care and maintenance, they can last a lifetime.

What’s more, they add to your property’s resale value and make it more appealing to potential buyers.

While hardwood is an evergreen flooring option among homeowners and interior designers, manufacturing and technology developments have made engineered flooring more attractive, durable and budget-friendly. With better features and functionality, engineered hardwood floors are becoming increasingly popular.

9 Reasons to Invest in Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood is a beautiful and classic addition that increases the real estate value of any home. At the same time, it’s expensive and not easy to maintain.

For those who love the look of hardwood but need something more affordable and simple to look after, engineered hardwood is a great choice. Here are nine strong reasons why engineered floors are a great option for your home and budget.

  1. It’s Strong and Durable

While solid hardwood planks made of 100% wood tend to crack, warp or cup when exposed to extreme environmental factors, that’s not the case with engineered hardwood.

They’re still made of wood, but instead of a single plank, they consist of multiple layers of plywood that are glued together and capped with a solid wood top layer or lamella. This unique construction makes them extremely tough and capable of withstanding heavy traffic in either homes or businesses.

This also makes engineered hardwood a great flooring choice for places where solid wood isn’t an option, such as over concrete floors or radiant heating systems.

  1. It’s Resistant to Changes in Temperature and Moisture

Compared to solid wood and laminate, engineered wood doesn’t contract or expand with heat and moisture changes. This makes it less susceptible to cracking, warping or buckling. The reason behind this stability is its unique construction – layers of plywood, joined together with solid wood.

It's Resistant to Changes in Temperature and Moisture

Note: low-quality engineered flooring may require a vapour barrier between the subfloor and flooring, and is less effective against heat and moisture.

  1. It Comes in a Range of Colours and Finishes

Although available in a wide range of species, designs, and grades, solid wood flooring is often very expensive. Engineered flooring comes in an even greater range of colours, grades and finishes, but at more affordable pricing.

So, whether you want a tough, glossy low-budget option or antique-looking high-quality flooring, you’ll find one that matches your needs.

It Comes in a Range of Colours and Finishes

  1. It’s Easy to Install

Since solid hardwood planks are derived directly from a thick log of wood, their thickness usually ranges between ¾-inches and 7/16-inches. Engineered hardwood, on the other hand, is factory made by joining several high-density fiberboard layers and then topping them with a solid wooden board. They are wider than regular solid wood planks and cover greater areas of the floor; this means fewer joins and easier installation. While the staple or nail down method is popular with solid hardwood floors, you can staple, nail, float, or even glue engineered hardwood planks. The glue-down or click-lock varieties are especially popular with DIY flooring enthusiasts.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring Easy to Install

  1. It Looks Like Hardwood

One of the most remarkable things about high-quality engineered floors is that they can mimic the look and feel of natural solid wood flooring.

The main difference between solid and engineered hardwood flooring lies in its construction and number of layers. These differences, however, are not evident once the installation is complete. Its high quality and professional installation means even the toughest critic won’t doubt the authenticity of engineered hardwood flooring.

  1. It’s Easy to Maintain

If you’re looking for a flooring material that is visually appealing and requires minimal maintenance, engineered flooring is your best option.

Although solid hardwood floors are beautiful, they tend to lose their luster. While sanding and refinishing are common ways to fix scratches and dents, they’re expensive ventures that can create pollution and inhalation hazards due to the chemicals used. Engineered floors, by contrast, are often coated with veneer or top coats that only need occasional dusting and mopping.

  1. It’s Affordable

Since solid hardwood planks are made of 100% wood, they’re obviously more expensive than engineered wood. (The latter consists of a core layer of MDF (medium-density fiberboard)/pinewood or plywood, and a top layer of real wood.)

With engineered hardwood flooring, you can buy any wooden look and design at a relatively low cost. Additionally, the fact that it requires less care and maintenance makes it an affordable investment.

  1. It Can Be Refinished

Contrary to popular belief, engineered wood can be refinished, although this depends on the thickness of its top wood layer which loses some of said thickness each time you sand it. Typically, you can refinish engineered hardwood floors once to twice before you need to start considering a replacement.

  1. It’s Easy to Maintain

If you’re looking for flooring that looks like wood but doesn’t require much maintenance, engineered flooring is the perfect option. Over time, real hardwood floors tend to develop scratches and cracks; they also lose their original luster.

While refinishing can fix some of these problems, doing so repeatedly erodes the top wooden layer and creates pollution and inhalation hazards because of the chemicals used. Engineered hardwood floors, on the other hand, don’t need the same amount of care and maintenance. In fact, you may only need to refinish them once or twice over the course of their lifetime. You can also use different veneers, treatments, or coating, based on your floor’s level of wear and tear.

Engineered hardwood is a fantastic flooring choice for any homeowner seeking the warmth and beauty of natural wood, minus the price tag. It’s also easy to maintain and comes in a range of colours and finishes. With so many advantages, this is one of the strongest flooring options you’ll find.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring: What Are Its Pros & Cons?

Hardwood flooring is a beautiful and classic addition to any home but is expensive and difficult to maintain. 

For those who love the look of hardwood but need something more affordable and easy to look after, engineered hardwood is the better choice. It’s made from three to five layers of plywood stacked and bonded under high heat and pressure. The result is sturdier and more cost-effective than many other wood flooring options, like solid oak or parquet, thanks to its unique structure and high stability. It does, however, have certain disadvantages.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

While solid wood is an evergreen flooring choice for hardwood lovers, advances in manufacturing and technology have made engineered flooring more popular and affordable. 

With its improved features and functionality, engineered floors are increasingly being chosen by homeowners, contractors and interior designers over solid hardwood. 

Even the best-engineered flooring, though, has its limitations. Below, we discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of engineered hardwood so you can decide if it’s the right choice for your home.

Pros

Pros of Engineered Hardwood Flooring

  1. It’s (Mostly) Resistant to Temperature and Moisture Changes

Compared to solid wood and laminate, most varieties of engineered wood don’t contract or expand with heat and moisture changes. This makes them less susceptible to cracking, warping or buckling. (Low-quality engineered flooring may require a vapour barrier between the subfloor and flooring.)

The secret of its stability lies in its unique construction which consists of layers of plywood joined together with solid wood. 

  1. It’s Strong and Durable

Solid hardwood planks have a natural tendency to crack, warp or cup when exposed to some environmental factors as they’re made from 100% wood. 

Engineered hardwood planks are constructed differently. Rather than being made from a single plank, multiple layers of plywood are glued together and secured with a solid wood lamella (top layer). 

This strength and stability makes engineered hardwood a great flooring choice for places where solid wood isn’t an option, such as over concrete floors or near radiant heating systems.

  1. It Comes in a Range of Colours and Finishes

Although solid wood flooring comes in a wide range of styles, it’s often very expensive. 

Engineered flooring comes in a greater range of colours, grades and finishes, at a more affordable price. This means that you can achieve your desired look without spending a lot. 

No matter your interior decor style, you’ll find engineered flooring to match your needs. Check with a flooring specialist near you to help you decide which is best.

  1. It’s Easy to Install

Engineered hardwood planks are wider than regular solid wood ones so cover more of the floor, which means fewer joins and easier installation. 

While the staple or nail-down method is popular with solid hardwood floors, you can staple, nail, float or even glue engineered hardwood planks. The glue-down or click-lock varieties are quite popular with DIY flooring enthusiasts.

  1. It Needs Minimal Maintenance

Engineered flooring is your best option for great-looking flooring that does not require much maintenance. Solid hardwood floors look amazing but tend to lose their lustre over time. 

Sanding and refinishing are common ways to fix scratches and dents, but they’re expensive fixes that can create pollution and inhalation hazards due to chemicals used. Engineered floors, by contrast, are often coated with veneers that only need occasional dusting and mopping.

  1. It’s Affordable

Since solid hardwood planks are made of 100% wood, they’re obviously more expensive than engineered wood which mostly consists of plywood or fiberboard.

Cons

Engineered Hardwood Flooring – Cons

  1. It’s Hollow Underfoot

Although most engineered hardwood planks are thick enough to look and feel like real wood, some may sound hollow underfoot. Proper stapling or gluing of the planks to the subfloor can help avoid this issue. Ask your flooring contractor about the right installation method for your engineered flooring. 

  1. There Are Health Concerns

Engineered and manufactured wooden planks contain adhesives and resins (used to bind the layers of plywood) that can give off potentially harmful gasses. 

However, some high-quality engineered flooring planks do not off-gas. Ask your flooring contractor what kind of adhesive is used and if exposure to it can cause health issues. 

  1. Sunlight Can Fade It

Like traditional solid wood flooring, engineered hardwood can be faded by too much exposure to UV rays, and this can’t be fixed instantly. To prevent this damage, choose light-coloured flooring, use curtains/blinds or UV-shielding windows, or lay down some rugs.

  1. It Can Only Be Refinished a Few Times

While solid wood can be refinished repeatedly, engineered wood can only be sanded and refinished a few times during its lifetime. This is because its veneer is usually thin and repeated external force permanently damages the wood underneath. 

If you’re installing engineered flooring in a high-traffic area, or have pets or toddlers, it‘s better to choose one with a thick layer so you can sand and refinish your floor as required. 

Engineered hardwood flooring is a fantastic choice for any homeowner seeking the warmth and beauty of natural wood, minus the hefty price tag. Its pros heavily outweigh its cons, making it the perfect flooring option for almost every residential and commercial setup.

Why Engineered Hardwood Flooring Works Best in High Traffic Areas

High traffic areas have to withstand a lot of rough treatment which can lead to scratches, scuffs, dents, gouges, and other impacts. These can eventually damage the floor finish, alter the texture of the floor material and cause permanent damage. These areas require a highly durable and tough flooring as a result.

In today’s post, we’ll highlight the different advantages of considering this engineered flooring option for high traffic areas in both residential and commercial spaces.

  1. Extremely Durable

Unlike hardwood, an engineered hardwood floor is made composed of multiple layers of plywood instead of a single plank. Each of the layers is positioned in a different direction and this structure makes this material more stable than hardwood. On top of these layers, a veneer of real hardwood is pressed together to give it the look of real hardwood. Engineered hardwood can put up with moisture damage such as warping, swelling, or cracking much better than hardwood as a result. It can also withstand constant pressure and heavy footsteps without budging.

  1. Resembles Real Wood

Hardwood is one of the most popular flooring choices. This is because of its warmth, appearance and the elegant style it provides to a space when installed. However, hardwood isn’t the correct choice for high traffic areas because it’s not enough durable to resist potential damages. This is where engineered hardwood emerges as an ideal solution.

It looks like real wood because the top layer of the material is made of 100% real wood ranging from oak, maple, ash to Brazilian walnut. It, therefore, gives you a beautiful opportunity to design your high traffic zones with the look and feel of real wood.

  1. Available in a Variety of Finishes

Engineered hardwood is available prefinished with a durable coating that provides the surface of real hardwood its lustre and durability. This finish is very durable and can last for years. This means neither you’ve to worry about surface damages such as scratches and dents nor you’d require refinishing the floor for years.

  1. Affordable Option

Engineered flooring isn’t as expensive as hardwood but it offers you better durability and resistance than hardwood. If you don’t have a big budget to splurge on hardwood, engineered flooring is what you should consider.

When you make the right flooring choice, you don’t need to worry about a failed project. Engineered hardwood is an ideal choice for high traffic areas. If you’re in search of the best-engineered flooring for high traffic in Toronto, contact Amazon Hardwood. We offer a great selection of trusted and quality Canadian brands including Superior, BSL, Mercier, and Wickham.

A Quick Guide to Your Best Basement Flooring Options

Your basement is a versatile space with endless possibilities often undiscovered. Besides functioning as a regular storage space, it can also act as an office, a home gym, a playroom or even a den. Now that you’re going to put it to good use, you need to decide what flooring makes sense. The problem with basements is that they’re prone to moisture and humidity which can damage the floor covering and promote mould growth. That’s why it’s important to choose a flooring material that’s resistant to moisture and easy to maintain. Below, we discuss some of the best ones for your basement.

Inspiring Ideas for Basement Flooring

Choosing the right material for your basement floor can be tricky, especially because it’s prone to exposure to damp and moisture, which encourages mould growth and mites. We’ve got you covered with these flooring options that are just right for your basement.

Concrete

This is one of the most hassle-free basement flooring options for high or moderate moisture levels. One advantage of having concrete flooring is that you can overlay an existing concrete slab with decorative concrete finishes or an epoxy sealant to suit your style. An epoxy-coated concrete floor isn’t affected by water and is highly resistant to bacteria and germs. This flooring is a good fit if you’re looking for an easy to clean, water-resistant and inexpensive flooring solution.

Concrete Flooring

Vinyl

Available in a variety of styles and patterns, resilient vinyl flooring is durable, easy to install and maintain, and moisture proof. It also provides good cushioning and is relatively affordable. If you have a higher budget, you can choose vinyl flooring that look like stone, ceramic tile or even wood. Just make sure you eliminate all floor imperfections to make the surface smooth for vinyl installation. You can choose between vinyl sheets and self-sticking vinyl tiles.

Laminate Flooring

While laminate isn’t water-resistant by nature, waterproof laminates are, which makes them ideal for basement flooring. Laminate has a protective topcoat that not only protects the floor from water damage but also makes it easier to clean spills and splashes. It’s also recommended that you lay down a vapour barrier as additional protection before installing waterproof laminates. If you can’t afford waterproof laminate flooring, you can choose conventional laminates, but remember to install/prepare your subfloor first to prevent moisture damage.

Laminate Flooring

Engineered Wood

Engineered wood flooring combines the beauty and warmth of real wood with the resilience of laminate. The top layer is basically a wood veneer and the substrate layers are composed of plywood, particle board or fiberglass. These multiple layers are then fixed together in a criss-cross pattern that makes the flooring structurally sound, thus preventing them from warping and cracking with temperature and moisture fluctuations.

Rubber

Rubber is the perfect flooring choice for basements, especially when the space is used as a home gymnasium or family game room. It has a cushioning effect that absorbs shock from high-intensity exercise and heavyweights. Generally made from recycled materials, including old car tires, rubber floor tiles are an eco-friendly flooring option. Additionally, rubber is water-resistant and doesn’t encourage the growth of mould or mildew.

Basement Flooring FAQ

Can I use my basement as a laundry room? If so, what’s the best flooring option?

Yes, you can. Laundry rooms have a high possibility of standing water and moisture exposure. Unlike hardwood or laminate, vinyl is water-resistant and makes a great option for your basement flooring.

Does your floating basement floor need a water-based polyurethane finish?

A polyurethane application seals all seams, provides a waterproof coat and prevents denting. If your floor develops dents and scratches (which it eventually will), you can easily restore it through refinishing. Just apply a coat of water-based polyurethane to regain the original finish. Always choose a water-based polyurethane over a solvent-based product to avoid the risk of damaging your floor’s finish.

Is cork a good flooring choice for your basement?

Yes, it is. Cork is basically wood, but unlike most other hardwoods it can withstand conditions others can’t. Firstly, cork is made of millions of sponge-like cellular structures or air pockets which means it consists of 50 percent air. Secondly, a waxy substance known as suberin (produced in the bark of the cork oak tree) makes it resistant to liquids and gases. These two characteristics make cork water resistant – an ideal choice for basement flooring.

Basements are notorious for being dark, damp, cold and mouldy. Many are ‘below grade’ (completely or partially below the ground level) and mostly uneven. This naturally limits the choice of materials that work for basement flooring. Do some research, gather details and order samples to see what works best for you. For more information on basement flooring, contact Amazon Hardwood.

5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered hardwood is a composite product that consists of multiple layers pressed and glued together to form a durable material. The top layer is made of real wood whereas the bottom layers are made of hardwood, softwood and plywood.

Engineered hardwood is a popular choice for homeowners who want natural wooden texture on their floors, without compromising on the versatility of where the floor can be installed. However, not all engineered floors available in the market are of high-quality. Some are low-quality flooring materials that are sold at higher rates because homeowners are unable to identify the difference between them at the time of purchase.

Here are 5 questions that you should ask before buying engineered hardwood floor to get the most of your money.

1) Who is the manufacturer?

Manufacturing of engineered hardwood flooring is done by following set industry standards and strict manufacturing rules. However, some manufacturers use questionable means for manufacturing, such as the use of toxic materials. Before buying engineered hardwood floors, make sure that the manufacturer is a member of a professional flooring association and complies with the industry recommendations.

2) Which adhesive is used to glue the layers?

Some manufacturers use cheaper adhesives to glue the layers of engineered hardwood floors. This can produce higher formaldehyde emissions causing health problems. They use questionable quality glues to lower the production cost and make higher profits. When buying engineered hardwood flooring, ask the seller which kind of adhesive is used to glue the layers. Purchase only those products that are free from toxic adhesives for better health and to have improved performance of your floors.

3) What is the thickness of the top layer?

Generally, the top layer thickness of engineered hardwood flooring ranges from 2 mm to 6 mm. The best thickness to ensure maximum durability of your floors is over 4mm. At the time of purchase, inquire what the thickness of the top layer is. If it is below 4mm, then don’t purchase it.

4) What is the top layer made of?

Engineered hardwood flooring is preferred because of its natural wood surface. Buying one whose top layer is not made of real wood is therefore a waste. High-quality engineered hardwood floors’ top layers are made of solid sawn wood, which is the ideal material to provide a natural wooden texture to the floors. Make sure that the top layer of your engineered hardwood is made of real wood by asking it from the retailer before buying.

5) Is there any consumer warranty?

If you purchase engineered hardwood flooring from a reputable manufacturer, then you get a specific consumer warranty on the product. This warranty covers repair and replacement of damaged planks (depends on the manufacturer) or sometimes a refund on defective flooring. Always ask about the warranty on the product before buying to save your floors from potential problems.

These questions are important to ask at the time of purchase to avoid future troubles. If you get satisfactory answers to these questions, then go ahead and purchase the flooring. If you’re not satisfied with the answers, then cancel the purchase immediately to avoid making costly mistakes.

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