Hardwood floors are a timeless classic, but the traditional solid planks that we have come to love are more limited than most realize. Solid hardwood planks expand when exposed to moisture, such as spills or humidity changes. They are also susceptible to warping during temperature changes. Fortunately, a newer innovation is turning this around: engineered hardwood floors. We’ll discuss what sets them apart here.
It’s the construction of engineered hardwood that really sets it apart. Unlike solid wood floors, engineered planks have a multi-layered design. The surface is typically comprised of a transparent wear layer. This protective treatment protects the plank’s design and structural integrity.
The center of an engineered plank is composed of a stable core. This layer can be composed of a variety of materials, but it’s designed to ensure stability even after years of heavy use.
The multilayered design allows engineered planks to maintain their integrity during environmental changes. Typically, rising and falling humidity levels cause solid wood planks to expand and contract, respectfully. Over time, this can lead planks to warp, buckle, and crack.
Changing temperatures have a similar affect. Heat causes solid wood to expand, and lower temperatures cause it to contract. This can be especially problematic in rooms with windows, where a certain area of flooring may receive more sunlight (heat) than the rest.
Most engineered hardwood floors are also completely waterproof. Some, such as our Eminence line, are suitable for installation in kitchens and bathrooms. Not only do the planks themselves repel spills and moisture, but, sometimes, the installation method itself is designed to prevent spills from seeping into the subfloor. This help protect the home’s structural integrity while preventing mold growth.
Most engineered hardwood floors are easy to install. Glue-down methods are common, but click installation is quickly taking its place. As the name implies, click installation simple means clicking each plank together, like a puzzle. Often, no glue or adhesives are necessary, and you can even install the new floors over existing flooring. These features vary, so remember to check the documentation.
If you’re ready to make an informed choice for your home, call Grand Ledge’s top flooring experts at Mid Michigan Floor Covering today!