Buying Engineered Wood – The Complete Guide

Buying Engineered Wood – The Complete Guide

There’s a lot of factors to consider when buying engineered wood. Engineered wood flooring combines multiple layers of timber with a solid wood veneer. Designed to allow for wood expansion, engineered wood is compatible with underfloor heating systems and boasts a high moisture tolerance level. Thanks to the solid wood veneer, engineered wood flooring displays all the stunning looks of solid wood at a fraction of the cost. Available in an array of wood species, colours and finishes – there’s a range to compliment every home and budget!

Together with our wood flooring experts, we’ve created this handy guide to buying engineered wood flooring to make sure you’re well equipped when it comes to choosing the right flooring for your home.

Room Suitability 

Room suitability chart for engineered wood flooring

In order to protect the longevity of your flooring you must first ensure it’s suitable for the room where you intend on installing. Solid wood for example, is not compatible with areas prone to moisture or underfloor heating systems. If you’re at all unsure, check with the manufacturer before laying. 

Engineered wood flooring is a very versatile range; the composition of the wood means it copes well in high risk areas such as kitchens, as well as high traffic areas such as hallways. Our handy room suitability chart above gives you a quick glance at where we recommend fitting, where to take caution and where to avoid.

Living Area – Living Room

Engineered wood flooring in a living room
Carpenters Choice Oak 185mm Wide Brushed & Oiled

As a high-end flooring range, engineered wood flooring instantly sets the ambiance of a room. Displaying all the character and charm of solid wood through its authentic wood knots and grains, the solid veneer makes it extremely difficult to tell apart – even for the expert eye!

Guaranteed to leave a lasting impression, buying engineered wood flooring is perfect for transforming living room/lounge areas where you are most likely to entertain your guests and where comfort and style are key. 

Living Area – Dining Room

Engineered parquet in a dining room
Marylebone Chantilly Lace Oak

Add a touch of class to your dining room without the stress of spillages. As a low maintenance flooring range, it copes extremely well with minor food spills. Simply wipe the surface clean with a damp cloth. 

Please note – be sure to thoroughly ring out the damp cloth before use. 

Living Area – Bedroom 

Bedroom with wooden flooring

As one of the most private rooms in your home, it’s also one where you can be most expressive with your choice of styling. When buying engineered wood flooring, there’s a huge range of plank widths and designs to compliment your chosen look.

Darker flooring designs are great for contrasting with light décor and creating a real statement piece. Whereas authentic flooring ranges are perfect for reflecting light and brightening darker colour schemes. Personal preference will help you decide which range is best for you. 

Hallway, Landing & Stairs

Hallway with engineered wood flooring
Manor Natural Oak – Lacquered

Robust to high traffic, engineered wood flooring is perfect for halls, landings and stairs. The solid veneer can be sanded and re-finished to restore any signs of wear – protecting the longevity of your flooring. 

Engineered Oak is particularly popular in these areas due to the quality and hardness of the timber. 

Conservatory 

The multiple layers which form engineered wood provide extra resilience to varying temperature, humidity and moisture. Conservatories vary greatly in terms of temperature, so ensure you’ve left a wide enough expansion gap and acclimatise the wood floor as long as possible before fitting.

Kitchen 

Engineered wooden floor in a kitchen
Carpenter’s Choice Oak 135mm – Brushed and Lacquered

We advise you to take caution when installing engineered wood in a kitchen due to the risk of high moisture content. Whilst engineered wood will outperform any other wood flooring range thanks its ability to expand and contract, all spillages must be tended to as quickly as possible.

Bathroom 

Due to excessive moisture content, we advise against installing or buying engineered wood for a bathroom. Instead we’d advise to go for a Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) range. As a non-porous flooring solution, it is ideal for areas that are susceptible to high levels of moisture. 

Underfloor Heating

Providing the ultimate comfort underfoot, engineered wood is compatible with underfloor heating systems. When installing, we suggest to increase the temperature in 1°C increments. This allows the flooring to adjust slowly to the excess heat. It should also never exceed 27°C.

It is advised that the solid wood veneer should be no thicker than 5mm and the entire board is less than 18mm. This is to let the heat pass through effectively and enable the heat to rise. 

Composition of Engineered Wood 

The construction of engineered wood is what sets it apart from other flooring types. It consists of either HDF or plywood core layers, bound together with extreme pressure and specialist adhesive. This is what creates the advanced stability levels engineered wood flooring is renowned for. Enabling the flooring to expand generates an impressive tolerance to moisture, humidity and temperature fluctuation. 

Engineered Wood Composition

A solid wood veneer then covers the base, giving engineered wood the truly authentic look and feel of real wood whilst also enhancing its durability. This top layer can vary in thickness – typically anywhere between two and six millimetres. The ability to sand and refinish this layer means your engineered wood flooring will stay looking perfect for years to come. 

Environmentally Friendly

sustainably sourced engineered wood flooring

All of our engineered wood flooring ranges are sustainably sourced from carefully selected forests. This helps preserve delicate ecosystems and ensures that native cultures and economies are respected.

Affordability

As a cheaper alternative to solid wood and carrying a higher price tag than its laminate counterpart, the quality of engineered wood along with the impressive lifespan justifies its worth. Known to add value to your property, buying engineered wood is more of an investment for your home than an impulse purchase. 

Engineered Wood Flooring Species

Oak Wood Flooring

oak wood flooring

Highly sought after, oak wood flooring not only looks amazing but boasts impressive durability levels too. As one of the most expensive wood species on the market, engineered wood flooring offers an affordable alternative. The ability to stain oak makes this wood species very versatile, ranging from light to dark colour hues. Enjoy all the beautiful aesthetics solid oak offers with a huge range of shades and styles to suit your home.

Walnut Wood Flooring

walnut wood flooring

Walnut wood flooring is instantly recognisable thanks to its beautiful, authentic, brown tones. Derived from its natural colouring, the wood is unstained and ranges from stunning light brown to striking dark chocolate tones. The grain is also unique thanks to its prominent wave or curled design. 

As one of the finest woods in the world, the density along with preserving the natural colouring is what sets walnut apart from the rest. As a cost effective range to solid walnut, engineered walnut wood flooring is much easier to install and offers greater stability. 

Beech or Maple Wood Flooring

beech wood flooring

Organically formed in light colour tones, both beech and maple wood with suit any colour scheme whilst reflecting natural light around your home. Featuring all the authentic wood knots and grains you expect from solid wood, the engineered versions not only look amazing but are built to last. 

Ash Wood Flooring

ash wood flooring

Ash wood flooring is the perfect blank canvas to do with as you please. Ideal for use with finishing oils and stains; the authentic features of this quality range will shine through whilst also adding your own unique stamp. Particularly popular in the parquet design, grab yourself a bargain with ash engineered wood alternatives. 

Acacia Wood Flooring

acacia wood flooring

Renowned for natural red colour tones, acacia is great for adding warmth and comfort to your home. As a truly authentic flooring range, the natural shades vary from deep orange tones to dark red hues. Available in solid and engineered wood, again the engineered version is your cost effective alternative. 

Engineered Wood Flooring Finishes

explanation of engineered wood finishes

Lacquered 

Lacquer provides a subtle glossy finish, giving an element of luxury to your engineered wood flooring. Our lacquered woods are coated with several layers of industry leading, Treffert lacquer to provide a subtle sheen which offers additional protection from everyday wear and tear. It also performs well against the effects of moisture, with the lacquer acting as shield to seal your wood. 

Whilst this does not make your wood waterproof, it is great for high risk areas such as kitchens where those little spillages may occur. For extra peace of mind, our super matt lacquered finish not only protects but the additional layers harden your wood too. 

Oiled 

Oiled engineered wood flooring portrays a classic natural matt finish. Our oiled ranges are primarily treated with specialist Osmo Oil. The wood is coated in the oil which soaks through, nourishing it and adding an extra layer of protection. Oil will need to be reapplied more often than lacquer, to maintain its beautiful matt look. 

Unfinished 

Unfinished engineered wood is exactly that – unfinished. The wood has been treated and is ready for you to add your own finish and personalise as you wish. 

Oil tints are great to get creative and enhance the natural grains in the wood with decorative colour tones. If you’re looking for more of a natural finish, then clear satin or clear gloss is also available. 

In addition to the standard finishes, we also offer an additional combination of the below:

Brushed and Lacquered

Brushed and lacquered finish consists of removing the softer grains of the wood using a wire brush but this time coating the wood with lacquer. With only the toughest grains and knots visible, this finish is full of character with a slightly smooth but textured surface which can be felt underfoot. 

Brushed and Oiled

Alike to brushed and lacquered, brushed and oiled wood flooring consists of removing the softer grains of the wood using a wire brush and then coating the wood with oil leaving a beautiful highly textured surface with a rustic look. By removing the softer grains it also makes the wood stronger and more hardwearing.

Smoked/ Fumed

To achieve the smoked/fumed look, the wood is placed in an industrial kiln and exposed to fumes over a period of around 20 days. During this process, the wood endures heavy shrinkage making it denser and much more hard wearing. As the wood reacts to the ammonia in the fumes, it develops darker tannins through the wood and lifts them to the surface to create more prominent features. 

Whitewashed

These woods have been coated with a semi opaque white stain. This stylish finish adds a lightness to the wood and accentuates the natural grain. 

Hand Carved

Hand carved wood has a slightly bumpy, distressed texture to it. Achieved manually by running a curved tool down the plank, making each plank individual and unique.  This finish is particularly popular among those who are looking for an aged/worn looking floor.

Engineered Wood Flooring Fitting Methods

Glue down

To fit both solid and engineered wood using this method, glue the base of the board to the floor boards or a concrete floor (coated in a damp proof membrane), and between each of the boards.

Floating Installation 

Lay engineered wood as a floating floor on top of underlay, gluing only between the joints. For a concrete subfloor your underlay will need to have an inbuilt damp proof membrane.

Secret Nailing

Inserting nails at a 45° angle into the tongue of the engineered wood boards. Also inserted into the floorboards beneath, the nails firmly secure the floor in place.

If you need any further help or assistance in buying engineered wood, please do not hesitate to contact one of our engineered wood flooring experts on: 03301 028 444.

The post Buying Engineered Wood – The Complete Guide appeared first on Direct Wood Flooring Blog.

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