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Is Engineered Wood Floor Worth It?

May. 20, 2022

There are many reasons that you may be searching for a wide plank engineered floor for your upcoming project — cost, ease of installation, and stability. While much of this is true, not all engineered flooring is designed and crafted to meet the same standards.


But, many people do not know what those standards are but they do know that they want their floor to:

 

Be more beautiful

Be of the highest quality

Be more stable

Provide enhanced performance in your environment

It lasts a long time

Be easy to maintain

 

We’ll review four of the most important design elements to engineered wood flooring so you can look below the surface of pretty flooring samples. Instead, you want to consider the intrinsic differences that will help you find the highest quality engineered floor. We’ll also provide you with some shopping tools and tips to help you along the way.


Engineered Wood Flooring

 Engineered Wood Flooring    

Construction & Manufacturing

Engineered hardwood flooring consists of a thin layer of wood on top (veneer), and multiple layers of backing (the core). The thickness of the veneer and the core varies depending on the design and the manufacturer. It is this construction detail that will play the biggest role in how your floor looks, how stable it will be, and how long it will last.

 

As you consider durable engineered wood flooring, you want to select products that meet certain criteria:

 

Overall Thickness: 5/8” or ¾” thick

The thickness of the veneer: 4mm

The thickness of the core: 9-ply or 11-ply

The dimensional stability of your engineered floor can be further improved by the manufacturer if they:

 

Design the board so that the core is thicker than the veneer layer.

Layer each ply of the core so that the grain runs at a 90° angle to the grain pattern of the previous ply. (Both design and manufacturing details that we adhere to with Carlisle engineered wood flooring).

 

Most engineered wood flooring on the market is mass-produced. Even if you order the flooring all at the same time, mass production methods result in flooring boards in varying widths, lengths and thicknesses which can make for a very difficult installation. Even the color and finish of the floor can be completely different because the flooring came from a large batch, rather than made per order.

 

Shopping Tip: Samples can be a valuable tool during the selection process to compare the thickness of the overall board and the individual layers. It can also help you verify the number of layers and the relative thickness of the core and veneer.

Engineered Wood Flooring

 Engineered Wood Flooring     

 

Dimensions

The average width of most engineered wood flooring is 3” wide, the average length is just 3’ long. Let that soak in for a moment. If you have a 20×20 room that is nearly 535 boards that you need to install!

 

Standard manufacturing practices are designed to produce wood flooring as fast as possible and as much as possible — it’s all about efficiency and volume.

 

When considering engineered flooring you want to work with a manufacturer that can provide more options like:

 

All 6” Wide

All 8” Wide

All 10” Wide

6-10” Wide

 

All one width, or random widths depending on the look you want

In addition to achieving wider widths on your floor, you also want longer lengths. Carlisle floors are made in random lengths from 2’-7 or 2-to 12’ long, depending on the collection, and each floor is graded to achieve a certain average length within the range. This gives you peace of mind that you will receive the longer, most revered boards. This combination of widths and lengths creates fewer seams and far more beauty because you can reduce the number of seams in your floor by up to 500% when you use a wide plank floor instead of a traditional 3” floorboard.

 

Shopping Tip: As you are shopping for engineered wood flooring, verify width and length specifications on any quotes you receive, and on your final order documents. 



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