“What are the advantages of using an engineered wood flooring and does it really look and feel as beautiful?”
We are a long established family business and when we started trading, 'engineered' wood flooring was unheard of. So why exactly has it caught on so much? In order to answer this, I will write in reference to the engineered flooring that we supply here at JFJ Wood Flooring. I will do this because I know the specification and quality of our flooring and I have complete faith in the floorboards that we supply. Like with many products, engineered wood flooring varies substantially in both price and quality, and for this reason I cannot speak for all engineered boards.
The most well known and leading advantage that a high quality engineered wood flooring has over any solid wood floor, is its stability. Thanks to the way in which our boards are structured, with a hardwood multiply core, they are far less prone to movement. Traditional solid wood flooring is a completely natural product that reacts to varying moisture and humidity levels. Timber is a semi-porous material that is prone to swelling and shrinking, most commonly across its width. This can result in either gaps between boards or even the floor buckling if out swells its expansion gap. Our engineered oak flooring is the most stable type of wood flooring on the market and the chances of getting any serious movement are minimal. Because of this, it means it can be laid into environments that traditional solid wood floors would not be able to cope with. Conservatories, kitchens, bathrooms and floors with underfloor heating are all areas where solid oak would not be advised. Whereas nowadays, with a high specification engineered wood board such as we supply, oak flooring can be enjoyed in these environments. While on the subject of the board structure, it is also worth mentioning how we are often asked about the strength of the adhesives used within the board. It is not uncommon for customers who have thoroughly researched the market to question this, and rightly so. Cheaper engineered wood floors have been known to de-laminate if put under any sort of stress, and for this reason its very important that the board is glued together with the correct adhesives for the job. Although not scientific, we put all our engineered wood flooring through very thorough tests before we supply them. In fact we have even gone as far as to boil a section of each of our flooring ranges and all the board still stayed in tact.
“...we have even gone as far as to boil a section of each of our flooring ranges and all the board still stayed in tact.”
So we have established that an engineered board is a more stable product but does it actually look and feel as beautiful as a traditional solid wood flooring? The reason why people love wood as a choice of flooring material is largely down to its timeless natural beauty that it can bring to traditional and contemporary properties alike. Many people are originally unaware that the wood that is used for the top visible surface of our engineered wood flooring is the same high quality timber that would be used on any of our solid wood boards. This means that visually the floor looks just as attractive in appearance. In fact, due to the board's stability, longer and wider planks can be just as practical and some consider it to be even more aesthetically desirable. Not only do engineered boards look the part, they will also last as long too. The life expectancy of a wooden floor is down to what is known as the 'wear layer'. On a solid wooden floor you can only ever wear the board down as far as the tongue and groove. The distance from the tongue to the top surface of an 18mm thick solid wood floor is generally around 5-6mm. The wear layer on an engineered wood board can vary, however our 'Supreme' range of quality engineered oak flooring has a 6mm wear layer meaning it will last just as long as the majority of solid wood floors. All of our engineered boards have a thick top layer of oak. Even our 14mm thick 'Country' range has a 3mm thick wear layer resulting in it being no short term flooring choice.
“...our 'Supreme' range of engineered wood flooring has a 6mm wear layer meaning it will last just as long as the majority of solid wood floors.”
The ease of fitting is yet another factor that should be taken into consideration when comparing a solid and engineered wood flooring. Wide and long floorboards are a practical option on engineered wood flooring due to their stability. Because the majority of the engineered wood flooring we sell is long and wide, it is far quicker and easier to lay. Our engineered boards are also extremely well machined and we have exceptionally good feedback over the years on what a pleasurable material they are to work with. Not only does this again help to speed up the job, it also results in far less wastage. Given that our engineered boards are much quicker to fit with far less wastage, any extra money spent on a high quality engineered board can be saved in fitting costs and this is something that should be considered when comparing prices.
The final advantage is the environmental benefits that engineered wood flooring offers. The ply wood that is used within our boards is made up of a mixture of faster growing and less valuable timbers. With engineered wood flooring, the majority of the board is made up of ply, and therefore less of the valued hardwood that has taken hundreds of years to grow is used. Here at JF Joinery and JFJ Wood Flooring, sustainability and maximum yield from our valued timbers is very important to us. As a smaller family business, we have even invested £40,000 into machinery that turns all out waste offcuts and sawdust into briquettes - an eco friendly heating fuel.
We hope you found this has answered a few questions you may have had. However if you have any further queries on any of the above please feel free, as always, to pick up the phone and give us a call on 01598 740197.