Wood and wood effect flooring became popular in the nineties in the UK, and it’s proven to be a lasting trend. Many people have come to appreciate the aesthetic, as well as the practicality of wooden floors.
Engineered wood flooring is a step up from laminate and is well worth considering if you’re renovating your home. It offers many of the features of real wood but without a hefty price tag.
Let’s take a closer look at engineered wood flooring and why it could work well for you.
What Is Engineered Wood Flooring?
Manufacturers create engineered wood flooring by glueing three or four layers of wood together. This creates a board or plank that is about 14mm thick. What sets it apart from laminate flooring is its finish.
The top layer of the planks is real wood. This makes it much more visually appealing than laminate. It comes in a range of natural wood finishes, giving you a lot of variety to choose from.
It comes in two finishes – oiled and lacquered. Oiled flooring is not as hardwearing and will show signs of age and use. But this can give your home a charming appearance and allows the natural beauty of the wood to shine through.
A lacquered finish is hardwearing and can take more hammer than an oiled finish. This is great for high traffic areas of the house or areas where people, or pets, might spill things occasionally.
Advantages of Engineered Wood Flooring
There are three main advantages to engineered wood flooring – its strength, natural finish and cost.
The planks are engineered to be very strong and stable. Because of this, they are much less prone to warping than real wood. That makes it ideal for high traffic areas in the home.
This is why it’s one of the best wooden flooring options for living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms, hallways and bedrooms. Consider a lacquered finish for high traffic areas like hallways. This also works well in the kitchen, where spills can occur.
The real wood finish means that you can sand it down and restore the finish. The finish on laminate is effectively just a photograph of real wood, and you can’t sand it.
Engineered wood comes in different thicknesses, ranging from 2mm to 6mm. The thicker the real hardwood layer is, the more times you can sand and refinish it. This means that it will last longer as you can spruce up a tired engineered wood floor up to 4 times with a 6mm finish.
Engineered wood flooring is more expensive than laminate. However, it’s still generally a more affordable choice than solid wood flooring.
Disadvantages of Engineered Wood Flooring
One of the disadvantages of engineered wood flooring is that it’s not great for wet or humid environments. Like any natural product, it can be damaged by water. Areas such as utility rooms should also be avoided, as they have high humidity and leaks can occur.
The other disadvantage is that it’s a more expensive option for the home DIYer. Although you can lay some on the market using a click system, most are tongue and groove. This requires flooring specialist skills to lay well.
Do You Need a Specialist to Lay It?
Engineered wood flooring is a high-quality product. As you can refinish it, it can last for decades. However, if you botch the installation, it will ruin the look. In fact, poorly fitted flooring is a huge turn off for potential buyers when you come to sell.
To get the best finish, you really need to call the wood floor specialists in. This is not a job for a weekend DIYer. Engineered wood flooring is much more tricky to fit well than laminate.
If you get the best wood floor specialist in the UK into your home, you won’t be disappointed. They will be able to expertly cut, trim and lay the flooring so that it looks the part. They have the tools and expertise to get the finish right.
They can work around existing fixtures and fittings, giving you a professional finish. For most DIYers, the joins where different flooring types meet can be a real headache. Experienced fitters who work with engineered flooring in the UK will make these transitions seamless.
Laminate flooring is the most obvious choice. It’s made of layers of high-density fibreboard, coated with a wood finish, coated in lacquer. Depending on the style you choose, it can be much cheaper than engineered wood flooring.
It isn’t real wood, so it won’t give quite the same look. It’s available in a wide range of styles – even tile and stone effects. Certain types are also more water-resistant, and you can use them in bathrooms if you take good care of them.
To get the best possible finish, it is still best to use a flooring specialist to lay your laminate.
Wood Effect Tiles
If you like the look of wood but want to get it in a wet part of the house, wood effect tiles could be a great choice. They are available in ceramic or porcelain and are much more hard-wearing than wooden floors in a bathroom.
Is Engineered Wood Flooring Right For You?
If you’re looking for a hard-wearing and less expensive alternative to real wood, look no further than engineered wood flooring. Choose the right style for your home and get a flooring specialist to lay it. It’ll reward you with a beautiful finish for decades to come.
At Cooper & Williams, we’ve been passionate about high-quality flooring, expertly laid for over 50 years. Our showroom features a wide range of wood flooring in Shrewsbury. We can also advise and fit other types of flooring.
Contact us today to arrange a consultation with one of our floor specialists.