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Engineered Wooden Flooring – Economical & Ecologically Sustainable.
Engineered wood flooring is a high quality and durable flooring product, which is both economically and ecologically sustainable compared to solid wood flooring. It is produced from several layers of real wood and therefore can be manufactured in a range of styles and colours. Much like plywood the layers are glued and pressed together at high pressures, creating wooden flooring, which is both malleable and ductile and boasts higher strength and durability when compared to solid wood flooring.
Structure of Engineered Wooden Flooring
Engineered wooden flooring is manufactured using three different layers; the under surface, the central core and the top layer. The central core is made from plywood, cheap softwood or high density fibrous wood. The relative inexpensiveness of these materials is the main reason as to why engineered wooden flooring is far cheaper than solid wood flooring. The under surface supports the flooring and is commonly made form high strength solid wood. This provides stability and resists changes in temperature or humidity. The top layer is hardwood and is usually between 1 and 7mm in thickness. The hardwood layer ensures that almost any type of finish can be used to generate the essential aesthetic characteristics of the floorboard. When the floorboards are placed together they look much the same as solid wood.
Popular Styles of Engineered Wooden Flooring
The hardwood layer on the upper surface ensures that engineered wooden flooring can be made to adopt the same aesthetic features of solid wood flooring. Popular styles include Oak, Ash, Beech, Walnut, Cherry and Maple. These can be used to suit a range of interior designs. For example dark woods can bring out the warmth, texture and grandeur to a room, whereas lighter woods allow natural light to radiate around a room and can often look modern and sophisticated.
One of the major differences in style depends on the actual fitting mechanism of engineered wooden flooring. Square-edged flooring limits the visible joining between floorboards, needed to provide a seamless transition with virtually no gaps between the planks. In a room which gets wet or dusty such as a bathroom this is essential. Bevelled edge flooring is designed to give a far more ridged and rustic aesthetic which more closely replicates the features of solid wooden flooring.
The Advantages of Engineered Wooden Flooring
When compared to solid wood flooring, one of the main advantages of engineered wood is its durability. Solid wood floors will both shrink and expand with fluctuating room temperature and humidity. This can cause the flooring to become displaced, leaving large gaps and even forcing planks to be displaced from their correct position. Engineered wooden flooring is specifically designed to avoid such problems. The under surface is highly resistant to humidity and changes in temperature and the stable nature of engineered wood flooring means that using under floor heating is not a problem, as it can often be with hardwoods.
The second advantage is installation. ‘floating floor’, ‘click’ installation and ‘tongue and groove’ installation are all available and, the DIY enthusiast, often will not require professional assistance. Engineered wooden flooring can be cut to a range of sizes and is always cheap and easy to install.
Finally engineered wooden flooring is cheap and available in a range of styles. Companies such as Forrest Furnishing have an extensive range of flooring available and are always happy to offer advice and guidance about the different products available and how they can complement the current interior decorations and styles within your home.