Engineered oak flooring adds a classical charm, warmth and character to any house. It is built using 4-12 multiple layers of ply that are cross layered, pressed and glued together. The inner layers which are called the core layers are built using soft plywood or hardwood. The top hardwood layer is then glued and pressed on the top of the core layer. The benefit of using engineered oak flooring is that it is more resistant to lower and higher moisture levels than the wood flooring which is solid. Thus, it is of great use in the damp basements or in regions where there is higher or lower than normal levels of humidity. Also, the engineered flooring ply can be glued directly upon the concrete slabs or over a wood subfloor. Moreover, the resale value of engineered wood flooring is the same as solid wood flooring.
Once the engineered oak flooring has been installed, it does not appear much different from the solid wood flooring. Engineered wood floors are also easier to install as compared to the solid wood flooring and also tend to be less expensive than the solid planks.
Engineered wood floors were first developed to use on the first floor of a house which was built on a concrete slab or in a basement. But recently, the engineered floors are found everywhere even at the places where one would expect to find solid wood planks. Engineered wood floors are very stable and are more resistant to moisture. Even though no wood product can tolerate water, the resistance to high moisture levels over concrete only adds to the benefits list of using engineered wood floors.
The engineered wood floor ranges in thickness from 1cm to 2 cm with its top layer being a veneer. The thicker the veneer, the more expensive is the engineered wood plank. A point to note here is that if the veneer is thin i.e. approx. 0.6mm the floor cannot be refinished but if the top veneer is between 2mm and 6mm, the floor can be refinished many times. Depending upon the thickness and quality of the finished wood, there can be anything between 4-12 layers of ply and white wood beneath the top veneer layer and the secondary layers of ply play an important role in the final price too. Thus, one should pay attention to both the inside layers as well as the top veneer layer.
The engineered wood floors which are thinner than 2 cm can easily be glued down by any person who has some experience with the do-it-yourself projects and have a few hours to spare and equipment like a table saw and a chop saw. However, if it is the first time for such an installation, it is always better to have an expert or a professional do the job.
The thinnest and the newest engineered floors use a system called tongue-and-groove that locks the floors in the place. They can easily be placed over an older floor or over a cork underlayment.
Engineered wood lasts a really long time from twenty to about a hundred years. Its longevity of existence depends upon how thick the top veneer layer is. Thus, an engineered wood floor lasts as long as the wooden plank floor would.