What Is Engineered Flooring?

If you are selecting a new flooring system for your home or business premises, then there are plenty of options available to you. For example, there are traditional flooring options such as carpets, carpet tiles and rugs which offer certain advantages, not least the warmth they provide. That said, hard flooring surfaces, such as porcelain tiles, wood and laminates, are often much more hard wearing and easier to clean. Among the harder floor types you might come across is engineered flooring. What is it, and what makes it so distinctive?

The Use of Composite and Real Wood

Engineered flooring is manufactured from composite wood, a manmade material that is derived from all sorts of timbers. Essentially, it is a type of manufactured board that comes from the scraps that are left over from other manufacturing processes. On the face of it, therefore, composite wood might sound like an unappealing material to make a decorative flooring system from. However, engineered flooring is only made from this composite material on the underside of the product. The top is made from a natural wood with all of its attractive and unique grain so you end up with something that looks like a natural wooden floor without the need to use up so much of this more expensive material. Indeed, due to the popularity of this type of flooring system these days, you can choose from a wide range of woods, too.

The Difference Between Engineered Wooden Floors and Laminates

Although laminate floors are often made with a composite wood substrate, engineered flooring commonly has a thicker layer. This will provide a greater level of stability and resistance to unwanted warping when the floor is laid down. Furthermore, laminates are manufactured using a print of a given material to offer the floor a distinctive look. This could be a print of real wood, of course. However, these prints are likely to be repeated with a laminate floor several times, whereas an engineered wooden floor will feel natural underfoot while offering a much more natural appearance.

Maintaining Engineered Floors

To keep an engineered wooden floor looking good, you should vacuum or sweep it just as you would any hard floor. Wiping it down with a damp sponge rather than soaking it is a better approach for removing stains. If you end up with gouges in your engineered floor, then sanding it down a fraction is often the best way to remove them, something that is not possible with laminates.