Real Wood Buying Guide
Engineered wood flooring is the closest thing to solid wood flooring, with the same solid feel underfoot and luxurious, authentic finish. The main difference is that the construction of engineered wood offers much greater stability making it a more versatile product. It looks identical to solid wood flooring so you'll be losing no sophistication in the process.
Engineered wood flooring is the ultimate choice to go for if you're after zero compromise and want the very best in realism and authenticity but as with many flooring types there's a lot to consider, so lets look at your options below so you know what to look out for.
How is Engineered Wood Flooring Made?
Engineered wood flooring is created by fusing layers of timber boards, which are then topped with a real hardwood veneer. The layered construction makes the flooring very stable, much greater than a solid wood flooring, and the real wood veneer on top keeps the same authentic look and feel as a solid wood flooring. The veneer can be made of any kind of wood, giving you plenty of options when it comes to your home.
The top layer veneer comes in a range of thicknesses, suited for different areas of the home. The layers range between 1mm and 5mm, which impacts the lifespan of your flooring. Underneath the veneer, the several layers of timber board increase stability.
Like the thickness of the veneer, the amount of timber board beneath the veneer can vary. Generally speaking, the more layers, the greater stability your flooring will have.
Choosing Engineered Wood by Room
Choosing Engineered Wood by Species
As you might expect, engineered wood flooring is constructed from strips of different varieties of hardwood including oak, ash, maple and walnut.
Appearance and plank design will vary across all manufacturers so lets go through all your options so you know the terminology and can pick your perfect flooring.
Solid oak flooring is beautiful and is also one of the most expensive flooring types. Engineered oak wood flooring gives you the luxury and appearance of solid oak, with the stability and low-maintenance qualities of engineered wood. Oak comes in a huge variety of timeless, natural shades meaning you're bound to find the perfect one for your home.
Instantly recognisable, maple's pale, natural shades are a classic wood flooring choice. Complete with the natural grain and knot dealing you'd get in a solid wood floor, engineered maple wood flooring brings a stunning natural look to your home, providing a neutral shade to fit in with whatever decor you have planned.
Available in all the natural shade variations of stunning ash, ash engineered wood flooring is the perfect choice to bring style and a natural feel to your flooring. Like every other engineered wood type, you get the luxury and timeless looks of solid wood flooring, with the stability and ease of maintenance of engineered wood.
Choosing Wood Flooring by Finish
With your wood type chosen, now you need to grapple with the perfect finish for your flooring. Engineered wood comes in three main surface finishes, all of which have different appearances and feels.
As the name suggests, satin lacquer gives engineered wood a slight sheen, creating a smooth, low-maintenance surface. The lacquer makes your wood more resistant to scratches and splashes and helps your flooring resist natural UV fading from the sun.
Like Satin, Matt lacquer also gives your floor better resistance to scratches and splashes and the natural UV fading from the sun. However, the appearance of matt lacquer is more similar to classic finishes like oil or wax.
The classic finish effect for wood flooring, oil provides a natural appearance. Your wood will need to be re-oiled more often than it would need to be re-lacquered, and won't be as protected from splashes and wear and tear.