Hardwood flooring is beautiful, but the cost can be prohibitive for many people. A much more affordable option you should consider is an innovative product called engineered hardwood flooring. Engineered flooring doesn’t need to imitate the look of hardwood like vinyl or laminate flooring because it is hardwood, so is equally as attractive. However, because it’s not solid hardwood, it’s less likely to warp or shift than traditional hardwood is, making it more durable. These are some of the different materials you should consider when you’re choosing engineered flooring.
Wood veneers are very thin sheets of wood, usually between .5 and 2 millimeters. The top layer of the engineered flooring, the part that you see when it’s installed, is a veneer. This gives you the same look as hardwood, and likely, no one will be able to tell which you have. If the veneer is thick enough, you’ll even be able to sand it down or refinish it to remove scratches and other surface damage down the road. This veneer can be made from any wood, so you have plenty of options when it comes to the color and style of your flooring.
Laminated Veneer Lumber
One of the materials used in engineered hardwood flooring is LVL (laminated veneer lumber). This is made by gluing multiple layers of veneers together into one solid piece, and it is glued beneath the top veneer to improve the piece’s strength. LVL is a very strong material, so it works well. In fact, it’s so strong that it’s often used in construction for beams and joists. The shape and density of the material lends to its ease of use in the production process.
Some engineered hardwood flooring contains different qualities of plywood. Plywood is similar to LVL in that it’s made of veneers that are glued together. However, while the veneers in LVL all run the length of the material, each layer of plywood is rotated 90 degrees from the last. This can help reduce the chance of warping.
When fiberboard is used in engineered flooring, a typical choice is to use medium density fiberboard. This material is actually a wood by-product that performs well as an engineered wood product. It’s known for its durability and versatility.
Oriented Strand Board
Oriented strand board material has similar components to particle board or fiberboard which is commonly used for other wood-based products. Strand board is made up of compressed layers of wood strands and adhesives, which makes it a durable flooring choice. It’s often used as a floor, though it can be in the engineered flooring itself.
When you talk to your flooring professional, they’ll help you select the best solution for the unique flooring needs of your household. For instance, there are areas in everyone’s home that are more likely to have more traffic than other rooms. You need durable floors that will continue to look beautiful and new for years. If you’re looking for a durable and affordable alternative to traditional hardwood floors, consider trying engineered flooring.