19 Jun What is Engineered Wood Flooring? Pros, Cons, and Maintenance of Wooden Flooring
Wooden flooring is a popular flooring material among homeowners in Hong Kong. Generally, there are three main types of wooden floors: timber flooring (also known as solid hardwood flooring), laminate flooring, and engineered wood flooring.
With a plethora of options, choosing the right flooring for your renovation project can be challenging. Read on to explore the structure, benefits, drawbacks, and maintenance of engineered wood flooring, guiding you to choose the wooden flooring that suits your needs.
What is Engineered Wood Flooring?
Engineered wood flooring is an enhanced version of timber flooring. Consisting of three or more layers of wood crisscrossed together, with the surface layer retaining real wood material, engineered wood flooring offers the natural aesthetics of wood while maintaining a more stable structure. Given its resistant properties to moisture-induced deformation, it is well-suited for use in a humid environment such as Hong Kong. Even with temperature fluctuations due to air conditioning, which can easily cause heat or cold-induced thermal expansion, engineered wood flooring remains relatively stable. Furthermore, most of the veneer used in the lower layers of engineered flooring is made from environmentally friendly wood sourced from fast-growing trees, making it much more eco-friendly than solid wood flooring.
Structure of Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood flooring primarily consists of multi-layered materials. While the structure may vary slightly based on flooring styles, it usually encompasses the following essential layers:
- The finishing layer, typically made from transparent varnish or natural wax oil, enhances the wear- and moisture-resistance of the engineered wood flooring and provides protection from influencing the flooring’s glossiness and appearance.
- The veneer layer, also known as the top layer, comprises varying woods, such as oak, walnut, and teak, to replicate different wood grain effects.
- The core layer acts as the main structural supporting layer. It consists of three or more layers of wood crisscrossed together to improve the stability and durability of the flooring.
- The balancing layer is the bottom layer, mostly made of plywood or other stable materials. Its primary functions are to prevent floor expansion or shrinkage due to moisture or temperature variations, ensuring floor flatness.
Engineered Wood Flooring VS Timber Flooring
The surface of engineered wood flooring is made of real wood, emulating the aesthetics of timber flooring with easier installation, greater resistance to deformation, and affordability. It can be made in broader and longer sizes. Therefore, even outfitting the entire residential space with engineered wood flooring won’t cause a significant financial burden. Timber flooring, on the other hand, provides a more authentic feel and unique wood grain patterns. However, it requires regular waxing and careful maintenance and comes at a higher price while also being prone to deformation.
The Pros and Cons of Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood flooring is a multi-layered structure, using highly valued wood only on the surface, making it more eco-friendly than timber wood flooring. The wood grain tends to be more natural and unique, and the flooring feels warmer underfoot.
Known for its stability, engineered wood flooring effectively resists warping. It is less prone to deformation and has excellent waterproof and moisture-resistant properties, making it particularly suitable for Hong Kong’s humid weather.
Additionally, engineered wood flooring is easy to maintain. High-quality engineered wood floors can be sanded and refinished 1 to 2 times, enhancing their durability. In terms of longevity, they can even surpass poorly maintained timber wood flooring.
Despite using real wood only on the surface, high-quality engineered wood flooring is still not inexpensive in terms of material costs. The installation process is similar to that of timber wood flooring and requires skilled artisans, leading to higher overall expenses. Moreover, since the surface is real wood, these floors are more susceptible to scratches and wear.
For some lower-priced engineered wood floors, their veneer layer can be extremely thin. Once sanded, the core layer underneath may be exposed, making it impossible to refinish or wax.
Applications of Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood flooring, renowned for its high durability and cost-effectiveness, is suitable for all types of spaces, including residential buildings, office premises, or shops.
How to Maintain Engineered Wood Flooring
- For daily maintenance, begin by vacuuming to remove dust and then wipe with a damp, not wet, cloth. After each cleaning, make sure to dry the floor surface with a dry mop to remove any water. However, avoid cleaning with steam or soaking in water.
- After each cleaning, make sure to dry the floor surface with a dry mop to remove any water. However, avoid cleaning with steam or soaking in water.
- For engineered wood floors with a wax oil finish, it’s recommended to apply a layer of protective floor wax every 12 months. This helps to maintain the floor’s shine and protect against scratches and moisture damage.
- For daily cleaning, only use a neutral detergent on the floor. Do not use corrosive liquids, as they can damage the wax oil layer on the floor’s surface.
- Ultraviolet rays from sunlight can also damage the natural properties of wooden floors. Therefore, try to avoid direct sunlight on the wooden floor.
- When moving furniture, it is best to lift rather than drag to prevent scratching the wooden floor.
- Add protective pads or covers to the bottoms of furniture, like table legs and cabinets, to prevent scratching the floor.
Purchase Engineered Wood Flooring through GPM
GPM is an authorized agent importing high-quality laminate floors, LVT floors, engineered wood floors, and artistic handcrafted wood floors from Europe, including the Italian brand Foglie d’oro, a nominee in the SBID International Design Awards.
Foglie d’oro is an Italian brand known for its artisan handcrafted wooden floors with unique features, providing personalized solutions. Foglie d’oro uses FSC® certified high-quality wood, including American walnut, European walnut, Italian walnut, oak, and cherry wood, ensuring the utmost quality. The reliefs and antique finish on Foglie d’oro floors are crafted meticulously by hand, following traditional Italian furniture finishes. It perfectly embodies the combination of the finest craftsmanship, the latest technology, high taste, and artisan skills. Placed in any indoor area, it creates a space that blends comfort with luxury.
Contact us to learn more about engineered wood flooring and artistic handcrafted wood floors.