I will be honest, when I first started at Lumber Liquidators, I had no idea what an engineered floor was. At first I thought it was a laminate, but it's not! The two are very different. I will discuss laminates another day, but today, we'll concentrate on engineered flooring.
Engineered hardwood is constructed with layers of hardwood veneer, glued and heat pressed together to create a product that can range in thickness from 5/16" up to 9/16", having 3 to 8 plys or layers. The top veneer can ranging in thickness up to 1/4", depending on the manufacturer. But it is REAL HARDWOOD. In order to create an engineered hardwood, these plys or layers are stocked on top of each other with each layer or grain of the wood facing perpendicular to each other.
Once the desired thickness is achieve, the boards are then cut into the correct board width. From there, the boards are then manufactured to have a tongue or groove on the edges. The final step is to add stain and finish. By design, engineered hardwood becomes less susceptible to the effects of moisture and temperature fluctuations. Therefore, engineered hardwood is referred to as being dimensionally stable. Solid hardwood is not as efficient in dimensional stability because the grain throughout the board runs in only one direction. The positive stability of engineered hardwood allows it to be glued directly to concrete, above or below grade, and is also perfect for radiant heat applications.
Engineered types of flooring can be used in full bathrooms because these are less susceptible to moisture fluctuations, however users should take reasonable precautions against steam and high humidity common with hot showers. Added ventilation can serve to alleviate excess humidity build-up in any room while mats placed around tubs to catch water spills are also recommended.
A moisture barriers over concrete is always recommended. Some styles of engineered flooring can be stapled down, nailed down, glued to cement, or floated.
We offer several brands of engineered hardwood as well as a few unique options including handscraped, exotic woods, and Quick Clic. If you want hardwood but just aren't sure it's right, check out engineered flooring. It may be the answer you've been looking for.