Wood flooring brings not only value and beauty to a home, but it is also environmentally friendly and incredibly durable. A lot of Australians prefer wood flooring to carpet or tiles, as it is also easier to clean with a mop and a non-aerosol spray than getting the vacuum or shampoo out. Best of all, fewer chemicals are needed since wood flooring doesn’t trap dust like carpet or grow mould in grouts like tiles.
When shopping for hardwood flooring, many homeowners don’t realize there are two types of floorboards to choose from: traditional solid boards and engineered ones. Both are made from solid hardwood but in different ways. Engineered floorboards are composed of multiple layers (usually three) of wood. The visible top layer also called the wear layer, is between 2.5-6mm thick and always made of real solid wood making an engineered floorboard look identical to classic wood flooring. The two base layers underneath the wear layer can be of the same wood species or different and as the grain of each layer runs in a perpendicular direction, it increases the dimensional stability of engineered boards.
This three-layer construction has a great effect on how and where in the house the boards can be used as due to its made, engineered flooring will expand and contract less than traditional wood flooring and is, therefore, less vulnerable to moisture and temperature related issues than solid timber. Since engineered timber flooring is resilient to changes in temperature, unlike traditional timber flooring it can be fitted in rooms with underfloor heating. Furthermore, this product is particularly used in higher moisture areas or rooms with varying humidity such as conservatories or wet rooms like bathrooms or the kitchen. Solid hardwood floors are best fitted in living areas such as hallways, bedrooms and living rooms or dining areas and should only be installed in wet rooms when waterproof mats are placed near sinks and tubs. But if you do not want to install different types of flooring in different parts of your home, engineered floorboards are the flooring to turn to, since they are the ones that can be fitted throughout and anywhere in the house.
Premium engineered floorboards are made of three solid layers of European Oak, which are bonded together for exceptional stability and durability. They come with a thicker wear layer of about 6mm that makes it possible to be sanded down and refinished several times just like classic timber flooring. As they are still thinner than their traditional solid counterpart, engineered boards are the ones to turn to when you need to match the height of an adjoining floor or are in the need to level out kitchen appliances.
As traditional floorboards are made of one solid piece of hardwood, they need to be nailed or stapled down to a permanent floor and can never be installed on a floating basis. Engineered floorboards have a greater range of installation methods as they can be nailed or stapled, clicked or even glued down to a wood or concrete floor. This makes engineered floors ideal for slab and basement installations, meaning a concrete base is not a problem. With a click system or a tongue and groove system for a quick and easy installation process, unlike solid timber floors, engineered boards can be installed as a floating floor which does not stick to the subfloor and can be removed and reused in case you move houses.
From classic Argento to contemporary Ardesia, engineered floorboards are available in a broad range of styles, grains, colours and handcrafted tool markings. If you want to achieve a certain look in your home, for instance, extra-wide planks, this may only be possible with engineered boards.