'engineered' as apposed to 'solid' refers to the manufacturing process used to make this type of flooring. An engineered floor can be prefinished at the factory or come unfinished and be sanded and finished on site. It is typically made up of multiple layers of a soft wood for a backing with a finished hardwood layer on top. The soft wood backing is designed to absorb the stresses on the flooring which occur because of normal changes in home humidity and moisture. By engineering the floor as opposed to milling it from solid lumber, the flooring can be installed directly over concrete or in basements without concern of excess expansion, shrinkage, splitting and cupping.
Floating floors are not fixed, glued or nailed to the sub-floor. Most products on the market are glued at the tongue and groove and installed over an underlay. This type of installation is very common in condominium and high rise developments because it is easier to install, less expensive and a sound barrier can be included easily if your Strata requires one. When properly installed this floor design is great value as it is strong and comfortable to walk on.
A glue down floor application is much more involved than the floating floor installation. The recommended adhesive must be used and properly applied to achieve a strong and long lasting bond to the subf-floor. Why choose a glue-down application? The floor is quieter to walk on, stronger under foot and generally feels more solid. Also, some engineered products are made only to be installed by glueing or nailing them to the subfloor. Sound barriers, such as cork or recycled rubber, can be installed to minimize sound transference to spaces below as well.
It is important to know whether the engineered flooring you are choosing has a peeled or sawn hardwood veneer. Ask the question because the finished look of the two products are different and so is the price.
What type of wood grain? There are a variety of grain options to choose from. Click here for an example of different wood grains.
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