Flooring is no longer an after thought. It has become the foundation on which rooms are designed. The floor is an integral part of any decor and given that it is not easily changed, it is vital to pick a floor that will stand up and stand out. That is the reasons behind the advancements of hardwood flooring. At the forefront of the hardwood flooring revolution is Engineered hardwood flooring.
Glue down solid engineered hardwood is the most stable type of hardwood flooring on the market and consists of a top hardwood wear layer supported by either a 3 ply or multi ply layer birch base. The technology behind this flooring was developed 30 years ago in western Europe and is now world wide. Glue down solid engineered hardwood has now emerged as the fastest growing flooring product not only in Europe but in USA.
From previous articles on our web site about humidity you must consider that when the relative humidity is high, wood adapts by absorbing the excess thereby expanding its structure. When humidity is low wood performs conversely, releasing humidity, thus shrinking in size. Over time wood undergoes changes in its structure and the result is that solid hardwood flooring tends to cup or warp. By having multi layers running in different directions, the support layer actually helps cancel out expansion and contraction experienced by the wood.
Top quality engineered glue down floors will usually have at least 5 multi layers of the support structure, Vanilla Wood Floors product, we have 10 layers. Additionally, the type of wood used for the backing also plays a role in the overall stability. In particular birch ply wood, although more costly it has mechanical properties that make it 50% more stable than regular plywood. The overall stability and glue down installation method make it suitable to install this type of wood on subfloors like ply base, ceramic tiles, existing hardwood, stone and concrete. As aresult you can install engineered wood in most residential areas or commercial areas and this includes the use of under floor heating systems.
There are other characteristics and qualities to consider when selecting a glue down engineered hardwood floor. The thickness of the hardwood top layer varies between brands and can range from as little as 2mm to 6mm . The difference in thickness directly impacts the number of times the floor can be refinished. With a 6mm top layer, a good quality engineered floor can be sanded and refinished 5 to 8 times making it a true lifetime investment. However even a floor that has a 3.5 mm top layer can still be refinished 3-4 times.
Aesthetically, engineered hardwood flooring often comes with a micro beveled edge. Precise milling combined with the technology that counteracts expansion and contraction makes it possible to create planks that fir together with perfect micrometrical precision. As with traditional solid wood flooring, you have the ability to choose between stained woods or natural coloured exotics woods.