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Choosing, Buying, Installing and Caring for Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered hardwood flooring is composed of three to ten layers, called plies that are glued together. This layered construction makes wood flooring stronger than solid wood. Engineered wood floors allow homeowners to use hardwood flooring in areas of the home that they would never have considered in the past.

Most boards come with a factory finish that will outlast one applied in your home on solid wood, and they'll be ready for use as soon as they are installed. Engineered hardwood flooring is also a problem-solver, allowing you to use them where solid wood flooring can't go. Places in your home such as basement or directly on concrete slabs are generally not suited for solid hardwood flooring. Another great feature about engineered hardwood flooring is homeowners with little to no experience can install it themselves, saving a ton of money and getting great results after a weekend of work.

How to Choose Engineered Hardwood Flooring

When you are shopping for engineered hardwood flooring at S & G Carpets and More there are several factors to consider. The style, and the price are just two of these factors. Like the majority of products presented to consumers on a daily basis there are low end engineered hardwood flooring options and high end options.

When judging the quality of engineered hardwood flooring you should check the 'wear layer' or top skin of the wood, the number of veneers in the core, and the number of finish coats. All these layers will affect the price and durability of the floor. More often than not, thickness, or more layers the better.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring Options

Good: 3-ply construction; 1-2 mm wear layer; 5 finish coats; 10- to 15-year warranty; ¼ inch thick; About $3-$5 per sq. ft.; Options limited to common species, such as oak or ash, and just a few stains.

Better: 5 plys; 2-3 mm wear layer; 7 finish coats; 15- to 25-year warranty; ¼ inch thick; About $6-$9 per sq. ft.; More species, such as cherry, beech, and some exotics; all stains and a few surface effects, such as distressing.

Best: 7-9 plys or more; 3 mm-plus wear layer, which can be sanded two or more times; 9 finish coats; 25-year-plus warranty; 5/8 to ¾ inch thick; About $10-$14 per sq. ft.; Widest selection of species; reclaimed options; and more surface treatments, such as hand scraped and wire brushed.

Is Engineered Hardwood Flooring Right for You?

Engineered hardwood flooring is a friendly material for those looking to save money on self installing, along with having a wide variety of wood species, surface treatments, and easily installed in home areas where traditional hardwood flooring is not. The cost of engineered hardwood flooring is usually cheaper than traditional hardwood flooring and you can save money on the installation and upkeep of the floor over its lifetime since most companies offer great extended warranties on the flooring product you choose. Caring for engineered hardwood flooring is a breeze, simply mop with a microfiber cloth and wood cleaner to remove dirt, dust and debris.

Where Can I Install My Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

Anywhere in your home where hardwood floors could go, and some places they can't, engineered hardwood flooring can be installed. Traditionally basements gather water and moisture and this limits the type of flooring you will feel comfortable installing. With engineered hardwood flooring the tendency to expand and contract is limited because the layers used are criss-crossed. Along with basement, engineered flooring is great to use during remodels and, over radiant heat and wires. We don't recommend using engineered hardwood flooring in bathrooms, or laundry rooms because of excessive moisture and traffic.

Hardness in Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Hardness in engineered wood flooring is an important factor to consider while shopping for new floors. The harder the top layer is, the more it will resist dents, dings, and scratches. Dense woods with less grain like maple show dings easier than a slightly softer wood. Also, floors with little or no gloss are better at hiding scratches and wear. Like any product, there will be tradeoffs.

What is the Competition for Engineered Hardwood Flooring

What other products should I compare to engineered hardwood flooring when I'm shopping?

Laminate

Laminate may look real, but it's a photo. Laminate is a paper image embedded in resin, glued to fiberboard and coated with a protective finish. It is nearly as thick as engineered floors, but once the top coat wears away it can't be refinished.

Solid Wood

Sawn boards interlock with a tongue on one edge and a groove on the other. Because the boards expand and contract so much, they must be fastened to a subfloor and can't be laid directly over concrete, like engineered and laminate flooring. A ¾-inch-thick wood strip can be refinished multiple times.

Self Installing Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered flooring can be fastened or glued down, or left to "float," relying on its own weight to hold it in place. Here are four examples of how to install engineered wood flooring:

  1. Glue it together. Apply a bead of glue to the tongue of each board and tap it into place with a block. The floor floats, unattached to the subfloor except by force of gravity.

  2. Fasten it down. Rent a floor stapler and compressor (about $40 per day) and rapidly secure the boards to the existing floor without having to wipe up any glue.

  3. Glue it down. Lay the boards in a bed of adhesive, as you would tile. This approach works particularly well over cured concrete, where you can't use staples.

  4. Click and lock. This floating floor has specially milled tongues and grooves that lock together without glue or fasteners. It's the quickest and cleanest installation method.

Buying Engineered Hardwood Flooring from S & G Carpets and More

Engineered Hardwood floors have the unmistakable charm and timeless beauty found in authentic, real wood with added advantages. They are never out of fashion and add real value to the home. Explore a wide array of engineered hardwood floor options at S&G Carpet and More. Each of our six showrooms, located in Rancho Cordova, Rocklin, Elk Grove, Pleasanton, Almaden, and Santa Clara offers you countless engineered hardwood flooring selections - all at unbeatable prices.

The experts at S&G Carpets and More can help you decide which flooring option is right for you and answer all of your questions. Visit and S & G Carpets and More showroom today for the best in engineered hardwood flooring.

 

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