We know that purchasing a new floor is a big investment. With so many choices, it can often feel overwhelming so we have put together some of your most frequently asked questions to help you along in the process.
What is engineered wood flooring?
Engineered wood flooring is a type of hardwood flooring that is made up of multiple layers of wood veneers. The top layer, or wear layer, is made from real hardwood (such as oak) while the bottom layers are usually made from plywood or high-density fiberboard (HDF). At The Wood Flooring Co., our engineered wood flooring has a solid wood core middle layer and a spruce balancing layer to support the plank's dimensional stability.
How does engineered wood differ from solid wood flooring?
Unlike solid hardwood, which is made from a single piece of wood, engineered wood has a multi-layer construction that provides more stability and resistance to moisture. Generally, engineered wood can be less expensive than solid hardwood due to its composition and manufacturing process. It is also more environmentally friendly, since premium hardwood isn't sat beneath the surface, effectively never being seen.
Can I install engineered wood on any type of subfloor?
Yes, engineered wood flooring can be installed on various types of subfloors, including concrete, plywood, and even existing hardwood floors. The subfloor will need to be level and may need additional preparation by a professional before installing a new floor.
How is engineered wood flooring installed?
There are two common installation methods for engineered wood flooring:
- Floating Method: This is one of the most straightforward methods. The planks are not glued, nailed, or otherwise affixed to the subfloor. Instead, they are attached to each other either through a glue-together method or a click-lock method, forming a single, large mat that’s held in place by gravity and friction. You will require a suitable flooring underlay for this method to help even out the subfloor and ensure pleasant room acoustics.
- Glue-Down Method: In this method, adhesive is applied directly on the subfloor, and the planks are then laid on top. This method is commonly used for concrete subfloors but requires a longer installation time due to the drying time needed for the adhesive. We recommend that parquet or herringbone floors are installed using this method to ensure long-term stability.
What types of surface treatments are available?
At The Wood Flooring Co. our engineered woods come with a lacquered or natural oil finish.
Our lacquered finish offers resilient protection suitable for everyday use. The lacquer is hard enough to ensure wear resistance and resilient enough to avoid cracking under a high load. This protective coating will not require retreating, although it is possible to sand and retreat with a new coat of lacquer if desired to refresh the floor after a period of years.
The benefit of a natural oil finish is that the treatment emphasises the natural look and character of the wood, hence why it is used for our Handcrafted collections. With naturally oiled engineered wood flooring it is possible to renovate small areas, meaning that you can repair small damaged areas just where it is necessary. On the flip side, natural oiled floors are more susceptible to scratches and indentations compared to lacquered surfaces, although they are easier to repair. Oiled floors are easier to retreat at regular intervals as desired.
Can engineered wood be refinished?
Yes, all of our engineered wood floors can be sanded and refinished if a refresh is desired. Thicker wear layers allow for multiple refinishing over time, however realistically one sanding will not take off any more than 1mm, so thinner veneers also allow for adequate retreating.
What are wood 'grades'?
Woods are graded into different grades, depending on which part of the tree they come from. Cleaner grades with less knots and sapwood, come from the heart of the tree trunk and are more rare (and therefore more expensive). As we move out from the centre of the trunk, the wood becomes more rustic, with smaller knots and sapwood then becoming larger as we reach the layer beneath the bark. Woods are categorised depending on the size/ number of knots and sapwood present.
Why are some woods more expensive than others?
The cost of an engineered wood floor is mostly determined by its grade. 'Cleaner' grades come from the heart of the tree, therefore they are more rare and don't have any knots, as there are no branches. More rustic planks come from the outside of the trunk that touch the bark, and so you would have more sapwood and bigger knots in these planks. Cleaner grade wood floors are therefore more expensive, however rustic appeal is purely down to personal preference, with some people preferring more character across the floor and other people preferring a more 'minimalist' look.
The manufacturing process and the way in which the surface is finished will also have an impact on the cost of the engineered wood. For example, our Handcrafted collection is our most expensive, since it is crafted by hand using traditional artisan techniques to achieve its unique textured finish.
The thickness of the wood veneer, surface treatment, and where in the world it is manufactured and sourced, will also have an impact on the final cost.
How do I maintain and clean my engineered wood flooring?
It is recommended to regularly sweep or vacuum your floors to remove any dirt or debris. For spot cleaning use a damp cloth and none acidic cleaner. Regular mopping is best avoided and never let water stand on the floor as this will cause the wood to swell and result in irreversible damage. We recommend using a spray map and specialist wood floor cleaner for a deeper clean. We sell a range of aftercare accessories to help take care of your new wood flooring.
Are your engineered wood floors sustainable?
All of the engineered wood floors in our collection come from sustainable supply chains and are PEFC and FSC certified. You can read more about this here.
What guarantees do you offer with your engineered wood?
All of our engineered woods come with a minimum 25 year residential warranty. Each warranty can be found on the individual product pages.
How long will engineered wood flooring last?
When properly cared for, engineered wood flooring will last for decades. Thanks to being naturally resilient and having a durable surface finish, engineered wood flooring is one of the most long-lasting flooring options. Another benefit of an engineered wood floor is that it can be sanded and retreated over the years to bring it back to it's former beauty.
Where does your engineered wood come from?
All of our engineered wood is made from premium European oak and comes from sustainable supply chains.
What types of fitting mechanism are available?
The two most common installation systems for engineered wood flooring are click-installation (or click-lock) and tongue and groove (or T&G). The main difference between a click system and tongue and groove engineered wood is the way in which the planks are joined together during installation. With a click system, the planks have specially designed edges that interlock with each other, creating a secure and seamless connection without the need for glue or nails. This makes it easier for DIY enthusiasts to install their own flooring. On the other hand, tongue and groove planks have a protruding edge (tongue) that fits into a matching groove on the adjacent plank, which is then secured with adhesive or nails. This method requires more precision and may be best left to professional installers.
Do you offer a fitting service?
We are primarily a nationwide supply-only business, however we may be able to offer fitting within our local region. Please feel free to contact us or pop into our showroom to discuss this with our team.
Do you have a showroom?
Our showroom is based in Worcester, where we have all of our collections on display. You are welcome to visit the showroom anytime Monday - Friday from 9.30 - 5pm, or Saturday 10 - 4pm.