Eco-Friendly – Engineered hardwood requires less “prize wood” and thus helps to conserve the forests all over the world. While hardwood flooring is made from solid “prize wood” wood planks, engineered hardwood has a core made from layers of plywood and includes a top layer of “prize wood.” Considering the difference: engineered hardwood flooring is between 3/8” to ¾” thick, of layered wood; solid hardwood planks are between ½” to ¾” of “prize wood.” Engineered hardwood uses less “prize-wood” per plank and is, therefore, more eco-friendly.
Sustainability – Engineered hardwood flooring (like hardwood flooring) can last several lifetimes.Most engineered hardwood flooring consists of a thick top layer of wood, which can be sanded down and refinished many times. Customers should ask suppliers to ensure the supplier provides a product which has a thick top wood layer. Some inexpensive products do not have a thick top wood layer, which in turn would prohibit sanding and refinishing more than two or three times over the lifetime of the product.
Moisture Vulnerability – Like hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood flooring is made from wood, which still makes it vulnerable to moisture. However, unlike hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood flooring has been explicitly manufactured to resist moisture. Manufacturers maintain that engineered hardwood construction processes include enough heat and pressure force to limit the room for moisture. That is not to say that it cannot become ruined by access moisture or by flooding.
Installation Over Concrete – As with any installation, engineered hardwood still has manufacturer’s recommendations when installing over a concrete slab. Moisture in the concrete must be less than 4% before an engineered hardwood should be installed over concrete. Though it may seem obvious, many customer issues noted in my research revolved around engineered hardwood flooring mounted on top of a concrete slab not previously dried to less than 4% moisture. As a result, the moisture from the concrete slab became absorbed by the engineered hardwood, which in turn, caused the engineered hardwood to buckle and cup.
Easy-Care – Well-maintained engineered hardwood flooring should only ever require hardwood vacuuming, soft-cloth sweeping and washing. It should never require wet-mop washing. If a liquid is spilled on engineered hardwood flooring, you should never use a wet mop and bucket to clean the floor. All liquids should be absorbed quickly with towels or paper towels to ensure the liquid does not have a chance to the seep into the flooring. Although the surface time is longer for liquids to absorb into engineered hardwood, in comparison to hardwood planks; both are still wood products, and fluids will eventually seep into them.