Wood floors look so sleek and exclusive, but hey, they come with a cost. How can you bring that down? Switch to engineered wood that has the same look, but requires less maintenance and is available at a lower cost. Obviously, before any home modelling and interior decoration decision, there are certain priorities to consider and specific elements to focus on.
Let’s quickly go through how you can choose the best engineered oak flooring for your home.
Understand the Differences First
Engineered wood flooring is markedly different from solid wood flooring. Solid wood has a thickness between 18 mm and 22 mm. Engineered wood features layers of solid wood that are compressed together on plywood or another softer wood form, and their thickness is around 15 mm or so.
Thickness is an important consideration; the greater the value, the more you can sand down and refinish the flooring wherever required. Generally, you can sand an engineered wood floor only once or twice. However, a solid wood floor can be sanded multiple times.
Consider the Available Finishing Options
Recycled timber floors come with oil or lacquered finish, each with its own sets of pros and cons. Oil finishing gives the floor a naturally beautiful look, but the surface is prone to stains. A lacquered finished floor doesn’t get stained so easily and will preserve the colour for longer. However, if the coating is scratched at any place, the entire floor will have to be re-sanded and refinished.
Oil based finishing is the preferred option, but it is also pricier. However, this finishing does not require extensive maintenance efforts. In case the surface is scratched, dab some oil on it to remove the scratch. Should the wooden floor begin to look weary, you can always get it refinished, which is fairly simple.
While pee-finished floors are already available, you can also apply a post treatment coat after installing engineered oak flooring. The process does require labour, though, and is time consuming. Finishing takes around 12 hours to dry, but doing this at home, gives you more options to choose from, resulting in the exact kind of look that you want.
What About the Plank Size?
The plank direction and size can alter the look of the room significantly. Wider planks create a sophisticated look, especially if they feature a pale colour and little grain detail. Thinner or skinnier boards look more quirky, but pair them with the right decor items, and they give the space a stylish look.
The direction in which planks are laid is also important. Planks laid across the surface may make the space look smaller, but if they are laid along the length of the room, it will look bigger. Diagonal placement is another consideration.
Will Underlay be Required?
Underlay is not always required for engineered oak flooring. In such a case, the floor is referred to as fully bonded and is glued directly onto the surface. If underlay is installed before the flooring, it is referred to as a floating floor.
Underlay is installed to reduce noise and make radiant floor heating more effective. The available thickness is usually between 2 mm and 5 mm. Generally, the 2 mm underlay is not effective, but other thicknesses can be used.
What If You Want to Install Engineered Wood Flooring In the Bathroom?
You can install it as long as you choose a reputed brand. High quality recycled timber floor can withstand high traffic. As far as water resistance is considered, just make sure that you clean the spills right away. If you let them stay, the life span of the flooring will be reduced. Also, make sure you’re using the right products. Plus, the ventilation in the bathroom should be good so that water dries up quickly.
Choose an appropriate finishing option as well. Sealed boards work best for damp spaces.
Review the Costs
The overall rates of engineered and recycled plywood flooring depend on a number of factors. Wider boards cost more, and so do thicker boards. Pricing is also influenced by the re-engineering process. Wood may be sand blasted so that the resulting appearance isn’t worn out. If a deeper and more luxurious colour is required, then wood is fumed. To achieve a distressed appearance, a pressure is exerted on the surface.
Pricing is also affected by the brand you choose. Reputed brands may offer flooring options at a higher market price, but then they also source their woods through ethical and environment-friendly processes. Plus, the overall quality is much higher, and the offered warranty is longer, around 20 years or so.
Evaluate the Guarantee
Wood flooring does get affected with time, but regular maintenance is important if you always want a polished and refined appearance. A good protective measure is to place felt pads before placing any furniture on the carpet. Also, try not to drag heavy pieces across the surface.
Guarantee on engineered wood floor is offered by many brands, but it usually does not cover general wear and tear.
Ask Professionals to Install the Floor
As good as you may be with DIY projects, installing recycled timber floors is a task that is best left to the pros. Installing them may be simple, but there are plenty of factors to consider. These factors are technical such as the moisture content of the floor, humidity in the room and the number of expansion joints required. Installation must be carried out with great care to ensure that natural variation in grain and colour result in an elegant look.
Keep following our blog for more great advice on engineered and recycled timber flooring!
Simon is an entrepreneur and self proclaimed jack of all trades. Simon has experience in the building and home renovation industry and he knows what it takes to knock out a successful project whether it be commercial or residential. Currently, Simon works with Smarter Timber Flooring, one of the prominent suppliers of recycled timber flooring in Melbourne. A big kid at heart if it goes fast, bounces, slides or you can climb it Simon has put it to the test.