WHAT IS ENGINEERED TIMBER FLOORING?
Engineered timber is a pre-finished range of timber flooring that has all the natural beauty and characteristics of solid timber floors but is, quite simply, a timber board which consists of more than one layer. Each layer is placed with the grain running perpendicular, so it becomes virtually impossible for the timber to swell or shrink with changes in humidity. This dramatically increases its stability. Not only are they more stable than solid timber boards they also offer an alternative and easier method of installation being engineered as a floating floor system. They can be used directly on concrete floor finishes and being pre-finished there is no site stabilising time or messy sanding and sealer coating.
The top layer of an engineered timber board (or wear layer) is solid wood, usually hardwood, and may be anything from 2mm to 6mm thick. The thickest wear layers are equivalent to those on solid timber boards. The thickness of the wear layer determines whether you can rejuvenate the floor by re-sanding and re-finishing. Each sand will typically remove 1mm from the surface layer. An engineered floor with a 4mm to 6mm wear layer can be re-sanded and re-finished approximately 3 to 5 times over the lifetime of the floor. Basically, what is on offer is flooring that can be changed multiple times, giving you a new look each time.
The wear layer is securely bonded to one or two further layers this may be a multi-layered plywood or a combination with either a softwood or hardwood core. Generally, the thickness of engineered timber boards is between 10mm and 21mm. In general terms, the thicker the product the more stable it is and less susceptible to movement such as bowing, twisting, and cupping. New technology has also enabled the production of much wider boards offering engineered boards of up to 30cms wide. There is also an application of a variety of interesting variations and finishes, which reduces the demand for exotic species since their rich colours can now be simulated with the use of oils, heat, and pressure. Engineered timber is now the most common type of wood flooring used globally and is a premium flooring option within Australia due to our climatic extremes.