The Benefits of Engineered Wood Flooring

grandinroad-resized-600At Pucher’s, we’re bullish on engineered wood flooring.  We think they are a win-win for everyone – you, your home and the environment.

Engineered hardwoods are perfect for our NE Ohio  climate.  Because of their ingenious structure, these floors are more resistant to changes in temperature and humidity than solid wood flooring.  If you install a solid wood floor in your home, it is important to maintain a constant temperature and humidity level in your home at all times.  Even doing so, you should expect that the wood will expand during the warmer, humid summer months and contract in the cold, dry winter months.  We have seen some beautiful, high-quality solid hardwood floors warp and gap because of this.  The problem is even worse with solid exotic hardwoods because they tend to absorb a lot more moisture than American hardwoods.

In contrast, engineered floors are constructed of multiple layers of wood that are cross-layered, glued and pressed together.  The graining of each layer runs in the opposite direction of the layer above and below it, thus acting as a check and balance system, keeping the wood from expanding or shrinking too far in one direction.  This cross-ply construction makes these floors more resistant to higher moisture levels.  This means they can be used on any grade of your home, including the basement and over any concrete slab.  Also, engineered floors are installed differently than solids.  Engineered planks can be stapled down, glued down or “floated” – a technique in which the tongue and grooves of the boards are glued together but the floor is not glued down to the subfloor.  So, if this floor expands and contracts, it moves as one unit, preventing gapping between planks.

Another bonus – engineered floors are economical and eco-friendly.  Generally, engineered floors cost less than solid hardwoods simply because they use less wood.  Suddenly, the American walnut floor you love becomes a whole lot more affordable!  We like Shaw’s Epic hardwood floors because they not only have attractive pricing, their inner cores are made from recycled wood, using 67% less harvested wood.

We know that some people might feel better buying a solid wood floor because they believe they can refinish it if needed.  But even solid wood floors have a limit to the number of times they can be refinished because you can’t sand them down below their nail heads.  Most engineered floors can be refinished 1-3 times depending on the thickness of the top layer of wood.  Plus, the extreme durability of today’s hardwood finishes (on both solid and engineered) makes this a mute point.  Many floors today are coated with an aluminum oxide finish that is so durable, it comes with a Lifetime Warranty.  Shaw’s Epic Hardwood floors have a 2-4 mil aluminum oxide coating that can last 40-100 years.  So you’ll never need to worry about refinishing.

So next time you’re shopping for flooring, take a look at engineered hardwoods.  They are a smart solution for all of us in NE Ohio and they just might save you some money as well as benefiting the environment!  For more information, click here for our Flooring webpage -Wood Flooring or come in to Pucher’s and talk to one of our design consultants.  They will be happy to show you our wide selection of gorgeous engineered hardwoods and help you choose the right floor for your home and lifestyle.

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