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What Is Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

Engineered hardwood timber flooring is a layered floor that has a veneer of real hardwood on the surface combined with a core-board consisting of (usually) plywood substrate. Its upper layer of authentic timber is prefinished and bonded to the subsequent core-board.

Hardwood floors are renowned for their beautiful ochre and warm colours. They are mostly sourced locally from Australia and surrounding countries, unlike their European oak counterparts.

Oak flooring is a class of timber which offers a different look to Australian hardwoods. Oak floors mostly comes as an engineered floor – you can check out our dedicated page for oak flooring here. Oak floorings primarily come from Europe (France, Russian) and America (USA).

Many of these floors have been stained with a wide variety of tones, so you’ll definitely be spoiled for choice. It’s a premium flooring option if you’re interested in engineered timber flooring products. You can browse our engineered oak timber here!

Floating floors are flooring that can be installed on top of a subfloor without nails or glue. This makes floating timber floors suitable for apartments and units and reduces the time and cost of installation. Engineered hardwood floors are essentially a real layer of timber attached to a plywood or composite core-board.

Engineered hardwood or engineered oak timber flooring is a type of floating floor and a way of getting real timber flooring material into your apartment.

Advantages of Floating Floors:

  1. Floating floors offer faster and easier installation than their direct-stick counterparts.
  2. Floating floors have lower installation costs than direct-stick counterparts.
  3. Floating floor installations are more suited for apartments as their do not require loud banging of nails into the floor.
  4. Floating floors are much easier to repair than direct-stick counterparts.

We have an entire Guide to Floating Floors here to help you decide whether or not it’s for you.

The durability of engineered timber floorboards against scratches depends on two main factors:

  • The species of timber veneer itself
  • The surface coatings / finish of the floor

If this is a concern, choose engineered timber floorboards with greater durability and scratch resistance e.g. Ironbark or Spotted Gum. As engineered timber flooring is coated in the factory, they also tend to be slightly more scratch-resistant and hard wearing than raw timber flooring that is hand-sealed on-site.

As a general rule of thumb, engineered hardwoods tend to have a higher Janka Rating than European oak flooring. As each species has different hardness, we recommend consulting your retailer (FloorVenue) regarding specific engineered flooring products.

If you want to learn more about engineered flooring, our Ultimate Guide to Engineered Timber Flooring can help you out.

As engineered timber floors have a layer of real timber on the surface, they can certainly be sanded and polished back. However, they can be sanded less times (0 – 4 times) as compared to solid timber flooring (5 – 7 times) because the top timber layer is thinner.

General rule of thumb for sanding and polishing engineered hardwood flooring:

  • 1mm – 2mm timber veneer: Do not completely resand, a light buffing is an option.
  • 3mm – 4mm timber veneer: Sand and polish a maximum of two times to be safe.
  • 5mm – 6mm timber veneer: Sand and polish a maximum of four times to be safe.

Our recommendations above only apply to engineered timber floor boards, which is tougher and more durable than European oaks. Looking for more information on refinishing your floors? Check out how sanding and polishing works or if you want a free consultation – contact us directly!

Engineered hardwood is great – it offers the same beauty of real timber flooring at a more affordable rate. But are they better than their solid hardwood counterparts? Let’s quickly break down the pros and cons of engineered hardwood compared to traditional solid timber flooring:

Advantages of Engineered Hardwood:

  • More Affordable – Engineered timber flooring is less costly than solid wood since they have less of the expensive timber material and is also a floating floor, which means cheaper labour and more cost-effective for installations.
  • DIY Friendly – As a floating floor, engineered timber can even be installed as a weekend project. This means you may not have to pay for someone else to lay them, unlike solid timber which is complicated and definitely not DIY friendly.
  • Less Warping – Engineered timber is less susceptible to expanding and shrinking than solid timber since they have a plywood or waterproof base. This means there is a lower chance of floorboard cupping and swelling from moisture.

Disadvantages of Engineered Hardwood:

  • Less Sanding & Polishing – Since engineered hardwoods have less real timber material compared to solid timber, they have a limited number of refinishing cycles if any at all! If you want an engineered floor which lasts a lifetime, go for a thicker veneer option.
  • May Emit VOCs – Although this is a rare case, some lower-quality engineered timbers may have core boards which emit respiratory irritants known as volatile organic compounds. Although VOCs are not harmful, they can aggravate those with asthma or other respiratory conditions.

Still undecided about whether to choose an engineered hardwood or solid timber? We have an entire guide on solid timber vs engineered flooring! You can also shoot us a message through our live chat for a live consultation.

Engineered flooring combines the benefits of traditional timber floors with the versatility of being a floating floorboard. This makes it suitable for apartments and unit blocks, due to its simpler installation and sound reduction capabilities.

The use of a plywood or waterproof composite core-board in a place that you won’t see after installation reduces the cost of engineered timber flooring, and reduces or even eliminates the natural expansion and contraction of wood during changes in humidity and temperature.

Engineered timber floors come prefinished (not raw timber), so you don’t need to deal with any smelly and dusty sanding, polishing, or varnishing after installation.

Multiple layers of protective coating applied at the factory also allows engineered timber floors to be more wear-resistant than their pre-finished solid timber floor siblings.

We Supply and Install Engineered Hardwood Timber Flooring in Sydney & NSW

FloorVenue has been supplying and installing engineered timber flooring for almost two decades to Sydneysiders. Our full-time installation teams are fully licensed and guarantee high standards of work ethic.

The engineered hardwood ranges we offer vary between species, thicknesses and visual grades. Our products all come with standardised test reports and certifications.

See More

HydroPro Water-Resistant Aussie Timbers

Everfloor’s HydroPro Timber engineered flooring range is the pioneer of water-resistant real timber flooring in Australia. HydroPro Timber flooring features a fine layer of authentic Australian timber combined with a robust and stable 100% waterproof core.

EverGreen Engineered Hardwood

EverGreen Wirebrushed Hardwood offers a premium selection of hardwood timbers in the two most popular species – Blackbutt and Spotted Gum. They come in an Australiana grade, mixing select and rustic planks for the perfect combination of natural features to capture the beauty of Australian hardwoods.

Differentiated by the 12 layers of UV-cured polyurethane lacquer, they offer greater durability compared to alternative engineered floors. Furthermore, the 3mm veneer thickness allows two cycles of sanding and polishing which extends the lifetime of these gorgeous timber selections.

Clever Australian Engineered Timber

When you want the natural beauty of our Australian landscape in your home, consider the Clever Australian Engineered Timber range and choose from one of our many flooring species. Each plank has its own unique individual pattern formed over many years. These planks also feature stylish and elegant patterns with rich grains, natural knots, and life lines.

Select Engineered Timber

Select Engineered timber flooring is a high-performance engineered wood product designed from premium and renewable materials to provide market-leading performance. They come in a variety of Australian hardwoods like Blackbutt and Spotted Gum.

Fiddleback Collection Australian Hardwood

Fiddleback Engineered timber is a gorgeous range of engineered Australian hardwood. You can choose from the 0.6mm or 3.0mm thickness, which gives you the opportunity to decide if you want to invest in the potential for sanding and polishing down the line. Available in rustic grades, smooth matt, brushed, and even parquetry designs, these woods are high quality and authentic. Engineered Hardwood is also more durable than solid wood and provides strength.

Quick-Step Readyflor 3 strip

A house is a home with timber floors, and the Quick-Step ReadyFlor 3 Strip range is the perfect example of the warmth and style that can be achieved with a quality timber floor.

Quick-Step ReadyFlor XL

Quick-Step ReadyFlor XL is the longest and widest Australian timber plank, enhanced by the unique 3-strip design which features greater board variation.

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