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What Is Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

Engineered hardwood flooring is a layered floor that has a veneer of real hardwood 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. Hardwoods are renowned for their beautiful ochre and warm colours. They are mostly sourced locally from Australia and surrounding countries, unlike European oak counterparts.

Oak flooring also 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. 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 into your apartment.

Advantages of Floating Floors:

  1. Floating floors are quicker to install than direct-stick counterparts.
  2. Floating floors are cheaper to install than direct-stick counterparts.
  3. Floating floor installations are more suited for apartments as it does 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 hardwood flooring 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, go for an engineered hardwood 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 than raw timber flooring.

 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.

Note that recommendations above only apply to engineered hardwood, 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 – they offer the same beauty of real timber flooring at a more affordable rate. But are they better than solid hardwood counterparts? Let’s quickly break down the pros and cons of engineered hardwood compared to solid timber:

Advantages of Engineered Hardwood:

  • Affordable – engineered timber is less costly than solid timber since they have less natural material and are also floating floors which mean cheaper labour 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 composite base. This means there is a lower chance 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 without compromising on rigidity, 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 as their pre-finished solid timber floors siblings.

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.

Select Engineered Timber

Select engineered timber products are designed to provide class leading performance through premium and renewable materials. This range comes in our favourite Australian and local overseas hardwood colours like Blackbutt and Spotted Gum.

With a floating tongue and groove system, Select Australian engineered timber is easy to install.

Fiddleback Collection Australian Hardwood

The Fiddleback Engineered Australian Hardwood collection offers a gorgeous range of engineered Aussie timber colours. With timber veneer thicknesses of 0.6mm and 3.0mm, the Fiddleback range gives you a choice of whether or not to invest into the potential for sanding and polishing down the line.

The styles of Blackbutt and Spotted gum include rustic grades, smooth matt, brushed and even parquetry designs.

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