Thursday, September 8, 2011

Design Primers: Engineered Hardwood

Our resident hardwood expert extraordinaire, Lee, offers these words of wisdom regarding selecting engineered hardwood.

Did you know that there is a big difference between engineered hardwood floors? First off there is rotary peeled engineered flooring. This type of flooring is peeled off of the log with a long blade, resulting in a very thin ply. These ply’s are then glued together and milled into flooring. Because of this process the top ply is susceptible to face checking. What is face checking? Face checking is cracks in the top ply from a lack of moisture or humidity, since Colorado is a very arid state it's very easy for this to happen, if the humidity in the home is not kept very high. So unless you can keep your humidity level between 35 to 50% I would shy away from a rotary peeled products. The second type of engineered flooring is a sawn face product. This product is milled or sawn instead of peeled. Sawn face products have a thicker top ply which will hold up better in our climate. This type of flooring is manufactured the same way as the peeled product except for the top ply. These products are very versatile, they can be installed below, on or above grade. They are also normally thinner than solid wood products, so if you have you have a height issue these products will be the ones you're looking for. Be sure to ask your flooring expert these questions before deciding on your wood floor. It could be the difference between a floor that will last for years and years or one that will leave you very disappointed.

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