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Everything You Need To Know About Engineered Wood Flooring

Everything You Need To Know About Engineered Wood Flooring

21 July 2023

By: Floorrich Singapore

Everything You Need To Know About Engineered Wood Flooring

PART 1 – INTRODUCTION

Engineered wood flooring has been gradually becoming an industry staple for residential and commercial applications. This flooring is created from several layers of wood, differing from solid wood flooring that is made of only one solid piece. Homeowners are in favour of these flooring as they come with an almost indistinguishable appearance to solid wood flooring. In addition, engineered wood flooring is more stable as it is made up of multiple layers of wood.

Since engineered wood flooring comes in different thicknesses, it is vital to verify them precisely prior to installation, in order to determine their longevity. The thickness of the wood layer can be verified with a sample. Meanwhile, you may also want to inquire about the care and maintenance of the flooring.

This article will take a deep dive into the features and applications of engineered wood flooring. By the end of the article, you should be able to understand how this flooring has become an industry preference for homeowners and trades alike.

PART 2 – UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING

2.1. General anatomy of engineered wood flooring

Despite their different manufacturing process, each engineered floor comes with the same general anatomy. It is made up of the following four layers:

General anatomy of engineered wood flooring-wood flooring

Layer 1: Coating

Often, pre-finished flooring ordered from any flooring company in Singapore will come with the top coat, protecting the floor from traffic, wear and stains. Polyurethane, also known as aluminium oxide, is used as a finishing material for the majority of engineered wood flooring. In order to ensure the durability and good appearance of your floor, always review the relevant maintenance and care guide.

flooring stain colour-wood flooring

Layer 2: Stain / colour

Engineered wood flooring is available in a wide variety of colours. Ordering pre-finished engineered wood flooring saves time and cost of applying a finishing layer to your flooring, during the installation process.

Layer 3: Wood layer

Made of real wood, engineered wood flooring has a solid top layer that is glued to a backing created from multiple cross-section plywood or composite material. The floor appearance is enhanced by the top layer of wood, before the stain and colour is applied. The natural colour, grain and pattern of the floor will be determined by the wood you choose. Remember to seek professional advice from flooring suppliers in Singapore to choose your ideal flooring.

Learn more: Questions To Ask A Flooring Contractor In Singapore

Layer 4: Core / backing

In general, the backing or core of engineered wood flooring is made up of multiple cross-section plywood or multi-layer cross-section plywood. The thickness is usually about 8 – 12 mm. Compared to a single piece of wood of the same thickness, a combination of ply layers provide greater strength. Once the flooring is installed, the backing layer is no longer visible. The main purpose of the backing is to improve floor stability. If the floor is stable, it remains consistent despite extreme conditions. For example, solid wood floors may experience significant expansion and contraction when temperature and moisture levels fluctuate.

Learn more: How to Choose a Flooring Supplier in Singapore

2.2 Features of engineered wood flooring

Over decades, industry specialists and manufacturers have paid close attention to increasing flooring options and engineered wood floors have come a long way in the past 20 years. Unlike natural wood flooring, engineered wood flooring is built from a thin veneer, on top of plywood. As a result, engineered wood flooring is stronger, while the use of natural wood is conserved. To help you better understand the properties of this flooring, we have compiled its unique features below:

1. Better resistance to moisture

Engineered wood flooring often has a water-resistant coating applied to its surface. This helps to protect it against moisture and spills, which may further lead to damages.  To better understand the features of engineered wood flooring, feel free to seek professional advice from reliable flooring contractors in Singapore, like Floorrich.

2. Better resistance to temperature changes

Apart from the two aforementioned features, engineered wood flooring also comes with better capabilities to resist temperature changes than conventional timber flooring. This dimensional stability is provided by the multiple-ply plank design of the flooring. It helps the flooring to maintain its structural strength and stability when it expands. On the contrary, the hardwood and plywood layers are bonded together under heat and pressure. This makes it difficult for hardwoods to contract and expand under temperature changes in some areas.

3. Eco-friendly

No doubt, sustainability and environmentally-friendliness have become a priority for homeowners nowadays, as the popularity of green lifestyles grows gradually. Homeowners have started to look for eco-friendly furniture and applications to create their dream home interior. When it comes to choosing an ideal flooring, appearance is no longer a main concern. Instead, homeowners value sustainable options such as engineered wood flooring. During the production process, this flooring utilises less wood to create each plank, making it more sustainable than solid plank flooring.

4. Multiple grades, styles and finishes

Looking for a suitable hdb flooring? You may want to consider engineered wood floors. Available in an array of styles, grades and finishes, engineered wood flooring can accommodate your unique needs. The wide variety allows you to either go for a rustic or a time worn appearance; a tough, lacquered floor or a premium-quality oiled version.

Listed below are some common styles and finishes of engineered wood flooring:

(i) Finishes

  • Matt finish

A matt finish adds elegance and naturalness to your floor. Compared to oiled floors, matt finishes offer better protection against sunlight.

  • Natural oil finish

Known as the most traditional treatment for engineered wood flooring, natural oil finish exudes a natural, classic look but offers less protection against sunlight.

  • Satin finish

This creates a smooth finish that is more resistant to splashes and scratches. Furthermore, it requires low maintenance.

(ii) Styles

  • Single strip

Single strip engineered wood flooring is formed by a board made up of cut wood pieces, providing the illusion of a bigger room.

  • Engineered parquet

Parquet flooring is made up of small, identical blocks laid in a geometrical pattern, accentuating a classic, sophisticated look. This flooring is commonly seen in large country houses and official buildings.

Engineered wood flooring care and maintenance-engineered wood flooring

2.3 Engineered wood flooring care and maintenance

Deemed as one of the most popular floor coverings, engineered wood flooring features the luxurious look of solid wood flooring and has great functionality. However, the flooring is not resistant to hard wearing, hence it should be well taken care of to prevent damages or scratches. Poor care and maintenance can damage the performance and appearance of your floor. Therefore, here is a guide for you to ensure the longevity of your engineered hardwood flooring by taking the following four key aspects into account:

1. Site conditions

Engineered wood flooring still requires adequate care and maintenance to go a long way, even though it does not serve the purpose as other outdoor flooring in Singapore. The first thing to keep in mind is to ensure a stable environment or good site conditions for the flooring. As wood is a natural product that reacts to the surrounding condition, it is advisable to perform the following steps to create an optimal environment.

  • Switch off humidifiers if you notice excessive moisture on surfaces.
  • If possible, maintain the temperature of the room between 16 and 28°C where engineered wood floors are installed.
  • Maintaining good ventilation in the area can preserve the condition of engineered wood flooring. It helps to regulate the humidity in the room by preventing excessive dryness or moisture that can cause the wood to shrink
  • Constantly monitor if there are leaks and seepage to prevent your engineered wood floor from being damaged by excessive moisture.

2. Scratches

Engineered hardwood flooring adds aesthetics to your home interior and though minor damages like scratches are unavoidable, that doesn’t mean we should leave them untreated. To ensure the longevity of the flooring, here are some protective steps to take:

  • Install all furnishings with felt pads.
  • Do not drag items across the floor, lift them instead.
  • Use a water-based coating to protect engineered wood flooring. 
  • Clean your floors regularly.
  • Place mats and rugs to protect large areas where furniture is often moved.

3. Maintenance

Handled with the appropriate attention and upkeep, engineered wood flooring can retain its appealing appearance in the long run.

Non-toxic water-based cleaning products, like Bona, are ideal for floor maintenance. It is advisable to consult  flooring specialists in Singapore if you want to find out how to properly use the product. From residential to commercial or office establishments, Bona water-based cleaning products provide the highest level of protection.

Listed below are some advantages of using it to maintain the functionality and overall look of your engineered wood flooring:

  • Eco-friendly

This water-based cleaner of Bona is a greener alternative. It emits low VOCs, protecting the environment and humans from harmful substances.

  • Saves time

The product also dries faster than oil-based one, making for a great time-saving option. Applying water-based products requires short dry times, hence making the process less of a hassle for labourers. This leads to less disruption to the homeowner’s daily routine, paving the way for a quicker return to normal living conditions. For commercial spaces, they can stay open for ongoing business operations.

4. Cleaning

Upon installation of engineered wood flooring, keeping it clean is essential, serving you for years to come. We hope you find the following tips and tricks helpful when it comes to cleaning your engineered wood flooring:

  • Regular cleaning

Dirt and debris can easily accumulate at home just within a day. Sweeping engineered wood flooring on a daily basis is essential. It is among the simplest ways to prevent contaminants from being ground into the floor surface, which may cause scratches and premature wear.

  • Spray mopping

Spray mopping can be a time-saving and effective way to clean hard floors such as tile, hardwood, and laminate. The process requires you to fill the reservoir with water or cleaning solution, attach a cleaning pad to the base of the mop, and then spray the solution onto the floor as you mop.

PART 3 – ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING VS OTHER FLOORINGS

3.1 Comparing engineered wood flooring and solid wood flooring

Engineered wood flooring is made of a relatively thin layer of hardwood bonded over a substrate of multiple layer cross-section plywood, while solid wood flooring is built from solid wood throughout its thickness. Here is a comparison guide between the two types of flooring:

1. Appearance

Both floorings feature their own distinguishing features and finishes. Specifically, engineered wood flooring looks identical to hardwood. Due to the veneer layer, the flooring could be mistaken for solid wood, upon installation. Meanwhile, solid wood flooring may feature tighter seams between boards. It is available in various colours and species in pre-finished and unfinished panels for personalised purposes.

2. Stability

Vinyl flooring installation is common in Singapore but engineered wood flooring has also become a favourite among homeowners, thanks to its better resistance to warping. The cross-section plywood base of the engineered wood floor ensures better resistance to expansion and contraction.

3. Lifespan

Solid wood flooring may last longer. This is because it can be sanded down more times than engineered wood flooring. In addition, solid wood flooring can be refinished several times.

4. Cost

Engineered hardwood flooring is slightly less expensive than solid hardwood. The price difference of both floorings is not major. Nevertheless, the cost may vary based on prevailing labour costs in your area and the complexity of the room layout.

3.2 Embracing sustainability with engineered wood flooring

Looking to lead a sustainable living but don’t know where to begin? Incorporating sustainable materials into your residential or commercial space can be a great start. We suggest using engineered wood flooring as part of the efforts to achieve your desired sustainable lifestyle. Engineered wood flooring is a green option that features all remarkable, eco-friendly traits, making it stand out among other flooring options. Read on to find out why engineered wood flooring is a sustainable choice:

What makes engineered wood flooring a sustainable choice-wood flooring

1. Natural materials

Engineered wood flooring is made up of natural materials entirely and thus, better for the environment. Engineered wood consists of two main components, the veneer and the core. The former comprises real solid hardwood, while the core often comes from natural wood products. Recycled pieces of wood are utilised by many manufacturers to make the cores. This helps to get rid of waste in the production process, leading to the development of a more sustainable product.

2. Uses less trees

Engineered wood flooring is more sustainable than solid hardwood because there is less traditional wood that goes into each board. In other words, there are less trees being cut during the manufacturing process. Engineered wood flooring also showcases the beauty of traditional wood flooring.

3. Sustainable sourcing methods

As homeowners are increasingly advocating environmental-friendliness, engineered wood has become a popular flooring choice. Most manufacturers source the flooring material from managed forests and plant saplings, encouraging healthy forest regeneration. Moreover, the wood flooring is manufactured in a more eco-friendly way, which omits the use of harmful chemicals in the process. Best of all, waste is minimised as byproducts like wood chips are used to create composite products.

4. Longevity

Handled with sufficient care, engineered wood flooring can last for a long time while requiring less waste and fewer replacements. Go for environmentally friendly finishes or stains for an even greener product.

3.3 Floorrich flooring solutions

Floorrich is a veteran in the flooring industry with over 25 years of experience. We are capable of developing flooring products with distinct qualities. Discover our excellent range of affordable flooring products below:

1. FirmaVinyl

Available in different appealing textures, styles and colours, vinyl flooring has become a sturdy and practical alternative to laminate and hardwood floors, thanks to the emergence of advanced flooring technologies. Getting your preferred vinyl flooring design at a reasonable price in Singapore can be done effortlessly. Furthermore, the flooring can resist changes in temperature and humidity without deformation as compressed layers are created to provide extreme durability and stability.

Created without using wood or natural fibres, vinyl flooring is extremely water-resistant, making it an ideal flooring choice in Singapore. You may install vinyl floors in kitchens and powder rooms. Additionally, vinyl floorings are also low maintenance and easy to clean. Also known as Luxury Vinyl Tiles, this type of flooring only requires a simple wipe down with damp cloth to stay free from stains and dirt.

Floorrich's vinyl flooring-vinyl flooring singapore

2. Firma SPC

Stone Polymer Composite flooring, or SPC flooring, is engineered through the combination of polyvinyl chloride, natural stone powder and stabiliser. Recently, SPC has been deemed as the new generation of floor covering. It can be a great flooring choice for HDB kitchens and laundry rooms, as well as houses with children or elderly, all thanks to its anti-slip feature. With a strong wear layer and flooring core, SPC can withstand scratches and impacts. This makes it suitable for installation in HDB living rooms, commercial spaces and other areas where many activities take place. To top it all off, maintaining SPC flooring is a simple task, requiring only regular sweeping and mopping to look new again. In terms of appearance, the floor covering comes with a printed decorative layer, which is available in a range of colours, styles and textures.

Firma SPC flooring-vinyl flooring singapore

3. FirmaEngineered

While some may not be aware, engineered wood flooring is made of real wood. With plywoods layered in a cross-section manner, the flooring provides dimensional stability. If you need a comfortable floor covering, engineered wood flooring makes for one of the best options. It is suitable for installation in bedrooms and living rooms to provide utmost comfort.

Firma Engineered wood flooring-engineered wood flooring

4. FirmaTimber

The durable and affordable solid timber flooring has gradually become one of the top flooring picks in Singapore. Add aesthetics to any interior, solid timber flooring exudes natural beauty and timelessness. Produced from timber sourced from trees such as teak, oak, walnut, the flooring is often a great option for commercial installation. A broad range of stains and graining are made available for selection. In addition, the flooring is known for its value-added feature in the property market.

Floorrich's solid timber flooring Burmese Teak-timber flooring

5. FirmaDeck

Floorrich also offers WPC decking in Singapore. Referred to as Wood Plastic Composite, the flooring may come with different levels of heat resistance. Made from ethically sourced materials, the deck features the qualities of both resin and wood fibres. It is one of the environmentally-friendly decking choices and ideal for outdoor flooring installation. Moreover, it has the durability to withstand decays, rots and termites.

Designed to appear and feel like solid timber decking, WPC decking only needs low maintenance. Just some simple sweeping will help to keep the flooring smooth and splinter-free. Thanks to the plastic in the deck, the surface of the decking is protected from moisture. The water-resistant properties makes composite decking a great outdoor flooring choice in Singapore.

Learn more: Expert Tips for Choosing the Right Outdoor Flooring

Floorrich's WPC decking Walnut-wood flooring

3.4 Questions you may have

1. Do I need to invest in refinishing upon installing engineered wood flooring?

Both solid wood and real engineered wood floors require the same amount of maintenance. Specifically, engineered wood which can come as a pre-finished product in the factory. It does not require any coating processes after installation.

2. Is engineered hardwood waterproof?

Most wood floors have low resistance to water and other forms of moisture. Prolonged exposure to water or fluctuations in humidity can damage hardwood floors. Engineered wood flooring offered by Floorrich features the premium Bona water-based coating.

3. Can engineered wood flooring installation be done on an uneven subfloor?

No, the subfloor has to be evened prior to installation. When dealing with perceived depressions, a self-levelling compound can be used prior to the installation.

PART 4 – CONCLUSION

All in all, engineered wood floors are durable, cost-efficient, versatile and eco-friendly, a great alternative to traditional flooring options. Besides the ease of installation, engineered wood flooring also comes with low maintenance. It is the preferred and sustainable flooring choice that adds aesthetics to your home, at the same time.

At Floorrich, we offer SPC, vinyl, wood flooring and other quality flooring solutions. Looking for affordable and trendy floor coverings? Give us a call now for more information.