Floors endure a lot of wear and tear within a home. They’re the foundations of every room, coming in contact with pointy heels, scratchy claws, heavy boots, and all kinds of moving objects. To establish a solid base for your home, you want to pick out a floor that can withstand time and the effects of heavy foot traffic. A durable floor possesses qualities that enables it to withstand pressure, damage, and prolonged wear.
A popular, durable floor choice for many people is engineered flooring. Engineered floors consist of various woods, featuring a surface layer made from natural hardwood. They provide not only a sturdier foundation than other flooring options but also lots of aesthetic qualities, overall benefits, and sustainable and ethical properties. All of these make them hot commodities. So what makes engineered flooring so durable?
What makes engineered wood different from other woods is that it’s manufactured from an assortment of wood pieces ranging from recycled wood to shredded wood fibers. Once the collection of wooden materials is ground into sawdust, it’s then mixed with resin and compressed together into layers under intense pressure. The multilayered body makes engineered wood more durable than other options because it allows for thicker boards.
The layers within an engineered plank are laid in a crisscross pattern, interconnecting the layers to form a secure base. Crisscross patterns provide a sturdier foundation than other layering forms because they alternate the grains of the compressed slats and ensure a tighter fit with minimal gaps. Similar to the logic of stacking Jenga blocks in alternating sections to create a sturdier structure, switching the direction of the planks within engineered wood generates a more robust center.
Engineered wood can come in thicker sizes than other lumber because it’s built from layers. You can even find planks up to nine inches thick. In general, engineered planks feature a thicker build than that of other wooden boards, since they consist of various timber types and grains of various thicknesses, laminated on top of one another. The thicker the build, the more weight and pressure the plank can withstand. A higher-density plank will also take longer to disintegrate under erosion.
If you work out, then you know that strengthening your core sets you up with a solid center, supporting the rest of your body with its central location and connectivity to your other body parts. Likewise, woods with stronger cores embody more support and resilience. From the Forest uses high-density fiberboards (HDF) to formulate strong cores in their engineered planks. HDF cores incorporate naturally durable materials such as excess hardwood scraps, creating a robust base.
Higher Moisture Resistance
All woods are vulnerable to water and moisture, but engineered wood offers a higher resistance than other types. When moisture permeates wood, it causes those planks to expand and retract, warping the board. Due to engineered lumber’s crisscross layering, it’s harder for the planks to change shape, making them less likely to warp.
Most engineered floorings come factory prefinished. This is a last-touch process consisting of sanding and staining the top veneer. Finishes add an extra smooth layer on the surface of planks, and factories use industrial-strength finishes to coat their woods. Thick, strong finishes make woods less susceptible to scratches and dents, acting as additional barriers to the natural wood resting at the top of the engineered plank. Plus, factory finishes last a long time, protecting and strengthening your wood for numerous years.
One of the major selling points of engineered floorings is their long life spans. Most vinyl and carpet flooring last for 10 to 15 years, while engineered wood can last between 20 and 40 years. Contrasting with other flooring selections, engineered boards outlive them by decades. Their extended life spans occur from their thick layers, strong core, wood makeup, and crisscross-patterned build.
Another critical component that makes engineered flooring so durable is the type of hardwood used in the top veneer of the plank. As we mentioned, engineered wood consists of a multilayered core topped with a layer of natural wood. Engineered flooring’s endurance makes it a popular choice for many people, especially when paired with beautiful surface textures and colors. Flooring such as hard maple and red oak engineered flooring provides a beautiful, durable floor choice.
Aesthetic, Durable Hardwoods
The Janka scale, a measuring system consisting of driving a metal ball into wood to determine the force needed to embed it, measures the strength and hardness of woods. Janka ratings of 1000 and above (out of 4000) mean the wood is very durable and hard. Here’s a list of the most aesthetically pleasing yet durable natural hardwoods to look for in your engineered floor.
Red oak offers a rich coffee-like color and showcases lots of texture due to its vivid burls. It holds a 1290 Janka rating, which is the flooring industry’s median of qualitative hardness. You can often find red oak engineered flooring in homes with pets, since the color and texture of the wood hide paw markings.
Like red oak, white oak provides beautiful textures with its vivid grains. However, white oak’s light coloring offers a sleeker, more neutral, and more modern look than red oak. White oak’s Janka rating sits at 1360, making it fairly resistant to daily wear.
As the name suggests, hard maple is a pretty tough wood, with a Janka rating of 1450. As one of the more available hardwoods, maple makes appearances in numerous homes. It consists of a fine grain texture, making it an excellent option for people who want a clean, cohesive look.
Hickory sits on the Janka scale at an 1820. It offers a unique design, featuring different streak shades. Its high durability and rare aesthetics make it one of the best floorings for high-traffic and social places.
The composition of engineered floors formulates a durable, reliable foundation for many homes. These floors also come in a variety of options, offering different purposes, styles, and numerous additional benefits. At From the Forest, you can find easy-to-install, sustainable, high-quality engineered wood flooring featuring high durability and lots to love.