Engineered hardwood flooring is a good alternative to solid hardwood floors. Homeowners get the look of beautiful hardwood floors at a more affordable price tag. When homeowners prepare to lay down engineered wood flooring, they look to buy a brand that encompasses overall durability, quality, affordability, look and style, and maintenance. There are several different brands on the market, but narrowing down the right one is a decision that must address your lifestyle and home space.
Engineered wood flooring brands including Anderson Tuftex, Mohawk, Shaw, and Bruce are considered to be the top brands in the flooring industry. In this article, you will learn what qualities are important when considering engineered hardwood floors, an introduction to each of the manufacturers mentioned above, and how to maintain the flooring in a home that gets a lot of foot traffic.
Factors and guidelines to consider when purchasing engineered hardwood flooring
There are three components to understand when shopping for engineered wood flooring. The plank’s overall thickness, top layer thickness, overall thickness and length of the wood, plank, and how the planks are constructed (i.e. adhesive construction can be concerning). The best brands construct a 5/8” or ¾” plank.
Top veneer layer
Engineered hardwood with a 2 to 6mm or 3/16” thick top veneer layer is considered to be of higher quality. These thicker top layered engineered hardwood planks have a lifetime of up to 80 years because over time if the wood floor needs resanding or refinishing, it can withstand the process.
The plywood core
The top veneered layer is bonded to the core of the plank. The higher quality of the flooring is, you will find that the thickness of the core should be constructed of 9 to 10 plies (3 or more sheets of plywood). Again, this would be an example of flooring that is the top of the line. The overall thickness and length of each wood plank are important to the sustainability of your flooring.
How are the planks constructed?
Much of the engineered wood flooring is mass-produced outside of the United States. For years the flooring has been constructed with glue, which contains formaldehyde (a VOC or volatile organic compound). Unfortunately, this process emits off-gas and is a serious environmental concern (also, a personal concern for many people). When shopping for your floor, seek to choose a brand that is CARB2 compliant, which offers better indoor air quality.
Best Engineered Wood Flooring for High Traffic
Many of the engineered hardwood floor manufacturers utilize the same process when constructing their products. This guide will give you a brief introduction to the top brands.
Owned by Shaw Industries, Anderson Tuftex is considered the pioneer in engineering hardwood flooring. The first company to manufacture an engineered hardwood floor, Anderson is a company that manufactures in the United States. The company is compliant with EPA standards and has an eco-friendly manufacturing philosophy. Known for its accurate and precise tongue and groove cuts and structure, Anderson offers a lifetime warranty. Each plank has a top layer of 5/8” thickness. Anderson provides its aluminum oxide finish, which creates unique floor textures. Anderson has 32 designs in its engineered hardwood flooring collection that comprises many natural kinds of wood including oak. Customers opt for oak since it’s an American species that is quite abundant, and the natural color is beautiful in any space.
Mohawk’s engineered hardwood is manufactured in the U.S. in factories from South Carolina to Washington state. Since 1878, its popular flooring is created to withstand everyday wear and tear in all types of climates. Using the cross-ply construction method, Mohawk’s engineered flooring is versatile. Floors can adhere to any subflooring. The company’s SolidTech flooring is an ideal product for bathrooms or basements. The surface is fully waterproof and protects from pets, spills, and more. Additional products customers like include TecWood and Revwood. Plank width (3” to 7.5”), plank thickness (up to ¾”), and broad wood styles (oak, walnut, elm, hickory, pine, and more) make Mohawk a popular floor go-to. Using its signature technology Armormax, Mohawk applies this finish which protects the surface of the floor.
Another U.S. manufacturer, Shaw offers a variety of premium engineered hardwood flooring collections including EPIC Plus. This Shaw brand utilizesan innovative and proprietary process, construction, and adhesive called Stabilitek. This process ensures floor durability to resist any moisture, climate, denting, and discoloration. Much of their engineered hardwood planks are 4mm thick of veneer hardwood. The EPIC Plus engineered hardwood meets any challenge in a home. For style and décor, Shaw creates flooring incorporating all types of color schemes ranging from natural woods to reds and oranges as well as blues and greens. And, the textures are beautiful and versatile to make any space feel like home. You can select reclaimed and distressed appearances, subtle or heavy scraped looks, wire-brushed or smooth.
Since 1884 Bruce has been producing hardwood flooring from the Appalachian Mountains. Based in Pennsylvania, this manufacturer is a standout company for its U.S. sourced hardwood. Bruce is known for its reputable engineered hardwood as well. Utilizing a fully natural wood top (1/16″ to 1/6″ thick) and bottom, Bruce constructs each engineered hardwood plank with Densitek as its core material. The compressed wood fibers make up the plywood core, which has 5 to 7 layers. This material provides moisture resistance, dent resistance, and a stable platform, which allows for Bruce flooring to be installed in several environments. Customers like Bruce engineered hardwood for its easy installation. Some of the favorite woods that homeowners like under the Bruce engineered hardwood collection include oak, hickory, and maple.
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Maintenance tips for your engineered hardwood flooring.
It’s essential to take care of your new engineered hardwood floors.
- Sweep regularly to remove dust, pet hair, and any other debris and dirt that gets tracked onto the floor.
- Remove dirt with a wood-friendly vacuum.
- Mopping is okay as long as your mop isn’t soaked in water. Keep the mop damp. Even though your engineered hardwood can take the moisture, in general, it is best not to let puddles of water pool on top.
- After mopping use a dry clean cloth to dry the area.
- Wipe up any spills immediately.
- Always opt for soft clean cloths when cleaning up.
- Place doormats where there is the most foot traffic coming in and out of the home.
Household items to avoid using on engineered hardwood floors.
- Do not use a steam mop.
- Avoid harsh chemicals including ammonia or bleach.
- Put away any brushes with steel wool or scouring pads. Engineered hardwood is a super resource for people who want the look of hardwood floors. The top manufacturers comply with EPA standards and you’ll find most of their woods are sourced from the United States. Engineered hardwood floors are fabulous for their durable and waterproof traits.