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Engineered Hardwood FAQ

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What is Engineered Hardwood?

Engineered hardwood floors are wooden floors made with multiple layers of wood adhered together, rather than one plank cut from a single timber, to create flooring planks available in multiple sizes and thicknesses. The top layer, often referred to as the veneer, is made of the species of wood desired to be seen. The bottom layer is also made of wood, but not necessarily the same species as the top layer. In the middle is a core built from 5 to 7 layers of plywood that crisscross in different directions. The species of wood uses for these core layers will vary depending on the quality of the product. Higher quality engineered wood products will boast core layers made of higher-grade hardwoods.

This crisscross construction of the core layers creates a highly stable core that is less likely to expand, contract or shift when exposed to moisture, humidity and temperature. This makes engineered wood flooring a great option for the tropical, humid Florida climate. Often times, engineered hardwood products are warrantied for use in rooms where solid hardwood would not be warrantied, such as below grade.

Is Engineered Hardwood real wood?

Yes, engineered hardwood planks are constructed by joining multiple high-density plywood layers sandwiched inside a solid wood top layer and hardwood backing, making it extremely durable. Better quality engineered hardwood floors will offer more layers and use higher quality plywood.

Do hardwood floors really add value to my home?

Yes, hardwood floors are widely desirable and are known to increase home values. The better you maintain your wood floors, the more of a selling point they will be if and when you do put your home on the market.

Is it true that I shouldn’t have a solid hardwood floor in a tropical, humid climate like Florida’s?

Humidity is the key enemy to solid wood flooring in South Florida. A solid hardwood has a near 100% chance of cupping and/or gapping, which can cause the floor to fail.

On the other hand, engineered wood flooring is an eco-friendly option that when installed properly, will last forever. Quantum Floors does not recommend solid hardwood flooring for use in South Florida.

Are your engineered hardwood products obtained from responsible sources?

Yes, Quantum Floors prides itself on selecting manufacturers whose products are eco-friendly and sourced responsibly. The manufacturers we select not only source their material responsibly, most have programs to repopulate forests where they cut timber.

Should I expect color variations in my engineered hardwood flooring?

Each floor board is like a finger print -- NO two boards are exactly alike. This is what makes wood flooring so appealing. Wood is a natural material, with variations from board to board. Each floor board will accept stain differently, some boards being lighter or darker. The lighter the color used on the floor (depending on grade of wood chosen), the more prominent the natural characteristics will show. Lighter stains show the most variation. Darker stains have a tendency to mask the natural variations in the wood. The higher or better the grade the less color variation you will see.

Can engineered hardwood floors be sanded?

Many people are under the misconception that an engineered wood floor cannot be sanded. A quality engineered product can be sanded as many as 3 to 4 times, depending upon the thickness of the wear layer, whereas a lower grade engineered product may not be able to be sanded due to a thin wear layer.

However, in most cases, sanding is never needed with the better engineered wood floors because of today’s high-tech finishing techniques. Unlike wood floors from ten years ago, which were commonly finished with polyurethane, today’s prefinished floors utilize aluminum oxide, the same material used as the abrasive in sandpaper. The finish is amazingly hard and usually comes with 20 to 50-year finish warranties. Most people will never need to refinish an engineered floor during the time they own their home.

What’s the best way to clean engineered hardwood floors?

Caring for hardwood floors is straightforward. Water is the enemy. Do not wet mop or steam clean. Frequent sweeping or vacuuming (with soft attachments and without a beater bar) to remove loose dirt and soil is generally all that is required.

When it comes to cleaning products, it is important to be careful. You should never use products designed to clean vinyl or tile floors, and it’s generally not a good idea to use oil soaps, ammonia-based cleaners, or certain waxes. If you aren’t sure of your flooring manufacturer, or if you’re unclear about cleaning guidelines, contact the Quantum Floors showroom nearest you.