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Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered hardwood wood flooring is made with a top surface layer of hardwood, instead of a softwood. The composition of the flooring remains unchanged – it will be made from multiple layers of plywood that creates a stable structure – but the real wood lamella will be made from a hardwood such as oak, for example. It is one of the most popular types of engineered wood flooring available in the UK.

A ‘hardwood’ is a wood that comes from a species of tree that embodies certain characteristics. Hardwood trees usually have large, broad leaves, and grow flowers. However, they can grow in many different regions around the world, and although “hardwood” is typically harder than softwoods, this isn’t actually always the case. In fact, larch (a softwood) is actually a little harder than mahogany (a hardwood)!

Hardwoods are hard because the trees tend to be very slow growing, which means that the timber is often a lot more dense, which gives them a strength that many softwoods simply don’t possess. It’s this strength that makes hardwoods an excellent choice for flooring, where they are put under daily stress. Engineered hardwood wood flooring is a natural choice for busy areas of the home, such as hallways.

When it comes to selecting a type of hardwood for engineered wood flooring, acacia is one of the hardest, with a Janka hardness rating of 1750. Oak is a little softer, with a rating of 1333 on the Janka scale, and walnut a little softer still, with a 1010 rating. However, these differences are negligible, and there’s actually very little difference between how each type of wood will feel underfoot at home.

Instead, what will make a difference underfoot is the thickness of the flooring you choose, and the finish. Thicker engineered wood boards tend to have a thicker surface layer making them a little more durable and hardwearing, while the finish can also make a significant difference. Unfinished or brushed woods tend to look and feel a bit more rustic, while oiled, lacquered, and high gloss flooring is much more smooth.

Most types of engineered wood flooring available in the UK will be made with a hardwood surface layer, with oak, walnut, and acacia being some of the most popular choices. However, it is possible to find engineered wood flooring with a softwood surface layer, too. Larch, which is a softwood that comes from the conifer family, is a good choice for those looking for flooring that’s a little bit different to the norm.

Although engineered softwood like larch is available, engineered hardwood wood flooring is still the top choice for many. While hardwood is typically more costly than softwood, using engineered hardwood flooring is an excellent way to keep costs down. As much less hardwood is used in engineered flooring compared to solid wood flooring, you can have the look of hardwood without the price tag.

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