Hardwood has been a favourite flooring choice for Canadian homes for centuries due to its natural warmth and durability. Hardwood flooring has evolved over the years to become dimensionally stable with finishes that are extremely durable.
Traditional 2 1/4” and 3 1/4” strip flooring is no longer the most sought after style. Long, wide planks, in unique finishes and surface textures are now in the main stream. Hand scraped, wire brushed and distressed finishes offer individual character to a home. These new flooring styles work well in both timeless homes, or in contemporary interiors.
Solid hardwood planks expand or contract in size due to changes in moisture content. From season to season, cupping and gapping can occur in Canada’s varying indoor humidity conditions. Cupping and gapping is more pronounced in solid wide plank solid wood flooring compared to solid strip flooring. For this reason, solid wood flooring wider than 4 inches is not recommended in our extreme Canadian indoor climate. Today’s home owners prefer the look of five inch and wider hardwood flooring. Since wide plank solid wood flooring is considerably higher in cost than traditional 2 1/4” and 3 1/4” solid strip flooring, and more prone to cupping and gapping we needed to find a solution. So how do you get the wide plank look you want without high cost and extra worry? The answer is engineered hardwood!
Why Engineered Hardwood?
Engineered hardwood is the next generation in wood flooring. It has many advantages over regular wood flooring due to its superior construction, making it more stable and trouble free. Engineered floors are made by adhering a solid hardwood decorative face layer to a sturdy multi-layered plywood core. This makes for a much more stable and durable floor compared to regular solid hardwood. Laurentian engineered hardwood’s construction is specifically made for our unique and variable Canadian climate. Varying humidity levels and extreme temperature change from season to season can warp, crack and distort solid hardwoods. Laurentian engineered construction will withstand these conditions and maintain its beauty and form year after year.
Engineered hardwood is also a better value. Since only the face layer is made using the expensive decorative wood species, you only pay for what you use. Rich grained and exotic decors such as Brazilian Cherry, American Walnut and European White Oak are much more affordable than the same looks in a solid hardwood. The multi-ply construction also makes engineered hardwood the greener choice. Compared to solid wood floors, engineered floors yield more than five times more square feet of flooring per tree harvested. The plywood core is made of rapidly renewable wood grown on tree plantations.
But what about refinishing? Contrary to what many consumers believe, sanding to raw wood and refinishing your hardwood floor is not commonly done, and more importantly, it is highly discouraged as it voids the manufacturer’s warranty. In Canada, the average cost of sanding and refinishing a hardwood floor is around five dollars per square foot! That’s the better portion of the cost of a brand new floor. The original factory finish is very strong and should not be removed. A fresh layer of urethane can be top coated on the original finish to make your floor look new again without a complete sanding. This is a relatively simple process, and does not void the wear warranty. Refinishing the floor by sanding down to the raw wood requires heavy and aggressive machine sanding. If the floor is not perfectly flat, the sanding process will reduce or remove bevels unevenly, leaving an inconsistent look. Additionally, no sand and finish technician can duplicate the same high quality and durability of the original factory finish. So it is not critical to home owners that engineered hardwood has a 1 mm, 2 mm or 3mm thick face veneer, because hardwood floors today are seldom, if ever, sanded down to raw wood.
Another key benefit of engineered hardwood is multiple installation options, so you can have the warmth and beauty of hardwood in more areas of your home. Because ply-core construction is more stable than solid wood, engineered hardwood can be installed in areas that solid hardwood can’t, such as in basements or over radiant heated subfloors. Engineered floors also offer a wider range of installation methods. All Laurentian engineered floors allow the use of glue, float, nail or staple installation methods. See us to discuss your hardwood needs and to understand the installation option that is right for you.
Laurentian hardwood products available at www.SunshineCarpet.ca