Engineered Hardwood Flooring

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Hardwood flooring has become ever popular in many countries. In South Africa, home owners are opting for these in preference to the old style parquet and the laminated style of flooring. Hardwood floors go hand-in-hand with luxury, and offer timeless beauty and are low on maintenance. Home owners looking for a classic look might like to consider engineered hardwood flooring. These points should be taken into account, or kept in mind when weighing up the pros and cons of hardwood flooring.

Unlike conventional hardwood, which comes from its raw state and into your home, engineered hardwood is a more complex product which consists of layers. The outermost appearance layer is a hardwood veneer, a thin slice of wood of whatever wood type you prefer. The inner layers are made of plywood, high density fiberboard, or hardwood. These core layers give the product more stability than regular hardwood, while the outer veneer surface gives the floor its aesthetics, its beauty, and, of course, its authenticity.

Engineered hardwood is different to a hardwood laminated ‘wood’ because the surface is made of real wood. While laminated flooring has a core of high density fiberboard, its surface is basically a picture of wood. Laminate is less expensive than engineered and solid hardwood, but has a different look, feel and even sound when walking on it, due to its make up.

Pros:

  • Engineered hardwood flooring is designed to reduce moisture associated with conventional hardwood.
  • The layers block moisture and provide added stability to your floor.
  • This is a low maintenance option because of the fact that Engineered Flooring will not swell or warp.
  • Choosing engineered flooring is considered more environmentally-friendly than traditional hardwood for various reasons.
  • Veneer is sliced very carefully and precisely – it is not cut with a saw. This process produces no sawdust, which means that the entire tree can be used. The sawdust which we know amounts to a significant pile when making hardwood boards is wasted wood.
  • Hardwood trees grow a lot more slowly than the trees used to construct engineered flooring cores. More surface area is produced making veneer, therefore installing traditional hardwood uses many times the amount of slow-growing tree. This makes the replenishing time much longer.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring Cons

  • There are very few disadvantages to this type of hardwood flooring but it is neither a foolproof project and not necessarily the right floor for every application.

Comparable to solid hardwood in terms of cost: –

Engineered floors are still considerably more expensive than laminated floors, tile or carpet. They are, however much more hardy, are low maintenance and will wear a lot better.

That said, one should also take into account the biggest concern as a homeowner … that being avoiding shoddy or inferior engineered work and products, merely because of cost.

Veneers that are too thin will prevent sanding and refinishing opportunities that may double the lifetime of the floor.

Some veneers are so thin and poorly made that they can prematurely warp or fade.

Core layers should still be made from high-quality wood. Some manufacturers try to cut corners by using fiberboard or oriented strand board which might well compromise the stability of your floor and could result in an inferior flooring product.

Your Home is your Castle … quality surpasses cutting corners

It is, without exception, easier to install engineered flooring and the handy man homeowner is often encouraged to install his or her own engineered floors. It is never-the-less, a major project with big financial implications, therefore, I suggest you weigh up carefully, the virtue of employing an experienced craftsman to do the job (who will also guarantee his finished product, surely?) and doing the work yourself …and without wanting to reduce your skill-ability, don’t be too over zealous about your own home improvement skills just to get the job done cheaper! Even for the majority of homeowners who hire a flooring contractor for the job, you’ll save a hefty sum on installation, which is important given that most engineered flooring is more expensive than solid wood.

The cost of high-quality engineered floors (thick veneers) will depend on various issues, the obvious one being the type of wood you choose. In South Africa, imported Indonesian Balau is readily available, is solid, a hard wood and also hard-wearing, able to withstand much more than a softer local wood might be. It lands at quite a reasonable price and is of a superior quality. It is, for example largely used for outdoor decking. Solid wood flooring may be cheaper overall, however it will still take longer to install.

For a free no obligation quote on your solid hardwood engineered flooring please contact us on 031 – 762 1795 or use the contact us form below.

Laminate Flooring Installers Durban and Cape Town

Laminate flooring Installer Durban and Cape Town

Laminate flooring installation in Durban and Cape Town is a fairly large industry with many contractors and many suppliers. Installation prices are normally within a tight band with most installers charging more or less the same amount to install. Materials however can range greatly with some very affordable laminate floor boards and some more expensive ones. Quality varies too and one should always purchase them from a reputable supplier so that in the event of defects they can be swapped out or a refund obtained.

It is not uncommon for a client to select and purchase their own materials and to then appoint an installer to install them. However, as is the case with most contracting jobs, the client should be careful to purchase the right amount of materials so as not to waste materials and also not to slow the contractor down. There is nothing more frustrating for a contractor to arrive at the job to find that he can’t do it because a crucial part of the material is missing. It slows him down and takes extra days to complete. A contractor makes his money by doing the job quickly and correctly the first time. If he is waiting for materials he loses days and if he rushes his job and takes short cuts he ends up coming back to fix problems which also results in lost days. is first laid on the floor to provide a cushion between the boards and concrete.

One of the most important aspects of installing laminate flooring is to make sure your floor is clean and flat. If the floor is too far out of being flat it will result in boards lifting. Having said that, there is some tolerance because the boards are not as rigid and unforgiving as solid wood. So run a straight edge over it and make sure it is relatively flat. If it is not and it is very badly out of flat, consider screeding it to get rid of the high and low spots. Also small stones or bits of building rubble can result in boards having to be lifted for obvious reasons, so sweep the area properly and if possible vacuum it with a good quality industrial vacuum cleaner to make sure that all debris is lifted off your surface.

The laminate boards will come in equal lengths but when laying them you don’t want a join line all in the same place so you will need to cut shorter lengths to create a staggered joint. Keep the off cut because it will be used on the other end of the room. Be careful too to get the ends the right way around. On each end of the board there will be grooves to clip into each other, so you want to make sure that you use the right side on each end of a length with your cut end up against the wall. On the next row of boards don’t cut the short one to the same length as the previous row, make it a little longer or a little shorter, so as to never create a straight line of joints. The joints should always be completely randomly staggered.

Gaps of about 6 to 10mm should be left on the sides and edges to allow the wood to expand and contract. This can be covered later with a skirting. If no gap is left, the wood will try and expand, push up against the wall, and the boards will pop.
For a free no obligation quote on laminate or hardwood flooring please complete the form below.