Engineered timber flooring has become a popular choice for homeowners who want the chic, timeless aesthetic of hardwood floors, but without the high expense. Engineered timber flooring actually boasts a wide range of benefits as well as its lower cost, many of which posit it as a superior product to the hardwood. Among other things, engineered flooring is more durable than hardwood, more stable, easier and faster to install, with a higher resistance to water and overall degradation.
Engineered flooring is real wood that is constructed in layers and fused together to create a product identical to hardwood flooring, but far cheaper. Below the first layer of wood, there are numerous layers of high-density plywood. The materials used to create engineered flooring are stronger than hardwood planks, creating a more durable and stable product that looks exactly the same as hardwood flooring. Engineered timber flooring and solid timber flooring are set apart by the fact that solid timber flooring is made up entirely of one type of timber and engineered flooring has a top layer of timber with the rest of it being composed of a cheaper material such as plywood. Engineered timber flooring’s quality is often determined by the thickness of the timber layer. Engineered timber is often chosen over solid timber flooring in areas where it is likely to get damp. Warping wood is a worry which timber floor owning homeowners never want to have. With engineered timber, the damage from moisture is far less of an issue. For many, the possibility of a water leak is enough to turn them away from looking at solid timber flooring. So for kitchens, it is highly recommended that if you want a timber floor, choose engineered. Engineered timber flooring is a perfect compromise between the quality of solid timber and the practicality of non-hardwood flooring. It is worth noting that the better the veneer covering the hardwood top layer, the longer your new floor is likely to last. So as with all flooring option, be sure to do your research before you purchase.
Engineered flooring can be aesthetically identical to normal hardwood flooring, but costs a fraction of the price.
Table of Contents
- How is Engineered Timber Made?
- Engineered Timber Flooring Vs Solid Timber Flooring
- Engineered Timber Flooring Price Melbourne
- Best Melbourne Engineered Timber Flooring Brands
- Benefits of Engineered Timber Flooring Melbourne
- Engineered Timber Flooring Pros and Cons
- Engineered Timber Flooring FAQ
How is Engineered Timber Made?
Engineered timber floors are made up of layers of plywood that are pressed together under much pressure, this is called the inner core. The top layer of these floor boards is good quality timber that can be treated in much the same way as solid timber flooring. This top layer of hardwood is also called a veneer.
To begin with, the veneer is treated. This generally means that the veneer layer will be dried in a kiln for up to 7 days. The drying process ensures that the veneer will be as durable as possible. Several layers of plywood (the strong inner core) are then either hot or cold pressed together with the solid wood top layer. At this stage, the floorboards are large sheets and after the pressing process the boards are sawed to floorboard size, this process creates the floor that you can install in your home.
They are then sanded evenly and the tongue and groove or click lock system is installed on to them. After the sawing and sanding process, the floorboards are coated in lacquer (this is the finish) and sent through to quality control before being sent to a showroom or specific clients.
Engineered Timber Flooring Vs Solid Timber Flooring
One of the main reasons that people choose to have engineered timber flooring rather solid timber flooring installed in their homes is moisture protection. Engineered floors are far less susceptible to moisture infiltration than solid floors. They are also cheaper to buy and to install. Solid timber floors tend to be more expensive due to the fact that they are manufactured from solid hardwood. Solid timber floors are more costly to install as the only way to do it is via hammer and nail. Whereas engineered floors can be installed by tongue and groove, which is less time consuming and much easier. Both floors can be sanded and refinished multiple times so your floor can look as good as new.
Engineered Timber Flooring Price Melbourne
Whilst cheap engineered flooring can be found, the quality may not be the best. So to find the perfect compromise between price and quality, you will have to know what to look out for when you search for the cheapest engineered timber flooring. One clear indicator as to the quality and price of a new Melbourne engineered timber floor is how many layers of ply the floor is made up of. The more layers of ply in the inner core of your floor, the stronger and more resilient your floor will be. This also means that you can rely on the floor you have chosen to last longer, as the more durability that you have, the more years of traffic and general wear you can expect it to take. There can be anywhere from 4-15 layers of ply within an engineered floor. So make sure that you do your research before deciding on your new floor. If you expect to have much human (or pet) traffic over the life of your new floor, we recommend spending a bit extra on the best quality that you can afford. Spending more now will make your timber flooring cheaper in the long-run.
To get a good understand of the overall price of installing your new Melbourne engineered timber floor, you must consider installation costs. First, what subfloor will you be laying your engineered floor onto? There are a variety of options to suit your every need, from underlay that gives better insulation, to underlay that offers excellent sound absorption. If insulation is important for you, then we suggest finding a felt underlay with a high wool content. This style of underlay ensures that the heat is absorbed efficiently for the longest amount of time. When choosing underlay it is worth knowing that there is a sustainable option. For ecologically minded people, we suggest choosing a crumb-rubber underlay. This is made by chewing up car tires in order to produce crumbs of tough rubber. This rubber is then made into underlay. Crumb-rubber underlay is durable and has a spongy texture, it is a good choice for a general purpose underlay.
As with any hardwood flooring, the timber that makes up the top layer or veneer of your engineered floorboards goes a long way to determining the overall quality and price of your floor. As with solid timber flooring, wood such as Oak or Jarrah not only increase the life of your floor, they increase the price. So to get discounted engineered flooring, look at cheaper hardwood veneers for your new floor. The thickness of this hardwood layer is also an important factor when it comes to the price of your floor. Having a thicker veneer means that you will be able to sand and polish this layer more often than you would be able to do if that layer was thinner. This prolongs the life of your floor and means you will have a cheaper floor once all the costs have been added together. Not being able to refinish your floor as often means that you will have to buy a new floor sooner rather than later. There are also choices when it comes to the finish that your floorboards will be coated in. Some flooring brands will coat the floor in specialized formulas that maximize the scratch resistance of the finish, other brands will focus more on the perfect coloured finish of the flooring. So be sure to decide exactly what style of flooring you want before you consider buying a specific brand.
Finally, you must decide what style of installation you require for your flooring, this choice can affect the cost of your Melbourne engineered timber floor. There are generally two options for installing an engineered floor; click lock or tongue and groove. Both of these systems operate a similar process but the final action is different. For tongue and groove installation, before connecting the boards together, you will place PVA glue within the groove. When you connect the two boards, the glue will hold them fast. A click lock system does not require any glue as when you connect the boards together, you push down on the connecting board until you hear a click. This click confirms that the board has been successfully connected. A click lock system is the most expensive form of installation for your new Melbourne engineered timber floor.
Book a visit from CQ Flooring’s mobile showroom to see engineered timber flooring samples from the comfort of your doorstep.
Best Melbourne Engineered Timber Flooring Brands
Big River have had over one hundred years experience in the manufacturing of timber flooring. They pride themselves on the best quality materials, crafted into the best quality floorboards. One great aspect of Big River is that all their timber products are Australian sourced. This means you can be proud of buying a more sustainable floor as your carbon footprint will be much reduced compared with shipping the flooring in from elsewhere. Big River provides you with a 4mm thick timber veneer, this is a thick top layer and is a hallmark of quality.
Readyflor is Quick-Step’s prestigious engineered timber flooring product, it has the honour of being called “Australia’s most popular floor.” If this title doesn’t convince you, don’t worry, it’s specifications may well win you over. Every layer of a Readyflor is of the highest possible quality. Quick-Step particularly focuses on the strength of the inner core within their engineered floorboards. Featuring a 4mm thick veneer, you can sand and polish this engineered floor as much as most solid timber floors.
Benefits of Engineered Timber Flooring Melbourne
Due to the outer layer being genuine wood, there is absolutely no difference in appearance between an engineered floor and a hardwood floor. They are the exact same product in appearance – only the unseen bottom layers have been modified.
The modifications of engineered flooring simply means that it is a better, more efficient product. It has been engineered to be not only cost effective, but more durable, stable, and easier to install.
Higher Durability and Stability
The way engineered flooring is constructed is specifically designed to increase the durability and stability of the product. The surface layer – the only layer that can be seen once the floor is installed – is exactly the same as hardwood, retaining that classic elegance that makes hardwood floors such a timeless staple in home floors.
High-density fiberboard is used for the bottom layers, invisible to the eye, and creating a floor with higher durability and stability. Engineered wood floors are also much more resistant to temperature and humidity influxes due to the increased stability.
Engineered floors are also highly scratch resistant, particularly in comparison to traditional hardwood floors. The top veneer is coated with multiple layers of scratch resistant coating to prevent any damages.
Increased Water Resistance
While no flooring material is able to withstand large bodies of water on top of it for large periods of time, engineered flooring comes pretty damn close. Engineered flooring is proven to be more water resistant than hardwood floors, due to the way it is made.
Engineered timber flooring is therefore, the much more viable flooring choice for areas like kitchens and bathrooms that will have some levels of moisture and water spills.
Engineered timber flooring is significantly cheaper than traditional hardwood flooring. Yet in terms of appearance, they are identical, due to the outer veneer being made of genuine hardwood. The only thing that is different about hardwood and engineered flooring, is the bottom layers, unseen to the eye, which are modified to be more cost effective as well as more durable.
Engineered timber flooring is generally much easier to install than hardwood floors. Engineered wood flooring can be glued or stapled onto an existing subfloor, and floating engineered floors can simply be placed straight onto an already existing floor.
Engineered flooring can be installed in just a day or two, and can even be installed by you yourself if you research how to do it properly. It can be walked over immediately after installation, with no extra sanding or polishing needed as the outer veneer is already coated with numerous layers of scratch resistant mid-gloss UV cured acrylic coating.
Read our installation guide for engineered timber flooring to successfully install your new floor.
Sustainability is fast becoming a major aspect of current and future building and design trends. Architects, builders, interior designers and homeowners alike are now taking the environmental impact of the materials used for buildings into account. Considering the sustainability and ecological impact of building materials is never more important than when considering the construction and design of your home. The home is where we spend the majority of our lives in and raise our families. Therefore, it is important to feel you have created an environmentally viable home for you and your loved ones.
Creating a sustainable home also saves you a lot of money in the long run. The more sustainable the products you use are, the longer they will last in your home, reducing the need for replacement significantly, and reducing the impact on forests and the environment. An engineered wood floor will last upwards of 20 – 100 years, making it one of the most sustainable flooring products on the market.
Choose one of the options from the engineered flooring styles we have in stock now.
Very Little Upkeep Engineered timber floors require far less upkeep than solid timber floors. Whilst engineered timber can be polished to keep it looking fresh, it has a veneer which protects the wood and keeps the timber looking good without constant care. When it comes to installation, the fact that the floor has been factory finished makes your life easier. Once the floor is installed a simple sweep will reveal you new floor in all its glory.
Little Change Solid timber floors are notoriously changeable. Due to moisture and general temperature variables, Solid timber expands and shrinks. This can be a real headache and can sometimes result in extra work. Engineered timber floors do expand and shrink a little, but nowhere near as much as their counterparts.
Ease of Installation Engineered timber floors can be installed over almost any surface, this makes them more versatile than solid timber floors. It also means that if this will be a DIY project, it is an easier task.
Refinishing Isn’t Always Easy With solid timber floors you are able to sand and polish as many times as you wish. When it comes to Engineered timber floors, too much sanding will result in you eating into the veneer.
Lifecycle This style of floor is expected to last around 15-20 years. Whilst this is good for most of Engineered floor’s contemporaries; solid timber floors are expected to last upwards of 100 years
Engineered timber floors come in a variety of styles, but dark wooden floors always come across as dignified. Dark engineered timber flooring in a simple dining room not only looks effortlessly refined, but it is also easy to clean should any spillages occur.
Engineered Timber Flooring FAQ
What is engineered timber flooring?
Engineered timber flooring is made of a top layer of genuine timber veneer, with the bottom, unseen layers being made of high-density fiberboard. Using high-density fiberboard to make up the unseen layers of the engineered timber planks serves to create increased durability and stability.
What is the difference between engineered timber flooring and solid timber flooring?
Engineered timber flooring is the same as solid timber flooring in appearance, but is overall more cost-efficient, ecologically friendly, durable, stable, and with increased resistance to moisture and high temperatures.
Engineered timber flooring is also much more versatile, as it is suitable for more diverse conditions than solid timber. For example, engineered timber flooring can be used in damper areas like basements, whereas solid timber flooring cannot. Engineered timber flooring can also be installed over radiant heating systems which would dry up solid timber flooring.
Why is engineered timber flooring environmentally friendly?
Engineered timber flooring is beneficial to the environment because it minimises the amount of wood used in the flooring. Because only the top layer is timber, rather than the whole plank, it reduces the negative impact of wood harvesting on forests.
Can I sand and polish my engineered timber flooring?
Yes. This is another major benefit of engineered timber flooring. While you can’t sand engineered timber down as many times as you can with solid timber, you should be able to sand it down up to three times throughout its lifespan. This means you can remove any dents or scratches it may accumulate over time.
How durable is engineered timber flooring?
Engineered timber flooring is highly durable. It has an average lifespan of between 40 and 80 years, making it one of the most durable choices in flooring available. Even in areas with high foot traffic, you can expect your engineered timber flooring to last a minimum of four decades.
How hard is engineered timber flooring?
All engineered timber flooring is generally quite hard, however, you can buy harder variations if this is something you think you need. Keep in mind that the harder the engineered timber floor, the harder it is to dent and scratch, which is a big benefit.
To determine how hard a specific wood species is, we refer to the Species Janka Rating. This is the Kilonewtons of force that is required to dent the timber. The higher the number, the harder the floor. On our product pages, you can see the Janka Rating listed.
Will my engineered timber flooring get dents and scratches?
Yes, it is possible your engineered timber flooring will get a few dents and scratches over the time, as is the case with all wood flooring. The harder the timber you buy (see above) the harder it will be to dent. The outer coating is very effective at minimising scratches, but it cannot eliminate them entirely.
Scratches and dents don’t necessarily ruin the appearance of an engineered timber floor, however; they simply add a bit of charm and character to the room. Also, keep in mind that you can sand down any dents or scratches you would like removed.
How moisture resistant is engineered timber flooring?
engineered timber flooring is highly moisture resistant, giving it a clear advantage over solid timber flooring. The resistance to moisture factor makes engineered timber flooring a suitable flooring choice for damp areas such as basements, and areas with occasional exposure to spillages like kitchens.
If you are planning on installing engineered timber flooring in an area you know to be quite damp, do make sure that you put a moisture barrier underneath the floor during installation. This will allow the engineered timber flooring to perform its best under moisture exposure.