A very significant and relatively recent development in wood flooring is “engineered” hardwood. Two engineered examples are Cottage Collection Dove Grey and Legacy Antique Oak Tiger Eye. Engineered hardwood has many advantages over solid wood flooring. Let’s look first at how it’s made. Densely-packed plywood layers are cross-laid and glued together then topped with a thinner solid hardwood face. This sandwich type construction is far more stable and less prone to expansion and contraction than solid wood. It’s similar to floor joists in homes which used to be solid wood but are now engineered in construction. This is not a cost-cutting practice, but is done because engineered wood is much less prone to move or warp.
Because engineered construction is very stable, it enables manufacturers to provide wider plank widths than would not be feasible with solid wood floors. Wider planks are definitely a hot look. Also, because only the wood face that you see and walk on is solid, it takes less solid ‘decorative’ wood to make an engineered floor. This means several things: it’s less taxing on the forests, and you get more for your money because less of the expensive solid ‘decorative’ material is required. Although many hardwood harvests are sustainably managed today, simply choosing an attractive hardwood layer of two to three millimeters as opposed to a solid plank is a great way to conserve forests.
Since plywood is far less likely to expand and contract from moisture gain and loss, engineered wood flooring allows you to bring hardwood into rooms that were previously taboo: welcome hardwood to kitchens, foyers and basements! And you won’t have to skimp on choices, either. Engineered hardwood offers species and finishes in a much wider range than solid hardwood.
In addition to a bevy of colours and styles, engineered wood also offers numerous installation methods. Gone are the days when driving floor nails into your subfloor was the only solution. Now locking, tongue and groove, glue, staple and floating options are widespread. Talk to your flooring retailer to decide the best option for your floor. Some engineered hardwood can also be installed over in-floor radiant heating. It’s the ultimate indulgence: luxurious radiant heat under stunning hardwood!
The Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers (AHMI)
A strong focus for hardwood manufacturers now is sustainable forestry. Enter groups like the Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers, Inc (AHMI). This body oversees 344 counties in the American Appalachian forests where hardwoods are harvested. Their goal is to provide quality hardwoods while protecting the industry’s future. The AHMI is a remarkable success story: wood for high quality products like Legacy Maple Cappuccino is harvested while at least two new trees grow in place of each one removed.
Classic & Timeless
Today’s hardwood is innovative and stylish while retaining the classic appeal that has drawn homeowners to it for centuries. And with advanced technological innovations hardwood is now suitable for more areas of the home, and can be enjoyed trouble free for years to come. Natural, beautiful hardwood; a true classic.