Engineered wood flooring was invented by Kährs, a swedish manufacturer, back in 1941. It solved the issues of moisture and temperature reactivity that were the bane of the solid wood flooring industry, creating a new floor construction that could withstand changes in temperature and humidity and revolutionising the hardwood flooring industry.
Why is Engineered Wood Flooring Better than Solid Wood?
There is a common misconception among flooring consumers that solid wood flooring is somehow higher quality or a more luxurious choice than engineered wood flooring. But this idea is completely mistaken, it is actualy the other way round.
Engineered Wood Flooring was invented specifically to solve the problems that solid wood flooring faces. Engineered flooring is up to 75% more stable than solid wood flooring.
Due to being constructed solely from natural wood, solid wood flooring will warp and mishape under changing climates and temperatures, making it a particularly poor choice for the unpredictable UK climate. In contrast, engineered flooring is made to withstand extreme changes in temperature, one of the reasons it is so popular in Scandinavia.
Today, Engineered wood floors are widely considered to be the highest quality floor type that you can install in both residential and commercial spaces, combining the natural beauty and texture of real hardwoods like oak and walnut with a floor structure that offers durability, stability and sustainability.
At Kens Yard, we specialise in Engineered Wood Flooring manufactured by Kahrs of Sweden, the oldest wood floor manufacturer in the world today. They are widely considered to produce the highest quality wood flooring you can buy in the market today and pair their exacting design and manufacturing standards with a strong belief in sustainability and environmental practices.
We are the Uk’s largest stockist of engineered wood flooring by Kahrs and hold over 50,000m2 in our UK stocks, available for nationwide delivery within 48 hours. We also offer a free sample service, allowing you to order free hand samples of the engineered floors you are interested in so you can see them in the flesh prior to making your purchase.
There are a range of different flooring materials and constructions available in the market today, which can be overwhelming, but only two options if you want real wood floors; engineered wood flooring or solid wood flooring. We will discuss the differences between these two options in more detail below and highlight why engineered wood floors are the better choice. But, if you are eager to browse the range and find your perfect floor, just click the “Shop Now” button below and we’ll take you straight to the product listings where you can filter by price, wood species, colour and much more to find your perfect engineered wood flooring match.
You can also view a carousel of our latest offers below or head over to the Special Offers page for more discounts and clearance deals.
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Constructed from layers of timber (typically pine and spruce), layed at right angles and compacted tightly together, engineered wood flooring is incredibly strong and durable but has the flexibility needed to withstand changes in temparerature.
Engineered or multi-layer floors are made up of three layers of wood, which are laid at right angles to each other. This construction gives the floor more dimensional stability in all humidity levels. And, because hardwood is only used in the surface layer, the construction is more eco-friendly too.
Wood is constantly striving for moisture balance – swellling and shrinking in three directions – a solid piece of wood is, by its very nature, unstable.
Five times more floors can be produced using multi-layer construction, as the middle and bottom layers are made from fast growing spruce and pine ‘softwood’, rather that slower growing hardwood. Solid floors use hardwood all the way through.
Using hardwood in these core layers wouldn’t offer any benefit. And, a wood floor can only be sanded down to its joint, in either case, so a solid construction doesn’t have a longer life or the ability to be sanded down more times.
The Brinell test determines hardness of wood by repeatedly pushing a steel ball into the floor, and then measuring the impression left by the ball. The smaller the impression, the greater the hardness.
But hardness should not be used as a buying criteria, because there are lots of other issues to consider. Kahrs lacquer and oil prefinishes provide a durable surface and protect the wood. Also, rustic grains offer greater camouflage – so a small mark on a clean grained ‘hard’ timber may be a lot more noticeable than a larger mark on a floor with lots of knots and colour variation.
STRENGTH & FLEXIBILITY
Engineered wood flooring uses a multi-layer construction. By utilising flexible, fast-growing softwoods on the lower layers of the board that are less reactive to moisture and temperature, like Spruce and Pine, it ensures the floor stays stable and strong across the seasons and also means engineered wood floors can be laid over underfloor heating.
Protecting the Hardwoods
The valuable, slower-growing hardwoods like oak and walnut, are used on the top layer of the engineered wood floorboard, the usable part of the flooring above the joint. It was a masterpiece of innovation that not only created a more durable, more flexible and more stable floor, but was also way ahead of its time in terms of creating a sustainable manfuacturing method that avoided wastage and overuse of slow-growing hardwoods, protecting the world’s forests from mass destruction.
Engineered Wood Flooring Reduces Hardwood Waste.
With a 15mm solid oak floor, for example, the oak is used throughout the full thickness of the board, from top to bottom, even in the unusable section below the joint. Throughout the board’s lifetime, you could only ever sand-down to above the joint, so everything underneath the joint will never be seen or touched. Not only is it a waste of valuable hardwoods like oak, it also makes the board less stable and less durable.
With a 15mm Engineered Oak Floor, the oak is used on the usable top layer, above the joint, and can be sanded down across its life-time just like a solid floor. But below the joint, that’s where the flexible softwoods like Spruce and Pine give the board its stength and durability, making much more efficient use of both the hardwoods and softwoods.
Engineered wood flooring comes in a vast array of styles and colours…
In terms of wood species, the most common hardwoods used in the engineered wood floor industry are: –
- and Maple.
But it’s not just the wood species that affects the look and feel of the floor. The format and construction of the board also plays a big part, such as: –
- Board dimensions and thickness,
- Board format,
- Surface finish,
- Refining treatments,
- Square or bevelled edges.
There is a lot to consider and if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, do not fear. We are experts in flooring and more than happy to help you get to grips with the different options available to you and talk you through the most important aspects to consider. You can call us 8.30am – 5pm Mon – Fri and our trained experts will happily chat through your options with you. Or you can email us and we’ll take a look at your query and get back to you swiftly to answer your questions. If you are in our neck of the woods, we have state of the art flooring showrooms at both our Forfar and Livingston branches where you can see and feel the floors in the flesh and chat over your project with us in person. You can view all of our contact details and opening hours here.