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Wood flooring for Liverpool properties – how is it made?

Engineered wood flooring is often a misunderstood product. People tend to interpret the name as implying that it is an artificial product that just resembles wood, something a little like laminate flooring. In reality, engineered wood flooring gives the same appearance as an equivalent solid wood flooring, because what you are looking at is real wood. The “engineered” part of the process goes on below the visible layer.

The structure

Aside from the visible layer of real wood, an engineered wood floor may comprise 3 to 12 layers of ply at its core. When the core board is constructed, the ply is cross-layered, glued, and pressed. As you would expect, a composite structure that’s been bonded with a powerful adhesive is much stronger than a single piece of wood of the same thickness. This means engineered wood flooring enjoys a remarkably strong structure, with properties that differ from those of solid wood. This can bring distinct advantage over solid wood flooring for certain applications.

A greater number of ply layers usually results in a tougher structure, but you can talk with your supplier about what would be the best option for your application and budget. A busy Liverpool office space, for example, may justify the cost of a stronger floor.

The profiling

Once the core board is complete, it is cut into planks and the profiling is added. This is essentially the shapes on the sides of the plank that fit together when installed. The traditional tongue-and-groove profile is still popular, but you can also find planks with click-lock systems for easy installation.

The veneer

The veneer is the layer of real wood that gives engineered wood flooring its stunning appearance. This can be produced in two ways: it can be sawn as cross-sections of a tree trunk, or a thin layer can be shaved from around the tree trunk in a process known as rotary cutting. The former approach has the advantage that the thickness is not limited, while it also gives the same appearance as solid wood. In contrast, there’s a practical limit on how thick a rotary-cut veneer can be, but you may find its dramatic grain effect brings a certain ambience to your Liverpool home.

Is thickness important?

The thickness of planks is usually represented as two numbers to reflect the total thickness and the veneer thickness. For example, 14/3 would indicate a total thickness of 14mm and a veneer thickness of 3mm.

The right total thickness depends on your application. If it’s for a structural project, boards of 18 mm or greater will likely be needed. When underfloor heating is involved, however, it’s usually best to go for something much thinner. Again, talk with your supplier to identify the right product for you.

The thickness of the veneer largely determines how many times you will be able to have it professionally sanded and refinished to give it a just-like-new appearance.

As you can see, while engineered wood flooring may be cheaper, you certainly can’t call it a compromise.

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