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Misconceptions Over Engineered Hardwood Floors in Eco-Friendly Homes

Shutterstock Photo License - Ingo Bartussek



Are you looking to create a new floor for your eco-friendly home? You have to think long and hard about the types of materials that you will use for your floor. Some are going to be a lot eco-friendlier than others.

We previously talked about some of the flooring materials that are popular in eco-friendly homes. One of the eco-friendliest materials is cork, because it doesn’t use nonrenewable resources and requires very little energy to install. Marble seems like a good material because it doesn’t leave a large carbon footprint to extract. However, due to its weight, it can take a lot of energy to actually install. Eco-friendlier materials that are better suited include linoleum, tumber and glass tiles. MyMove gives a full list of eco-friendly flooring materials.

Another option to consider is engineered wood. Some people think that it might be less eco-friendly than traditional lumber. However, the opposite is actually true! It is a great option for green homes.

Sustainable Homeowners Should Use Engineered Wood for their New Floors

If you have been considering hardwood flooring for your home, you might have come across the term ‘engineered wood.’ It is pretty popular these days, though most people don’t have an exact idea about what engineered wood is. But is it actually eco-friendly? You will want to know more about its carbon footprint before using it.

Lack of a clear idea about what engineered wood is has given rise to several myths and misconceptions. You might have heard people question the durability of engineered hardwood and someone else talk about its looks. Far fewer people talk about its environmental impact, which has led to some misconceptions that it is harmful to the planet.

So, here’s clearing all your confusion about the environmental impact and other properities of engineered wood floors once and for all. Read on!

What exactly is engineered wood?

Engineered wood, also called ‘manmade or composite wood’ happens to be a versatile alternative to solid hardwood. It is made from several layers of wood known as ply that the makers reform using pressure, glue, and heat. Every layer goes in a different direction and that makes it highly stable and has better qualities than solid hardwood.

It is easy to confuse engineered hardwood with laminate flooring. Engineered hardwood has a top layer of actual hardwood, but laminate flooring has a high-quality picture of wooden flooring laminated on HDF (high density fiberboard), not wood.

Top eight misconceptions about engineered hardwood

Myth 1: Engineered hardwood is worse for the planet

There are many variables that people have to take into consideration when trying to create or renovate an eco-friendly home. The most obvious factor is the enviornmental impact.

Some people shy away from using engineered hardwood, because they have heard that it is not good for the planet. This is not at all true!

In fact, you can get more engineered hardwood from a tree than traditional lumber. This means that it is actually better for the environment than traditional wood.

Myth 2: Engineered hardwood and solid hardwood do not look the same

There are only a few minor differences between the looks of these two flooring options. In fact, the differences are mostly negligible and unimportant. The tools and technology used in engineered hardwood have managed to reach a point where most people would not even be able to tell the difference between the actual product and engineered hardwood.

Myth 3: Engineered hardwood is not durable enough

Durability is a very important factor for eco-friendly homeowners. In addition to worrying about the obvious economical issues of replacing a floor, it would also take its toll on the environment to need to replace it more than you need.

Fortunately, this is another reason that engineered floors are better for the planet. Despite the common misconceptions and myths, engineered hardwood floors are very long-lasting and durable. After all, the surface layer is still solid, strong hardwood. Manufacturers are pretty confident about the durability of engineered hardwood. So, expect warranties of twenty years and more.

Myth 4: Engineered hardwood cannot be refinished

This is one of the biggest myths about engineered wood flooring. Most of the engineered hardwood floors can easily be refinished several times. Remember that the number of times you refinish it actually depends on how thick the veneer is. It is important to keep this in mind because when you sand excessively, you can wear away the entire layer of hardwood on the floor. 

Myth 5: Installing of engineered hardwood floors is difficult

As engineered hardwood is prefinished and has an interlocking design, installations are easy breezy. Needing hours to fit, sand, and stain the floors can now be a thing of the past for you.

Myth 6: Engineered hardwood is not as economical as solid hardwood

Sustainability is obviously important, but it isn’t your only concern. You have to also make it a priority to use materials that are economical. The good news is that engineered hardwood meets that standard.

As the planks are just partially made of hardwood, each piece of an engineered hardwood tends to be more affordable than solid hardwood. In other words, you get to choose a more opulent and striking wood piece for a lot cheaper rate than solid wood. Certain types of solid wood might be out of your budget, making you settle for something that doesn’t appeal to your senses. In such cases, opt for engineered hardwood – save your money and open up more options.

Myth 7: Engineered hardwood has limited uses

You cannot go for a solid hardwood floor below grade, but that is not the case with engineered hardwood. It means that you will be able to install quality engineered hardwood in such places that you would not usually see hardwood. Such places might include kitchens, basements, and so on. In fact, it can also be carefully installed on concrete subfloors.

Myth 8: Engineered hardwood is not quite stable

The cross-lamination factor makes engineered hardwood more stable compared to solid hardwood. Also, it is a good alternative to solid hardwood when you expect to see the area to have major changes in relative humidity. Keep in mind that in terms of solid hardwood, the width of the material is directly proportional to how much it contracts and expands from summer to winter.

Engineered hardwood is a great eco-friendly flooring material

Eco-friendly homeowners have to use the right flooring materials. Engineered hardwood is eco-friendly and has many other benefits.

So, the fact is that if you have chosen engineered hardwood, you have made a wise decision. Now that all the myths and misconceptions have been cleared out, it must be amply clear to you that engineered hardwood floors are a good choice.

Daniel Gray is a writer at Siege Media and

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