Engineered Vs Wood Flooring

Hi all
Anyone looked at wood vs engineered wood? Girlie at the office brought some flooring that she intends having, that appears to be oak-right-through with standard tongue and groove jointing. I was wondering how this is likely to fare - the sample was already showing signs of cupping with minor cracks at the ends. Yes I know, real wood will show non-uniform characteristics etc etc. The top of this looked good, but the general structure of the wood beneath looked less so - cost for this is 20 /sq m.
Does anyone have experience of the wearability etc of this real wood compared to the engineered stuff with (say) a 6-7mm wood layer bonded to laminate style base? The click-lock version of the engineered stuff is nearer 30 / sq m in B&Q. As it's only for a small hallway, the price is less an issue - it's quality/durability/longevity that we are looking for.
TIA
Phil
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I'm not that impressed with the durability of the Kahrs engineered beech that we put in a few years ago. It comes finished, but if I had it to do again I'd varnish over it because the joins are obviously not sealed and it's quite sensitive to water. I also reckon that the overall strength (resistance to dings, etc) must be reduced by the fact that the backing is glued up from softwood.
On the other hand it's easy to lay and no problems with warping, cracking ...
LEo
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We've recently moved into a house which I strongly suspect had engineered wood floor in from new (15 years old), also a beech finish. The matching house opposite (in an estate with hardly two houses alike) has the exact same floor. I agree with Leo, the joins would have benefited from varnishing and it is very susceptible to water, in fact its nowhere near as hard wearing as I'd like or expected.
It looks pretty good after 15 years, and now we've learnt we're not making it any worse, it looks to be have been professionally fitted and they've made a very neat jobs of the edgings in particular.
I've recently decorated an upstairs bedroom which will become our toddlers room, I used fairly cheap B&Q laminate as it'll probably get trashed in a few short years but I was very impressed with some of the floorings that B&Q are now doing, some of the real wood stuff looked high quality and there was a big selection (B&Q Warehouse Nottingham). The cheap laminate looked much better when laid than some much more expensive stuff I used to floor a living room a couple of houses ago. I wouldn't use Floors2Go or whatever they're called again - useless.
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Mike Buckley
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On Tue, 22 Sep 2009 12:22:57 +0100, TheScullster wrote:

Ours were apparently done about ten years ago - but it seems that the quality/quantity of the coating then used was a bit variable; I can see myself needing to sand and re-coat in a few years' time - thankfully our neighbour owns a hardwood flooring company, so I've got equipment and expertise on-tap :-)
Our floors (all 16" x 1-1/2" strips, where most HW floors use a lot wider) have picked up a few dings and marks here and there, but I think that just adds character anyway (and contrary to what some people say, we've not had any issues with dog claws causing damage).
With a good 1/4" down to the tongue, it'll stand years of sanding before it ever "wears out", too.
cheers
Jules
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TheScullster wrote:

No complaints about the solid oak from B&Q. Over the last 2-3 years we have laid two floors with it, one a glued floating floor over concrete and the other nailed to existing T&G. Not one board had the cupping or cracking that you describe, and both floors are still flat and wearing well.
I also used some spare boards to floor the tiny lobby behind the front door and make a well for the doormat. Some of those are showing some minor scratching from grit trodden in, but that's only to be expected.
--
Ian White

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Our 1960's living room has a Hard Maple engineered wood floor, which is fantastic!
The supplier brand is Tembec (www.tembec.co.uk). It is still readily available.
It comes in various widths and is not difficult to put down but you do need a "proper" nailing tool to do a good job. Also worth acquiring a decent belt sander.
Regarding refinishing floors the biggest single mistake I ever made is using Ronseal Diamond Hard varnish. absolute rubbish. If you want to varnish stick to old fashioned solvent based formulations like Ronseal "Solvent Borne". Excellent (but smelly) stuff.
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I have engineered floors in 3 rooms, much better than solid wood .... as long as you get 7mm veneer on face will take as many re-sands as solid wood (tongue is the limiting factor). It's more dimensionally stable (I have underfloor heating so this was important)
They can use good face veneers and keep cost down by the backing layers.
If you wanted sheet material, you would for strength & stability use ply .... that is exactly what engineered floor gives you. I used BOEN .... which is the dogs spheroids in this stuff. Make sure you use correct underlay to suit your floor ... I used 3mm closed cell.
I would not use thin veneer click fit flooring.... if you want that use laminate.
BTW ... I'm not anti-laminate, I used that in 4 bedrooms, landing & playroom ... but again get the right quality, there is a big variation.
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