Engineered hardwood floors range in a wide array of widths from 3-7 inches wide and in thicknesses from 3/8″-3/4″ they also come in a wide variety of domestic and exotic hardwood species and some are even available in the popular hand scraped styles. Some brands of engineered flooring have a thin .6 mm wear layer that can only be re-coated and cannot be sanded and refinished new again once they get worn, they have an average lifespan of between 20-30 years depending on traffic. Other brands or styles can have a thicker 2-6 mm thick wear layer that can be completely sanded and refinished new again 1-5 times if they ever needed to be. These thicker wear layer engineered floors are usually more expensive to purchase upfront but can last 40-100 or more years before having to be replaced.
Engineered wood products are used in a variety of ways, often in applications similar to solid wood products. Engineered wood products may be preferred over solid wood in some applications due to certain comparative advantages:
Engineered wood is felt to offer structural advantages for home construction.
Because engineered wood is man-made, it can be designed to meet application-specific performance requirements.
Engineered wood products are versatile and available in a wide variety of thicknesses, sizes, grades, and exposure durability classifications, making the products ideal for use in unlimited construction, industrial and home project application.
Engineered wood products are designed and manufactured to maximize the natural strength and stiffness characteristics of wood. The products are very stable and some offer greater structural strength than typical wood building materials.
Glued laminated timber (glulam) has greater strength and stiffness than comparable dimensional lumber and, pound for pound, is stronger than steel.
Some engineered wood products offer more design options without sacrificing structural requirements.
Engineered wood panels are easy to work with using ordinary tools and basic skills. They can be cut, drilled, routed, jointed, glued, and fastened. Plywood can be bent to form curved surfaces without loss of strength. And large panel size speeds construction by reducing the number of pieces to be handled and installed.
Engineered wood products make more efficient use of wood. They can be made from small pieces of wood, wood that has defects or underutilized species.
Wooden trusses are competitive in many roof and floor applications, and their high strength-to-weight ratios permit long spans offering flexibility in floor layouts.
Sustainable design advocates recommend using engineered wood, which can be produced from relatively small trees, rather than large pieces of solid dimensional lumber, which requires cutting a large tree.
Some products may burn more quickly than solid lumber.
They require more primary energy for their manufacture than solid lumber.
The adhesives used in some products may be toxic. A concern with some resins is the release of formaldehyde in the finished product, often seen with urea-formaldehyde bonded products.
Cutting and otherwise working with some products can expose workers to toxic compounds.
Some engineered wood products, such as those specified for interior use, may be weaker and more prone to humidity-induced warping than equivalent solid woods. Most particle and fiber-based boards are not appropriate for outdoor use because they readily soak up water.