UK Flooring Direct is pleased to provide answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on a wide variety of our products. If your questions are not answered on these pages, or you simply wish to speak with a Customer Service Representative, our customers can contact us on local rate 0844 327 0000 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Does a solid wood floor look better than an engineered?
Not at all. The top hardwood layer is the same genuine hardwood you have in solid hardwood floors. The finished look of an engineered floor will look the same as a solid wood floor.
What is the thickness of the hardwood veneer?
The hardwood veneer, or top layer of hardwood on an engineered floor can typically be 0.6mm to 6mm in thickness. A quality hardwood veneer will provide many years of wear and will last as long as a solid wood floor which typically has a wear layer of 4mm to 8mm above the tongue and groove.
Can I refinish an engineered floor?
It depends upon the thickness of your hardwood layer but the fact is that 95 % of hardwood surfaces are never refinished. With the high quality finishes that are offered and the extensive process that refinishing a floor entails, damaged areas are often removed professionally. If sanding is desired, typically, the professional sanding procedure removes 0.5mm. The wear layer must never be taken below 0.5mm Thus if your floor has a 2mm layer you can sand the floor 2-3 times.
Can engineered floors be laid over a concrete floor?
Yes, an engineered floor is ideal for installing over a concrete base as long as the moisture content in the concrete is no higher than 4%. The preferred method is to install as a floating floor over a Combi underlay which has a built in damp proof membrane. You can also fully glue an engineered floor to the sub-floor. Only recommended adhesives should be used of this.
What does greater stability mean?
The instability of solid hardwood is usually moisture or heat related. Under adverse conditions, solid hardwood floors can warp, cup, swell or split apart. Engineered hardwood flooring overcomes these problems by constructing a multiple-ply plank which counteracts twisting and remains flat and intact. This makes engineered hardwood flooring a better choice for installation over radiant heat sources, over concrete whether it’s below grade or above, and in rainy climates.
Can an engineered floor be laid over underfloor heating?
Yes you can install an engineered floor over underfloor heating as long as you follow a few special requirements:
- The floor construction must have a heat distribution layer that provides a
very even temperature over the entire floor area, in order to avoid localised
excessively high temperatures.
- The whole floor area must be heated.
- It must be possible to control and limit the surface temperature with great accuracy.
- The surface temperature of the finished floor must never exceed 27°C at any point.
- A vapour barrier must be built into the floor construction, as close to the wood floor as possible. If the joists are thick or heavy, it is particularly important that the vapour barrier is close to the wood floor. The vapour barrier must never be underneath the joist structure.
- Ensure that there are no air gaps between the wood floor and the surface beneath, as this could cause the wood to dry out.
- The working temperature when laying should be at least 18°C. This applies to boards, sub-floor and the room air temperature. Relative humidity (RH) of the air must be less than 60% before, during and after laying the floor.
Please Note: The above points are basic rules of installing engineered flooring over underfloor heating. You should always check and follow the heating manufactures guide lines.
Do I need to leave an expansion gap with engineered floors?
Yes, as with all wood and laminate flooring you will need to leave an expansion gap. This applies for anywhere the floor meets a fixed object (wall, door ways, pipes, etc.) You will need to allow for 1.5mm for every linear metre in length and width ensuring a minimum of 15mm at all times. When installing engineered floors over large areas you should also have an expansion break every 12 metres for the length and 8 metres on the width.
This can be covered with expansion profiles. If you are fully gluing an engineered floor to the subfloor then you do not need to allow for expansion gaps over large areas, but you must still allow for the 15mm expansion gap where the floor meets a fixed object.
What is the best laying direction?
From a technical point of view, any direction is possible and you can install the planks lengthwise or widthwise. The choice is a personal and aesthetic one. You will obtain the most attractive effect if you lay the floor in the same direction as the main light source and in the same line as the most frequently used door entrance. However, if you have several doors and windows in the room you can choose the direction that facilitates the actual laying.
Can an engineered floor be installed in bathrooms or wet areas?
No, it is not recommended to install an engineered flooring in bathrooms or wets areas. Areas such as kitchens or toilets are fine as long as any spillages of water are cleaned up as soon as possible.
Can I have a rug over an engineered floor?
Yes you can have a rug over an engineered floor. You will need to use a breathable rug underlay (mesh or gird patterns are best). Wood goes through a natural aging process called patina. Bright sunlight can also accelerate this condition. Moving area rugs or other items that may cause this effect from time to time is recommended.