Friday, 20 December 2019

What Is Engineered Wood Flooring Made Of?

Among the most frequent questions we're asked at Floor Sanding North London is"what is engineered wood floors manufactured from?" . In reality, engineered wood flooring is arguably one of the most misunderstood floor products in the marketplace nowadays and we think this is a real shame. With a few really significant benefits over solid hardwood, it's a flooring option that is well worthy of consideration, however is frequently confused with the likes of laminate flooring, which for us is heartbreaking! In this guide we want to help you get up close and personal with engineered wood flooring so you can begin to love it in precisely the exact same manner as we can!

The fundamental construction of engineered timber flooring

Engineered wood flooring is made up of anything between 3 and 12 layers of ply. These layers of ply are cross layered, then glued and pressed together to make a really strong bond. It is this bonded core board that produces engineered timber flooring so quite different from solid wood flooring.

Once the center board has been cut into floor planks, the tongue and groove are made. In effect, the more layers of ply a board has, generally speaking the tougher it will be. For instance, a 3 ply board will have a single core plank, a base layer and a real wood top coating or lamella. The problem with many 3-ply engineered hardwood flooring solutions is the core plank, where the tongue and groove fit together could become brittle, so generally speaking, if your budget permits, you need to pick a multi-layer board.

How can it be created?

As previously mentioned, the center plank of engineered timber floors consists of bonding layers and layers of design collectively. Subsequently, the upper layer is inserted and it is that coating that actually makes the result look so great. There are two unique techniques to acquire the upper layer of wood for engineered timber flooring. The first is known as slicing or sawing and another is known as rotary cutting.

A rotary cut veneer was created by efficiently cutting a thin coating from all of the way across the tree back to make a veneer'sheet'. After the veneers are cut from the tree, then they are then secured on to the peak of the center board to present its complete and exceptionally good looks. Even though a sliced or sawn veneer provides a more natural appearance to the timber, if it is a dramatic grain result you're searching for, then you may be best to select a rotary cut.

Why is it so special?

The thing that makes engineered wood floors so unique is the strength of its center board. As you can imagine, anything that is composed of a blend of different layers of ply which are bonded together with a solid adhesive will be stronger than just one piece of timber of the identical thickness. This is important since it affects the equilibrium of this ground.

This means that the floor's ability to stay consistent even when conditions change. Imagine a situation where temperature and moisture levels are varying, a situation that is particularly common from the likes of baths and kitchens. In such circumstances, solid wood expands and contracts significantly but engineered timber flooring is a lot less affected.

Why is this significant? In effect, excessive contraction and expansion can play havoc with floors, producing unsightly and draughty gaps as well as significantly increasing the risk of cupping and, or bowing. As a result of the way engineered timber flooring is made, the center board stays stable, in all but very intense problems.

What do different thicknesses mean?

In the same way as solid wood flooring, engineered hardwood flooring is made in various thicknesses. Nevertheless, there are effectively two elements to the thickness of an engineered wood flooring plank; the general board thickness and the upper coating or lamella thickness.

So, when you see a figure like 18/5 or 14/3, this usually means that the boards are 18mm and 14mm thick respectively with corresponding high layers of 5mm and 3mm. When you are picking the depth of your board, you have to be careful to pick the best alternative for your project. Generally speaking, a plank of more than 14mm thick is not advocated over under floor heating and a board of less than 18mm thick is not acceptable for structural projects. All of that said, when it comes to exact technical details, you're best to call on the advice of an expert each time.

What about species, finishes and grades?

Regardless of what species, finish or grade you want, you should be able to track it down in engineered timber flooring, the same way you can in solid. This signifies is that engineered wood flooring is far from any sort of compromise -- it actually is win:win!

Friday, 14 December 2018

Differences and how to spot them.

Differences matter. We have a lot of calls from customers looking to fit into an present flooring, most commonly when they've eliminated a hearth or dividing wall. Not only do we need to find the right sized block (and believe me there are lots of sizes in the reclaimed parquet world when items were cut from Imperial sizes -- unlike the uniform metric world we seem to inhabit now ) but we also will need to work out precisely what the wood kind is.

How can we know which is which?

Frequently the block is a light color but quite grubby, so the grain is difficult to see. However once you look at the face of the block you can occasionally scrape the debris off and watch the grain. Or better still if you can sand a little back to view the surface. When it's pale it's frequently a European timber, like Beech, Pine or Pitch Pine, Maple or sometimes, Oak. There are some tropical hardwoods but which are pale, Agba being just one.

Pitch Pine or Columbian Pine (also known as Douglas Fir)

Primarily, for Pitch pine and Columbian Pine -- see just how noticeable the grain is? Pitch Pine has dark and resinous lines combined with the pale honey colour you would expect from walnut, and the lines are typically significantly thicker than walnut. It is a much harder-wearing block and'bruises' or dents less readily than walnut.

Second how heavy is it? Trouble is if you don't know your Pines, which is hard to compare. Both pines have'open' pores however but normally Pitch Pine has more challenging timber between the resinous lines. See the photographs below for an illustration.

At times the only way to tell is to look at a bigger place to get an overall sense of the amount of dark contrasting lines you'll be able to see as each block differs.

Maple or Beech differences?

Another confusion is Maple or Beech. When you start looking the differences between beech and the pines are all marked. However on first viewing between beech and walnut you will find similarities.

The colour of beech is pinkish light honey along with the grain is flecked, despite the fact that there are additional grain lines to distract you, look for the background flecking. Maple is a light almost warm ash blonde having a shimmer, and a more diverse grain. However, without experience you'll be none the wiser. The fantastic news is that the timber hardness is your giveaway -- if you press your fingernail into Beech wood you can barely make a dent, whereas you'll easily leave a nail mark in the heftier Maple.

Lastly, Oak. English Oak is unmistakeable. When you look closely and when you manage it the features are extremely specific. A wood, with a lovely smell and color. Occasionally you see that the medullary rays throughout the timber like little silvery streaks. That is a complete confirmation that you've got oak. You can see that illustrated from the panel below:

Thursday, 23 August 2018


As the saying goes, prevention is obviously much better than cure, and this expression is as true as ever when it comes to taking care of your wooden flooring.

Taking care of wooden flooring does require you to invest some time and effort, although this can save you time, effort and money later on.

One of the great things about most types of hardwood floors is that, should its look begin to deteriorate due to stains and scratches, you can get it re- coated. Re- sanding and re-finishing wooden flooring will restore its beauty- providing you with a fresh slate to begin again.

After restoring the appearance of your floors, you then need to create a promise to yourself you won't let its condition deteriorate , and you'll adhere to the necessary preventative measures.

These preventative steps are rather simple to put in place, and comprise removing footwear at the door (especially high heeled shoes), cleaning up spills the minute they occur and putting felt pads under furniture to prevent it from producing marks.

There's lots you can do about stains and scratches in your own flooring, and lots you can do to prevent them, therefore for more advice seek out an expert.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Simple Rules for Keeping Your Hardwood Floors Looking Their Best

Your hardwood flooring are an important feature of your home. Hardwood floors are exceptionally easy to take care of, as long as you follow a few straightforward rules!

There is a reason that each article you ever read about keeping your hardwood floors consistently mentions something about removing shoes: it really works. There are many things which may be monitored in on the bottoms of peoples' shoes. Just wiping them on a mat, no matter how comprehensive someone is, simply is not enough. If you really wish to protect your flooring and keep them looking their best, then institute a "no shoes" policy!

Dust at Least Once Weekly

Among the most significant thing that you can do for your hardwood floors is to keep the dust from them. You would not think so, but dust and other tiny little particles of the or that can cause little scratches from the ground. Plus, dust and pet hair take away from the hardwood's classic look. You simply need to swipe a dust mop over the hardwood to clean this up. Spraying with a dusting
chemical might help to accelerate this process. If you are dusting and discover that not what's coming up, you may need to vacuum to grab the particulates that escaped the dust mop.

Mop when Necessary

Excessive moisture can really damage your hardwood floors, but sometimes wet mopping is needed. We do not mean soaking wet, just get your mop damp with a hardwood floor cleaning solution and wash it. It is extremely important that you use the ideal cleaning solution for your hardwood floors. If you need guidance, your flooring installer will be delighted to steer you in the right direction. Using the right cleaner for your own hardwood makes a major difference. Harsh chemicals can damage the wood's natural beauty. The cleaner can make your floors shine. When you are finished, you can turn on a fan to hasten the drying procedure.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Amazing Christmas Hardwood Floors – advice to keep in mind !

What do you suggest TO protect YOUR brand new hardwood floors?

The Christmas season is an exciting time for family, but preparing the home for celebration can seem like a daunting task from the outset. Oftentimes, it's difficult to know where to begin, or where to go next once you've started. 

Luckily, if you take proper precautions to protect your hardwood floors from Christmas tree needles and spillage, you won’t have to worry about refinishing your floors during the new year.


It is recommended that you purchase a tree stand mat (also called floor protectors), or use a folded towel or blanket, to create a soft base for the tree stand to relax on. This will save you from the possibility of scratches to your hardwood floors.
Pro tip: We suggest shaking as many of the needles out as you can before bringing the tree into your home. Followed by cleaning the area that your tree will be placed in.


Just as rugs are hardwood floor’s best friend, a tree skirt is a Christmas trees’ best friend. You can get fancy with this, but whether you use a tablecloth, plastic sheet, store-bought Christmas tree disposal kit, or something else just make sure you have a tree skirt under the tree to help catch falling needles, as well as prevent water or tree sap from seeping onto your floors.


Falling needles will not damage your floors, but if
you or someone else steps on them and begins to drag them around, then there’s always a possibility of scratches.
Make sure you are sweeping any needles off your floor whenever you have the chance. We recommend using a broom over a vacuum to make sure your vacuum does not become damaged.
Pro tip: Have your guests leave their shoes at the door.
It takes a little bit of upkeep maintenance to house a beautiful Christmas tree whether you have hardwood floors or carpet, but it’s all worth it in the end.
We wanted to personally wish all of our readers and subscribers a wonderful Holiday season! Have fun, be safe, and stay smart. Happy Holidays from the team at North London Floor Sanding Company!