February 6, 2023

8 Problems You Can Encounter by Installing Engineered Hardwood Floors

Fixing wooden parquet damaged by moisture or water

Engineered hardwood floors are one of the rising flooring options for many US homes. These hardwood flooring options offer homeowners several benefits, from sustainability to design. Due to its numerous perks, many buyers are now opting to install them instead of the traditional solid hardwood planks. Engineered hardwood is more durable, sustainable, and long-lasting. But it doesn’t mean they’re never vulnerable. Remodelers can still face some problems when owning them as floorboards. Here are the eight common issues you can encounter.

1.   Moisture Vulnerability

In general, all hardwood floors are weak to moisture and humidity. Engineered hardwood planks are no exception. They hold more durability than other wood floorings because of their infused materials, but they’re still vulnerable to water.

Contrary to what most people think, higher moisture resistance doesn’t mean waterproof. When exposed to high moisture levels and for a long time, engineered hardwood floors can still warp and cup. Choosing this hardwood flooring type for rooms like the basement and the kitchen is fine. But homeowners still need to take precautions and preventive measures like rugs and routine cleaning.

2.   Limited Refinishes and Finishing Choices

One factor that makes hardwood floors adaptable is the finishing choices you can apply to them. While there are hundreds of finishing choices and varieties for solid hardwood floors, the options for engineered hardwood are quite limited.

In addition, engineered hardwood floorings are also challenging to refinish. The process starts with sanding and staining the surface of the floorboards. Unlike solid wood, engineered planks have a thin veneer on top, and numerous refinishes can destroy the floor’s top layer.

You can sand and refinish solid hardwood floors as many times as you prefer, but doing them to engineered hardwood planks will shorten their lifespan and destroy their appearance. Besides, doing the process more than twice can also damage their knots and textures.

3.   They Can Have Weak Cores

Many low-quality hardwood flooring planks have weak cores. The reason behind this is their origin. Instead of tough, industry-standard raw materials, they come from fragile or low-quality wood pieces. Engineered hardwood planks with soft centers are easy to dent. They also emit a hollow sound whenever you walk over them.

Remember that floorboards with weak cores sink in and surrender to the pressure from heavy foot traffic in a short period. Besides low-quality wood pieces, some planks also have finer materials that will affect their durability and longevity.

4.   More Prone to Dents and Scratches

Homes with active lifestyles or households with young children or pets come with additional heavy foot traffic. Engineered hardwood floors are more durable but won’t hold up longer than usual due to daily foot activity.

Unlike solid hardwood, engineered hardwood has limited refinishing chances. Due to this, you can’t repair most dents and scratches on your floors. When you expose them to more wear and tear, the planks can get severe damage that will become irreparable. In addition, their color and texture also diminish.

5.   Off-Gas Chemical Production

Some types of low-grade engineered hardwood flooring produce off-gas chemicals inside your home. These fumes often come from binding adhesives, and certain glues have volatile organic compounds or VOCs in them. Their emissions have unhealthy toxins that linger and affect indoor air quality.

Most of the time, off-gas chemicals are minor and temporary issues. But low-quality engineered hardwood can emit high amounts of VOCs that will cause respiratory problems for kids, adults, and pets. Homeowners can easily avoid this issue by getting an expert opinion from professional hardwood installers and shops.

6.   Floor Squeakiness

All hardwood floors create squeaking sounds over time. The noise comes from loosened floorboards that make wider gaps between planks. When this happens, the boards collide as they shift.

Persistent squeaky floors are annoying but inevitable flooring issues. Depending on the quality of your engineered hardwood floorings, you can encounter them in a shorter or longer time. High-grade engineered planks take a while before they loosen and create noise.

7.   Cold Underfoot

Hardwood floorings can be cold and chilly depending on the season, especially in winter. Without an underlayment between your engineered hardwood planks and subfloor, they can become uncomfortable to walk on. 

To properly enjoy your engineered hardwood floors, putting insulation is essential. They trap the heat and provide even underfoot temperature every day. Underlayment also acts as another layer of protection from moisture damage.

8.   Fading Colors and Chemical Degradation

Engineered hardwood floorings offer homes with unique and beautiful textures. These qualities make them an excellent design addition to any home. These wooden floors have a thin layer of actual hardwood on the surface glued to plywood to become a plank. Due to their makeup, prolonged exposure to sunlight can immediately fade their colors. It then minimizes their look and patterns.

In addition, they can be choosy with the cleaning products to maintain them. Generic wood floor cleaners have harsh chemicals that can eat the hardwood the more you apply them.

Looking for the Best Hardwood Floor Repair Services in Austin, TX

Engineered hardwood floorings are one of the trending options in 2023. Unlike solid hardwood, they’re more durable, eco-friendly, and cost-effective. While they provide numerous benefits to homeowners on a budget, you can still encounter issues when owning one. Buying high-grade engineered planks in legitimate hardwood specialty stores is a big help.

Get high-quality planks with the help of professional hardwood flooring services like Kelly Hardwood Floors today!