SHOPPING GUIDE FOR ENGINEERED WOOD FLOOR
The cost of low-end engineered hardwood is $6 to $10 per square foot, and some homeowners pay as low as $12 to $23 per square. Some exotic wood can cost up to $12 to $23 per square foot. And the labor cost in the Bay Area is around $2.5 to $8.
When comparing the hardwood floor and engineered wood floor, the main difference is the structure of the wood. As discussed, hardwood is timbers manufactured into planks, while engineered wood is composed of multiple layers of hardwood and plywood. Different layers make different types of wood. Engineered hardwood helps to prevent the wood from bending or warping when they are exposed to moist air.
The finishes of engineered hardwood are usually the most popular types, such as maple, hickory, and oak. You can also find matte, semi-gloss, and gloss finishes. Depending on the amount of the engineered wood you plan to use, you may get the maximum flexibility in terms of pricing and the place to install it.
Engineered wood can look like hardwood at a lower price, and you can afford exotic wood such as tigerwood and Brazilian maple easily. They are more resistant to scratches and indentations, more stable than hardwood, insensitive to moisture and temperature, and make them a reasonable option for the basement.
Many types of engineered wood can be installed directly on the concrete floor, which cannot be achieved by hardwood. Some are flat enough to be installed on the old hardwood floor to save the labor and cost to peel of the old flooring. Click flooring is easy to install by yourself, and you may save more installation costs from it.
Like hardwood, engineered wood can be scratched and dented. In the long term, they are not as durable as hardwood because it can only be repaired one to three times, and the wear can reach plywood layers afterward.
Where to Install It
Engineered wood works perfectly in a similar environment as hard wood floors. Besides, it is suitable for the basement and closed porches. Consumer Reports claim that it is the second choice after the hard wood floor.
Grades and Prices of Engineered Wood Floor
There are three grades and prices of engineered hardwood:
From top to bottom:
Finish: breathable paint; surface layer: natural hardwood; middle layer: HDF, pine or poplar; bottom layer: pine, poplar or Okoume; lock: patent lock.
Low grade – It is the most basic engineered wood, made of three layers and a layer of finish. The material costs from $3 to $5 per square foot, depending on the complexity of the project and the layout, the installation cost can vary from $3 to $9 per square foot.
1. Highly wear resistant finish;
2. Super realistic hardwood layer;
3. High density core board, made of wood fiber;
4. Balancing backing layer.
Middle grade – Middle grade engineered hardwood floors usually have five core layers with a thicker finish layer. The installation cost is the same, but the material itself costs more, $5 to $10 per square foot.
From top to bottom:
Surface layer; veneer (melamine paper); coving layer; bottom layer; thin wood layer (willow eucalyptus core); wood core layer (willow eucalyptus core).
High grade – top engineered hardwood can consist of up to 7 layers or more, with a significant thicker top layer and made of exotic wood. The cost is usually $8 to $14 per square foot, and the installation cost stays the same.
Homeowners do not have to worry about installing engineered hardwood in the basement because the engineered wood has better heat-resistance and moist-resistant features. They can also be installed at places traditional hardwood is not installed, such as kitchen, basement, or humid summer house.