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What Is Wear Layer, and Why Is It Important for Engineered Hardwood?

When it comes to engineered hardwood, there are many common misconceptions. People are either unaware of the benefits or simply hesitant to purchase engineered hardwood because of what they’ve heard, think by the name, or imagine because of the cost differences. They think that they’re buying a lesser quality hardwood, as if it were comparable to laminate flooring.

Make no mistake: laminate flooring is not even in the same ballpark as PurezaWood’s engineered hardwood. Laminate is not even made of wood; it’s designed to imitate the look and feel of real hardwood. Engineered hardwood is real. In fact, engineered hardwood — especially that so carefully crafted as our own — is far and away the superior product to other hardwood options. “Solid hardwood” is liable to cupping, warping, and other wear- and age-related problems. Read more about that here. Let’s talk a little about the importance of our engineered wear layer and why it’s so valuable for your new flooring.

What is wear layer?

Wear layer is that surface on the wood that can be re-sanded and refinished until it reaches the tongue and groove. What most people fail to realize is that a quality piece of engineered hardwood can be refinished as many times as solid hardwood. There is often an assumption that because solid hardwood is, well solid wood, it can be refinished or re-sanded all the way to the bottom.

However, that’s simply not true and in reality, PurezaWood’s engineered hardwood has as good of a wear layer as any quality solid hardwood. Conversely, laminate flooring has no wear layer, therefore making it a one and done style of hardwood. So if you didn’t happen to like the look of your flooring and choose laminate, you would need to purchase all new hardwood and reinstall new flooring.

wear layer

Why is wear layer important for engineered hardwood?

What makes PurezaWood’s wear layer even more impressive is that we have the ability to offer anywhere from 3mm-6mm. When comparing this type of wear layer with solid hardwood, that 6mm wear layer is the exact same for both types. So when it comes down to the notion that solid is better than engineered, PurezaWood argues the opposite.

Unlike solid hardwood, engineered flooring has the ability to be installed anywhere. An example of that is in areas like basements, where there is a concrete base, you can glue the engineered wood directly onto the surface. This isn’t possible with solid wood.

engineered hardwood flooring to the test

However, the main importance of wear layer is product longevity. Having a 6mm top layer means that you have a product that can be refinished up to 7 times. In theory, you basically have flooring that can be changed multiple times, giving you a new look each time. This keeps you from having to replace hardwood and also adds value to your property.

So when you’re deciding what type of hardwood flooring to buy and install, make sure you keep in mind the product’s wear layer. Without a quality manufacturer, like PurezaWood, you may be losing product value/life that could save you money and headaches down the road.

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