When clients come to visit our private PurezaWood showroom, they often bring along samples from other luxury engineered hardwood brands. While we work with many contractors, builders, and designers, many buyers don’t yet know some specific details to look for. So we always appreciate the chance to share information about what makes a quality engineered hardwood product.
How do these (so-called) luxury brands stack up?
Recently, a new client brought us this sample on the left:
It’s a sample of wide plank French White Oak with a colored oil finish. This sample comes from a major “luxury” brand of engineered hardwood flooring, a luxury brand whose hardwood you’ll find in commercial projects and penthouses across major U.S. cities.
You can’t argue that theirs is a relatively quality piece of engineered hardwood. Especially, for example, in comparison to some other “engineered hardwood” businesses like this.
Here’s what to look for in your wide plank engineered hardwood hardwood floor quest.
The stain or finish should cover the plank consistently. It should go beyond the actual upward-facing surface. The finish should not look “drippy” or uneven in color.
The edges of the plank should appear smooth and clean. While the sample above also uses high-quality layers of plywood in its engineering, it has been sloppily cut. The ends look sort of like particle board. We cut our hardwood with top-of-the-line Homag machines, which create a perfect and consistent quality of product. There will be no issues in fitting PurezaWood in the floor or during installation; it’ll be seamless, as it should be.
Wear layer is critical. Don’t feel embarrassed about using a tape measure when you’re scouting brands for your new floor. If you’ve already made up your mind about wide plank engineered hardwood floors, then you owe it to yourself to invest just that little bit more in a thicker wear layer. This is the “surface” layer of your floor, the European White Oak or American Walnut (or otherwise) that you’ll see when you walk into your home. The thicker this is, the more times it can be refinished, and the more stable the overall result! We talk more about wear layer over here.
Engineered hardwood is so much more than what meets the eye.
You might even say that it’s mostly about what’s under the surface. Not that we’re knocking the beauty of some wide plank European White Oak or a good bevel or wirebrush floor. But engineered hardwood was first designed as a replacement for “solid hardwood,” which — as you can see — just doesn’t hold up to the natural wear and tear of your life.
What are your design plans for 2018? Have your eye on some new hardwood?
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