(Article excerpts taken from the February/March issue of Hardwood Floors magazine)

Not so long ago, many still considered solid flooring the only “real” wood floor. Today, no one can deny the importance of engineered products in today’s wood flooring market, and the products come from every corner of the globe with every species, construction and finish imaginable. No wonder, then, that confusion about engineered wood flooring runs rampant. That’s why we’ve compiled a series of common questions about engineered flooring and asked some industry experts to give us their answers. How can I tell a good-quality engineered floor from a poor one?A: There are huge differences in quality in engineered wood flooring, and consumers don’t know how to compare apples to apples—there is more education needed during the sales process for engineered products than for solid flooring.The first thing is to look at the composition of the flooring: What is it made out of? Is it a low-grade three-ply softwood plywood or a high-quality plywood (such as marine-grade Baltic birch)? Lower-grade plywood has a greater chance for delamination, where the layers come apart.When I am installing an engineered wood floor, I don’t have to worry about moisture, right?A: The biggest misconception people have about engineered wood flooring is that the products are invincible. Many times the products are sold that way by uneducated sales professionals, and consumers believe it, which leads to inspections and unhappy customers down the road.When we look at stability as far as cupping or gapping, engineered flooring will outperform solid flooring, meaning you can use a wider-width product without seeing those dimensional changes as much. But that doesn’t mean we can just ignore moisture, especially relative humidity, when it comes to engineered wood flooring. If a solid wood floor experiences very dry conditions, it may show some wide gaps.How long do I need to acclimate my engineered hardwood flooring prior to installation?A: Unlike the directions for solid products, many manufacturers of engineered wood flooring recommend that the flooring stay in its packaging until you are ready to install it. At the time the packaging is opened and installation is ready to begin, the job site should be at normal living conditions. The parameters for “normal living conditions” vary by manufacturer.To view more Engineered Flooring Q&A related to CARB, balanced construction, and warranties, access the full article HERE.###Source: Hardwood Floors