The Construction Of Engineered Oak Flooring... Does It Matter?
Engineered oak flooring is seen as the more stable option when compared to solid oak flooring. This allows you to lay engineered oak in environments where solid oak flooring would simply not be suitable - such as over underfloor heating systems or concrete subfloors.
With so many different options available when purchasing engineered oak flooring it can be difficult to know what is best for you with the grading of the board, the type of finish and the lengths of board just some of the factors. Being a combination of plyboard and oak, the construction is one factor that remains constant with all engineered oak flooring, right?
Unfortunately this is wrong.
The construction of the board is probably the most important factor to consider when purchasing engineered oak flooring. As mentioned previously, engineered oak flooring is designed to be the more stable option. This stability is of course caused by the construction of the board. A poorly constructed board will be less stable than a well constructed board.
One point to consider with regards to the construction is the thickness of the solid oak wear layer. The thicker this wear layer is, the better. A thicker wear layer can be re-sanded numerous times, where as a thinner wear layer can only be sanded a few times. We recommend choosing a board with a good thick wear layer, around 6mm.
The next point is the amount of plyboard layers. The plyboard is what provides the stability for the engineered oak flooring. The more layers, the better. We recommend around 11 layers for a good quality engineered oak board. The quality of the ply should also be considered at this point. It is important that a high quality ply is used - such as Siberian birch ply. Poorer quality ply will again result in a less stable board - and as we found out in the image below a lesser quality board can literally be pulled apart by hand.
These two factors of course contribute to the overall thickness of the board. All of the engineered oak flooring we supply at Peak Oak has an overall thickness of 20mm (6mm solid oak, 14mm Siberian birch plyboard). It is worth noting that a thinner engineered board will mean a compromise on the thickness of both the wear layer and the ply as well as the overall stability of the board.