​When you think of pre-finished engineered wood flooring one would never guess it actually got its start in the 1950s. Back then, “factory finished flooring “was a 3 ply, laminated, wax finished parquet that didn’t have but a couple color and size options. Throughout the next several decades laminated “factory finished flooring” went through many design changes, and so did the manufacturing process and equipment used to make these floors.  During the 1990’s when Pergo® and other laminate floor coverings became popular, the wood flooring industry adopted the term “engineered” for what was previously known as “laminated” floors.

Today, the wood flooring industry is growing and the factory finished engineered products are leading the way.  Factory finished engineered floors ( pre-finished engineered floors ) are far more durable than they were thirty and fifty years ago, and most manufacturers even offer warranties of up to 25 years. Here are a few benefits to consider when comparing a pre-finished engineered wood floor to a site finished solid wood floor.

While the installation process for a pre-finished engineered floor is not necessarily easier than the installation process of a site finished solid wood floor, it is definitely a time saver!  Most pre-finished engineered wood floors can be installed in 1 to 2 days, and once installed you do not have to wait on the site finishing process to be completed before enjoying your new floors. Pre-finished engineered wood floors can also be installed in some below grade situations since it is more resistant to moisture than a solid wood floor.

Pre-finished engineered wood floors can be installed a number of ways.  They can be nailed or stapled down into an existing or new plywood subfloor, they can be glued down to an existing concrete subfloor, or they can be installed as a floating floor.

Like solid wood flooring, cleaning and maintenance is simple and very much the same. To extend the longevity of your pre-finished engineered wood floor a pad and recoat can be done every 7-10 years, depending on use of the floor.  This is a dust free process, that does not remove any of the existing wear layer or wood from the floor, but should be done before you start to see wear patterns.   

There are some higher end pre-finished engineered wood floors that can be sanded and refinished, thus making your initial investment all the more rewarding. A recommended 3 mil wear layer is ideal if you want to make sure that your pre-finished engineered wood floor can be sanded and refinished at a later time.  However, we do not recommend that any engineered wood floor with less than a 4 mil wear layer be refinished more than once in its lifetime.  The integrity of the engineered wood floor wear layer could be compromised during additional sanding and could leave you with a blotchy floor that has a grainy appearance and texture.   

Time, convenience, and resistance to moisture, are often the primary attributes to a homeowner when choosing pre-finished engineered wood over solid wood flooring.  One thing is for sure, no matter which option you choose hardwood flooring will add value and timeless beauty to your home’s overall worth.    

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