Latest survey was conducted with the objective of ascertaining which features are most important to prospective customers when they are actively in the process of buying a new house. Realtors were at first surprised upon discovering that hardwood floors did not even make in the list. When survey respondents were asked further, it turned out to be that they did not consider wood flooring an option because it was something that they basically assumed would be in any house they would seriously consider buying.
Although laminate, vinyl and veneer are lumped into the engineered flooring group, they are actually not true wood products. Laminate is a composite of resin and fiberboard with an image of wood pasted on the top, vinyl is plastic designed to look as if it is wood and veneer has a paper-thin layer of wood attached to something like fiberboard. Engineered wood flooring is real wood, cut down into thin layers and pressed together forming a plank.
One of the main reasons that engineered wood has become very popular for flooring is because it has less of a tendency to warp than solid wood does whenever there are changes in humidity and temperature. The reason is that the layers are lined up with the grains running in several directions, making the end result exceptionally stable. As a result, engineered hardwood flooring can even be installed in places like basements that were off limits for wood in the past.
Aside from increased in sturdiness, engineered wood can be made of smaller, faster growing trees compared to what is necessary for solid wood planks. This means that instead of further using up our old growth forests, we can make use of younger trees, which can then be instantly replaced. The environmental effects of doing the harvesting of wood flooring an alternative resource are significant and considerable.
There will always be people who prefer solid wood over an engineered product. For many people it can be a romantic concept that wants to cling to the past. What most people do not appreciate, is that engineered wood has been around for a lot longer than they think. Over 5,000 years ago, resourceful Egyptian constructors had come up with a method for attaching a high quality layer of wood over some lesser attractive variety. Hardwood was scarce and expensive to come by in that part of the world, so necessity was the motivator for the creation of the whole industry.