Engineered wood flooring is becoming far more popular because of the many benefits, including stability, durability and the option to refinish the flooring colour later. Here are some of the latest trends surrounding this modern flooring option.
Some of the current trends that we note in timber flooring is a cyclical resurgence in chevron and herringbone styled floors. Long plank herringbone is the current trend setter as the modern interpretation of these parquet styles and features in a variety of new projects in both commercial and residential spaces.
We’ve especially seen an increase in the use of engineered flooring over the past five to seven years, with approximately 90 per cent of our projects now specifying engineered flooring. With New Zealand’s colder winters, underfloor heating is more commonly used, which requires an engineered product.
It’s the best of both worlds – you still get the look and feel of solid oak with the added benefit of the plywood backing. Colour wise, there’s a discernible decrease in grey shades, whereas neutrals and ‘nude’ look timbers are increasingly sought after.
Benefits of Engineered Flooring
We recognise that often clients have a preference toward solid wood flooring. However, engineered flooring offers several strong selling points. It is more sustainable and has greater stability, which allows for its use over underfloor heating. It is also less likely to be adversely affected by New Zealand’s ever-changing weather and humid climate.
Popular Flooring FInishes
Recently there has been a big shift towards oil and hard-wax finishes, which offer a very organic look and texture due to the oil penetrating and protecting the timber. We’re happy to see this transition, as most oils and hard waxes on the market are either low VOC or VOC free, compared to solvent-based products like polyurethanes, which have strong odours and aren’t as health conscious.
How Can You Be Sure Your Engineered Flooring Product is Sustainable and Healthy?
When looking for an engineered product, people should check that the product they choose is certified free of radiation, solvents and formaldehyde. Another thing to ensure is that the timber is sourced sustainably – an easy way to make sure your product is sustainable is checking if it has an FSC certificate.
New Zealanders are very aware of risks to their health and are educated around any allergies and toxins in products. They are also highly interested in reducing their impact on the environment, so we are seeing a rise in greener product choices that are safe in terms of exposure to children, pets and people with low tolerances to chemicals.
Engineered Flooring Tips
Firstly, since timber flooring is a breathing product it needs to be maintained correctly, so it’s important to be realistic about how much maintenance you are willing to do. Just like other natural products, such as leather, engineered flooring needs due care and attention.
Polyurethane and hard-wax oil finishes require a similar amount of care. Opting for an oil finish will give you a beautiful floor but does need regular cleaning to keep it looking its best. Damp mopping on a fortnightly basis with the appropriate cleaner is usually all it takes.
Secondly, consider what grade of timber you want. There are three main grades: the first is a prime grade, which is a clean board with minimal knots that features the natural grains of the timber. The second is feature or natural grade, which has a good mix of prime grade boards as well as some knotty rustic boards. Lastly, rustic or antique grades have a lot of character, and usually feature a lot of knots to create a very natural and organic timber look.
If you’d like to know more about beautiful engineered wood flooring, contact your timber flooring specialists.
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