How Long do Engineered Hardwood Floors Last?

  • June 17, 2019

Engineered Flooring Life Cycle

When you perform a google search of “how long to engineered hardwood floors last”, you will get a large range.  The results say 20-100 years. Now why is this? Are there things you can do as a homeowner or builder to make sure your floors last for the 100 years instead of 20? Are there differences in quality? Can you resurface the floors once they are worn? We will answer all of these questions and more in this article.

Quality of Flooring

The first step will always be to look at the quality of the hardwood.  While there are reasons to choose between solid hardwood and engineered hardwood, most of what we talk about here will relate to engineered hardwood floors.

You want to take a look at the provided options to ensure you are getting high quality engineered hardwood. An engineered hardwood provider that is worth their salt will offer cores made from 9-11 layers of real plywood, NOT OSB or fiberboard. The veneer (top layer) should be no less than 3/16” inches thick. Some providers disagree, but this is a good general rule.  If they are pushing back and saying they have a “different process” be sure to take a look at the chemicals used and air quality regulations from the off-gassing you may experience with your floors.  Here in Denver, we really care about our quality of air, and our floors should hold this mentality as well.

What Factors into Lifecycle?

The list for factors can drone on and on, but we’ve made our best attempt to unify the most important contributing factors to the lifecycle of engineered hardwood flooring.

  • Core Construction
  • Veneer Construction
  • Thickness
  • Chemical Use
  • Maintenance
  • Location in Your Home
  • Traffic

The core construction is one of the most important factors in engineered hardwood flooring.  If the core of the planks is not of high quality, the product will be more susceptible to moisture damage, warping, expanding, denting, and more.  The construction of the veneer (top-layer) is extremely important as well, as this is what you and your guests will actually see. Cheap veneers can lead to more replacements and restorations, as well as poor general performance of flooring. The thickness of the planks and core construction run hand in hand. A product with more thickness, in most cases, means they core construction is of higher quality. Once you have around ten layers of engineering, you end up with a pretty thick piece by default. The chemicals used in the process are also a huge factor.  Cheap chemicals such as formaldehyde and other carcinogens are typically used on the lower price points and these gases can escape the flooring and enter your home, disrupting your air quality. The maintenance of your floors is pretty straightforward. Urban Design Floors is proud to offer a 3 year craftsmanship warranty on our products. Since high trafficked areas can wear much more quickly than those rarely walked on, keeping your floors in tip top shape can ensure they stay healthy for the entirety of their life cycle.

Installation and Longevity

Some information shows the method used to install engineered hardwood flooring can have a direct impact on the longevity of the product. Urban Design Floors constantly stays on top of the current trends of installation.  We always grow and change with the new ideas and technology to ensure we are giving you the best product imaginable, and it will last for decades. Whether you’re in the market for finished or unfinished hardwood, engineered, or custom flooring, our skilled installers will ensure the job is done right the first time. The type of installation is typically determined by the manufacturer of the product and incorrect installation can lead to voids in the warranty.  It is extremely important for you to have your hardwood floors installed by a professional.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring and the Environment

As noted above, poorly made engineered hardwood floors can have negative impacts on the environment. As the new wave of advocacy comes to the forefront, people are looking more and more at how products not only affect them on a personal level, but are considering ways the environment is impacted.  Engineered flooring allows producers to create nearly 4 times the finished product as a solid plank would provide.

Pay attention to the sales process and ask the important questions to ensure your product stays looking good for decades to come.  There are some companies out there trying to pawn off cheap products you won’t be pleased with in the end. Urban Design Floors uses the best products with the best installation techniques.  Give us a call to find out what we can do for your space today.