What Is The Top / Wear Layer Of Engineered Hardwood And Why Is It Important?

When looking at engineered hardwood flooring, you may have noted the importance the top layer of thickness receives. This is not by accident. The top layer’s thickness determines

The Layers of Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood flooring plank has several layers. The inner core is made of plywood. The thinner top layer is constructed of hardwood. The top layer is called the top or “wear layer”. It gives engineered hardwood the beautiful aesthetics it has.

The thickness of the wear layer is important because if it isn’t very thick, it won’t stand up to being sanded and refinished. Sanding and refinishing are often necessary steps to take during the course of time when the flooring gets dingy or damaged.

A light sanding takes scrapes, dents, and discoloration off. A light coat of finish is generally applied afterwards. While most homeowners who have engineered hardwood don’t sand and refinish as often as solid wood flooring owners do, it’s nice to know the option is there if you are going to keep your flooring for a long time.

What is a Good Thickness for the Top Layer of Engineered Hardwood?

The ideal thickness of engineered hardwood flooring is anywhere from ½ inches to 5/8”. The thicker, the better since it plays a role not only in determining how times it can be sanded and refinished but also protects the floor from wear and tear and prolongs its life.

Benefits of a Thicker Top Layer

The wear and tear layer of engineered hardwood flooring will determine its price, typically. Some products have paper-thin top layers while others are quite thick. It is worth paying more for a thicker layer if you can.

The top layer is comprised of solid wood. For that reason, it is not unusual for planks to be lacking a generous top layer for it is more expensive than the inner core material. The type of engineered wood is important to note as well as some kinds of woods are more costly than others and the harder varieties last longer. If you get a soft wood, it is more likely to require refinishing.

You’ll not only want to be assured there’s enough wear and tear layer to be able to sand and refinish in case it becomes necessary, but you’ll want to be certain what’s left of the top layer is enough to continue to provide protection to the flooring and ideally, to sand and refinish again if the need arises.

Educated Selecting

When selecting engineered hardwood flooring, be sure to find out not only the thickness of the plank, but also the specific thickness of the top layer. Some planks are quite thick but much of it is the inner core rather than the actual top layer.
By being educated on hardwood flooring, you are better equipped to make wise decisions so you’ll end up with the floor of your dreams.

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