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How Long Does Engineered Hardwood Last: 5 Contributing Factors

how long does engineered hardwood last

Last Updated on July 21, 2023

Are you considering installing engineered hardwood floors but wondering how long they will last? Engineered hardwood flooring is a popular choice for homeowners due to its durability, cost-effectiveness, and versatility.

Generally, it can last at least 25 to 30 years with proper installation and maintenance. However, just like any other flooring material, its lifespan depends on several factors.

We will explore the factors that determine engineered wood floor’s longevity. You’ll also get advice on how to maintain your engineered hardwood floors.

So, if you want to know how long your engineered hardwood floors will last and how to maximize their lifespan, keep reading.

Factors That Determine the Longevity of Engineered Wood Floors

Factors That Determine the Longevity of Engineered Wood Floors

In terms of the longevity of your engineered wood floors, several factors come into play. The factors are listed below in a quick glance:

1. Material Quality

2. Veneer Thickness

3. Installation Quality

4. Maintenance Habits

5. Environmental Factors

Let’s take a look at the factors.

1. Material Quality

As with any flooring, the quality of the materials used in engineered hardwood greatly affects its lifespan, making it essential to invest in top-notch materials that can withstand daily wear and tear.

When it comes to engineered wood flooring, the top layer, or wear layer, is what determines the durability of the product.

This layer is made up of real wood and can range in thickness from 0.6mm to 6mm or more. A thicker wear layer will make the flooring more durable, as it can be sanded and refinished multiple times.

In addition to the wear layer, other materials used to construct engineered hardwood can affect its longevity. The core layer, for example, is typically made up of plywood or high-density fiberboard (HDF). Plywood is generally considered more durable than HDF and can provide better stability and resistance to moisture. The adhesive used to bond the layers together is also important, as a strong adhesive can ensure that the layers remain securely bonded over time.

2. Veneer Thickness

You’ll want to pay attention to the thickness of the veneer layer in your engineered wood flooring because it directly impacts how many times you can refinish it, keeping it looking like new for years to come. Here are three important things to keep in mind:

  • A thicker veneer layer means you can refinish your flooring multiple times, extending its lifespan by decades. The thickness of the veneer layer is measured in millimeters, and the thicker it is, the more times you can sand and refinish the surface.
  • The veneer layer’s thickness also affects your flooring’s visual appearance. A thicker veneer layer means that the wood grains will be more pronounced and visible, creating a more luxurious and natural look in your home.
  • It’s important to note that the thickness of the veneer layer is not the only factor determining the durability and longevity of your engineered wood flooring. The quality of the materials used, the construction of the plank, and the finish applied to the surface all affect how long your flooring will last. However, the thickness of the veneer layer is a crucial component to consider when selecting the right flooring for your home.

3. Installation Quality

Properly installed engineered wood floors are essential for maximizing their lifespan and avoiding issues like warping or buckling, so hiring experienced professionals and following manufacturer guidelines is important.

A quality installation begins with ensuring the subfloor is clean, level, and dry. If there are any issues with the subfloor, they should be addressed before installation begins.

During installation, it’s important to use the correct tools and techniques to prevent damage to the flooring. This includes using the recommended adhesive or underlayment, leaving proper expansion gaps, and following any specific instructions for the particular type of flooring being installed.

Additionally, proper acclimation of the flooring to the environment is necessary to prevent any future issues.

4. Maintenance Habits

To maximize the lifespan of your engineered wood floors, it’s important to establish regular cleaning and maintenance habits. This includes dry dust mopping or vacuuming at least once a week to remove dirt and debris.

Promptly clean up spills and stains using a damp cloth and mild cleaning solution recommended by the manufacturer. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that damage the floor’s protective coating.

5. Environmental Factors

Maintaining a stable indoor environment with consistent temperature and humidity levels is crucial for preserving the quality of your engineered wood flooring. Here are four key environmental factors that can affect the longevity of your flooring:

  • Temperature: Extreme temperature changes can cause the flooring to expand or contract, leading to gaps or buckling. Keep your indoor temperature consistent, ideally between 60-80°F, to avoid this issue.
  • Humidity: Fluctuations in humidity levels can also cause the flooring to expand or contract. Ideally, your indoor humidity should stay between 30-50%. Use a humidifier or dehumidifier to maintain this range.
  • Moisture: Excessive moisture can cause the flooring to warp or buckle, so it’s important to clean up spills and avoid excessive water use when cleaning. Use a damp mop and avoid soaking the floor.
  • Sunlight: Direct sunlight can cause your flooring to fade, so it’s best to keep blinds or curtains closed during peak sunlight hours. Consider using UV-blocking window film to protect your flooring if you have a sunny room.

How to Maintain Engineered Hardwood Flooring

How to Maintain Engineered Hardwood Flooring

To maintain your engineered hardwood flooring, it’s important to clean it regularly using a soft broom or vacuum with a hard floor setting. Here’s what you need:

1. Regular Cleaning

Keeping your engineered hardwood floors clean doesn’t have to be a chore. Simply use a soft-bristle broom, microfiber mop, or vacuum with a soft brush attachment to remove dirt and debris.

Regular cleaning not only keeps your floors looking great but also helps to extend their lifespan.

Here are some tips to make the cleaning process easier and more effective:

  • Use a microfiber mop to avoid scratching the surface of your floors.
  • Sweep or vacuum your floors regularly to prevent dirt and debris from accumulating.
  • Clean up spills immediately to prevent damage to the floor’s surface.

2. Avoid Excess Moisture

Ensure you’re not overdoing it with liquids or wet cleaning methods on your engineered hardwood floors, as excess moisture can cause damage and buckling over time. Engineered hardwood flooring is especially susceptible to moisture damage.

When water or liquid sits on the surface for too long, it can seep into the wood layers and cause warping or buckling, which can be costly to repair.

Always clean up spills immediately using a slightly damp cloth to avoid excess moisture. Never use a wet mop or saturate the floor with water, as it can cause irreversible damage.

Additionally, be mindful of the humidity levels in your home, as high humidity can also contribute to excess moisture in your flooring. By taking these precautions and avoiding excess moisture, you can help ensure that your engineered hardwood flooring lasts for many years to come.

3. Use Protective Pads

You’ll want to slap some felt or rubber pads on those furniture legs to prevent unsightly scratches and dents on your beautiful engineered wood floors. Trust us, those little pads can be a real MVP in protecting your investment.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • Protective pads can help distribute the weight of furniture evenly, reducing the risk of permanent dents on your floors.
  • They can also prevent furniture legs from scratching the surface of the floors, which can be a common issue when moving or rearranging furniture.
  • Using protective pads can also help reduce the amount of noise created when furniture is moved around on hardwood floors.
  • By investing in protective pads, you can avoid having to repair or replace your floors due to furniture-related damage constantly.

Using protective pads on furniture legs is an easy and effective way to maintain the appearance and longevity of engineered hardwood floors.

4. Prevent Scratches

To avoid scratches on your floors, try placing felt or rubber pads on the legs of your furniture to distribute weight evenly and prevent damage.

These pads act as a protective barrier between your furniture and the floor, ensuring that your hardwood stays pristine.

It’s important to note that not all furniture pads are created equal – invest in high-quality pads that are designed specifically for hardwood floors to prevent any potential damage.

Another way to prevent scratches is by avoiding dragging heavy furniture across the floor. Lift and carry heavy items instead of sliding them, as even small movements can cause scratches over time.

Additionally, consider using floor protectors under any frequently moved furniture, such as chairs or tables.

5. Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Using harsh chemicals on your engineered hardwood floors can cause irreversible damage to the finish. This can lead to unsightly scratches, scuffs, and dullness that can detract from the beauty of your floors.

To prevent this, it’s important to stick to mild, pH-neutral cleaning solutions that are recommended by the manufacturer.

When cleaning your floors, avoid using abrasive cleaners, bleach, ammonia, or any other harsh chemicals that can strip away the protective finish.

Instead, opt for gentle cleaning solutions that are specifically formulated for engineered hardwood floors. These solutions are designed to clean your floors without damaging the finish, and they will help your floors to last for many years to come.

Remember, prevention is key to maintaining the beauty and longevity of your engineered hardwood floors.

6. Clean Spills Promptly

If a spill occurs on your floors, don’t hesitate to take action. Just like a small flame can quickly turn into a raging fire, a simple spill can become a stubborn stain or damaging discoloration if left unattended.

It is important to clean spills promptly to prevent any lasting damage to your engineered hardwood floors. Follow these steps to ensure proper cleaning:

1Gently blot the spill with a clean, slightly damp cloth.
2Avoid using any harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could scratch or damage the surface.
3Dry the area thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth.
4If the spill has caused any discoloration or staining, consider using a specialized hardwood floor cleaner.
5Repeat the cleaning process as necessary until the spill is completely removed.

7. Protect From Sunlight

Shielding your engineered hardwood floors from direct sunlight is crucial to prevent fading and discoloration over time. The sun’s harmful UV rays can cause the flooring to lose its luster and vibrancy, making it look dull and worn out.

To protect your floors, use curtains, blinds, or UV-protective window films to shield them from the sun’s rays. It’s important to note that even if your flooring has a protective finish, prolonged exposure to sunlight can still cause damage.

Over time, the protective layer may wear off, leaving the wood exposed to UV rays and other environmental factors.

8. Refinish when Needed

Now that you know how important it is to protect your engineered hardwood flooring from sunlight, it’s time to consider another factor that can extend its lifespan.

Refinishing your flooring when signs of wear become noticeable can greatly prolong its durability. With a thick wear layer, your engineered hardwood flooring can be sanded and refinished by a professional flooring contractor.

Refinishing your flooring involves removing the top layer of the wood, which can smooth out any scratches or dents. The flooring is then sanded and a new finish is applied to restore its original beauty.

This process can be done multiple times throughout the life of your flooring, giving it a much longer lifespan than other types of flooring.

How often should you clean your engineered hardwood floors?

Typically, you should clean your engineered hardwood floors once a week for high-traffic areas and once a month for less-used spaces to ensure their longevity and maintain their beauty.

Think of your floors like a garden – just as you must tend to your plants regularly to see them thrive, you must care for your floors to keep them in top shape.

To help you keep your floors looking their best, here are four tips for cleaning your engineered hardwood floors:

  • Sweep or vacuum regularly to remove dirt and debris that can scratch the surface of your floors.
  • Use a damp mop with a gentle cleaning solution specifically designed for hardwood floors. Avoid using vinegar or other acidic cleaners, as they can damage the finish of your floors over time.
  • Wipe up spills and stains immediately to prevent them from setting into the wood and causing permanent damage.
  • Place rugs or mats in high traffic areas to protect your floors from excessive wear and tear.

Can you use steam mops on engineered hardwood flooring?

If you want to keep your beautiful engineered hardwood floors looking their best, you should avoid using steam mops, as they can cause damage to the finish.

The high temperature and moisture from steam mops can penetrate the seams and cause the planks to swell or warp. This could permanently damage the flooring, requiring costly repairs or replacement.

Instead, stick to dry cleaning methods using approved products and tools. You can use a vacuum with a hardwood floor attachment or a microfiber dust mop to remove dirt and debris.

For spills or stains, use a damp cloth and a hardwood floor cleaner recommended by the manufacturer. By taking these precautions, you can extend the lifespan of your engineered hardwood flooring and enjoy its beauty for years to come.

Enjoy Long-Term Beauty and Comfort with Proper Care of Your Engineered Hardwood Floors

Now that you know the factors determining the longevity of engineered hardwood flooring and how to maintain it, you can expect your floors to last for many years.

With proper care and maintenance, engineered hardwood can last up to 30 years or more. However, remember that your floors’ lifespan will depend on how well you take care of them.

To ensure the longevity of your engineered hardwood, it’s important to clean your floors regularly using a soft-bristled broom or vacuum cleaner.

Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning tools that can damage the surface of your floors. Additionally, you should avoid exposing your floors to excessive moisture, which can cause warping or buckling.

So, take good care of your floors; they’ll reward you with years of beauty and comfort.

How Long Does Engineered Hardwood Last: 5 Contributing Factors

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