Thick Wear Layer
Engineered hardwood flooring is made from a combination of thin layers of plywood and a top layer of a desired species. The lower layers are cross ply to limit the amount of swelling and contracting. The top layer, or wear layer, is made from the type of flooring that you want to be seen. The wear layer comes in different thicknesses and determines the lifespan of the planks.
At The Discount Flooring Company, we offer both prefinished and unfinished domestic and exotic engineered hardwood flooring. There are many benefits of purchasing engineered hardwood flooring and there are many options available. Engineered flooring is cheaper than solid flooring and is more resistant to moisture. It is cheaper because the layers beneath the wear layer are made from less expensive wood. Wear layers come in different thicknesses, and the thicker it is, the longer the lifespan of that plank. You can purchase thicknesses as small as 0.6mm up to 5mm. Thinner wear layers cannot be sanded and refinished, causing them to have a shorter lifespan. Here is a list of expected lifespans by thickness:
1mm Layer- Cannot be sanded, only recoated. Lifespan is approximately 15 to 25 years
2mm Layer- Can be sanded and refinished 1 to 2 times. Lifespan is approximately 30 to 40 years
3mm Layer- Can be sanded and refinished 2 to 3 times. Lifespan is approximately 40 to 50 years
4mm Layer- Can be sanded and refinished 3 to 4 times. Lifespan is approximately 50 to 80 years
On average, you will need to sand and refinish your engineered hardwood floor every 15 to 20 years. This process consists of sanding a small portion of the wear layer off to eliminate any scratches or bumps. Then a finish is added to protect the natural sheen of the flooring. Depending on how well the floor is maintained, you may have to do this process earlier or may be able to wait longer. Most of the better engineered floors have at least a 2mm wear layer and the higher end flooring has a 3 or 4 mm thick wear layer.