Engineered wood floor is a great flooring solution, offering a huge range of colours and styles, but choosing the right thickness of your engineered wood floor is a tiny bit more complex than selecting the right colour and style. But before going into detail about deciding on which thickness of engineered wood floor you should plump for, it’s probably worth recapping on what exactly we mean when we say engineered wood flooring.
There’s a huge range of types of engineered wood flooring on the market. Essentially, engineered wood floor boards are made up of layers of different types of wood, topped by hardwood. They’re not made of solid wood but are typically be made up of a combination of plywood, softwood and hardwood. Laid as a floating floor, you buy them pre-finished and normally tongue and grooved to make fitting easier.
Although the difference between the thickest and the thinnest engineered wood flooring boards might seem marginal to a non-flooring expert, making the right choice can make a big difference to the end result. When it comes to deciding on the right thickness of your engineered wood floor, making the right decision depends on various things, for example:
Þ Is the floor being fitted over under floor heating?
Þ Will the floor be fixed directly to the joists?
Þ Is the new floor being fitted to replace an old floor?
Þ Will the floor suffer heavy traffic?
An engineered wood floor, which is being fitted over under floor heating, is normally recommended to be a maximum of 15mm thick. The reason for this is that boards of this thickness will allow the heat to pass into the room more efficiently than a thicker board.
That said, if your engineered wood floor is to be fitted directly on to joists or battens, a minimum thickness of 18mm is recommended. What’s more, there are a couple of other precautions to bear in mind if fitting engineered wood flooring to joists. First, remember to make sure that the centre point of the first joist is not more than 450mm away from the centre point of the next joist. If it is, you’ll need to use noggins or braces to provide stability.
In many cases, the choice of thickness of your new floor can end up being determined by the thickness of your old floor. Opting for the same thickness means that you won’t need to change skirting board or door heights as a result of changing your floor, helping to reduce costs and overall inconvenience.
Finally, if your new wood flooring is being fitted in a room that’s going to suffer heavy traffic it’s essential to choose a board which is thick enough to allow you the option to sand and refinish the floor in the years to come if you have to.