The Art of Engineered Wood FlooringBy Wendy Meltzer
Empowering Customers with In-Depth Knowledge
In the world of residential construction and renovation, competition is fierce and consumer choices are abundant. As a customer – whether you’re an interior designer, custom home builder, architect, or homeowner – you have a lot of options. At Unique Hardwood, we work hard to get your business. We want you to come back to us time and again when you need new flooring, so we strive to be the best possible partner to you in your quest for beautiful, durable flooring.
To this end, we are passionate about educating you about the art of engineered wood flooring and the intricate details and qualities of our beautiful product. We hope that this sense of transparency will cultivate trust and loyalty because you will have all the information you need to make the right decision for your project.
At the heart of our business philosophy is the strong conviction that the most powerful way to market our flooring products is by imparting knowledge directly to you, the consumers. We believe that a well-informed customer is not only more likely to make an astute purchasing decision but is also more likely to remain satisfied with their choice in the long run. We invest considerable time and effort in engaging consumers in meaningful conversations about the nuances that constitute an engineered floor – from the foundational plywood core to the best-in-class materials we use, to the outer veneer wear layer.
Understanding Engineered Flooring
An engineered floor, with its composite structure, offers a plethora of advantages over traditional solid wood flooring, including enhanced durability and stability. However, these benefits can often be overlooked if our customers lack a comprehensive understanding of the product’s construction.
At the core of the engineered floor lies its key differentiating factor – the layers. Typically, an engineered floor is composed of three primary layers, each serving a specific purpose to create a robust and reliable flooring solution.
- Wear Layer: The wear layer is the topmost layer of the engineered floor and is responsible for withstanding daily wear and tear. It is constructed using high-quality hardwood veneers, providing the floor with its attractive appearance and natural wood aesthetics. This layer is available in various wood species, finishes, and thicknesses, allowing customers to choose from a wide array of options to match their interior design preferences.
- Core Layer: Beneath the wear layer lies the core layer, which is the heart of the engineered floor’s strength and stability. The core layer is usually made of multiple layers of plywood or high-density fiberboard (HDF). These layers are stacked in a cross-grain configuration and bonded together using high-pressure adhesives. This unique construction technique is what imparts exceptional stability and resistance to moisture, temperature fluctuations, and warping, making it an ideal choice for areas with varying climate conditions.
- Backing Layer: The bottommost layer is the backing layer, also known as the stabilizing layer. It is responsible for balancing the tensions created by the top layers and the subfloor, thereby preventing the floor from buckling or cupping. The backing layer is typically made of another layer of plywood or HDF, ensuring the engineered floor maintains its shape and structure over time.
By recognizing the intricacies of each layer’s role within the engineered floor’s structure, consumers can better appreciate the flooring’s composition, its advantages and then begin to truly understand the structural and technical nature of the art of engineered wood flooring.
The Advantages of Engineered Wood Flooring
- Enhanced Durability: The combination of a tough wear layer and stable core layer provides superior resistance to scratches, dents, and other physical impacts, making engineered floors more durable and long-lasting than traditional solid wood flooring.
- Improved Stability: Engineered floors are less prone to expansion and contraction due to changes in temperature and humidity, thanks to the cross-grain configuration of the core layer. This stability reduces the risk of gaps forming between the floorboards and ensures a consistent, flat surface.
- Versatility: The engineered floor’s composite construction allows it to be installed in various areas, including basements and locations with radiant heating systems, where solid wood flooring may not be suitable due to moisture and temperature concerns.
- Eco-Friendly: Engineered floors use less hardwood compared to solid wood floors, making them a more sustainable choice for environmentally conscious consumers.
- Cost-Effective: While engineered floors may have a higher upfront cost than some traditional flooring options, their enhanced durability and longevity make them a prudent long-term investment, potentially saving money on replacements and maintenance.
Understanding The Different Finishes
One critical aspect we emphasize in these conversations is the divergence between hardwax oil finishes and urethane finishes. This distinction, while seemingly subtle, bears substantial implications for the flooring’s longevity, maintenance schedule, and aesthetics. We prioritize educating our customers about the benefits and drawbacks of each finish type, helping them make an informed decision that aligns with their preferences and expectations.
Our inclination towards hardwax oil finishes is rooted in their natural composition. Unlike urethane finishes, which contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), hardwax oil finishes are crafted from 100% natural, organic materials. This not only aligns with the growing consumer demand for eco-friendly and sustainable products but also contributes to a healthier indoor environment. By uncovering the chemical composition of these finishes and their potential impact, we foster a sense of responsibility in our customers, allowing them to make choices that are both beneficial for their living spaces and the environment.
Why We Don’t Private Label
Unlike many of our competitors, we made a strategic decision to refrain from private labeling our products. We did not take this decision lightly as many of our competitors who private label are then able to set their own pricing – often way above market prices for the same product. We believe that the reputation of Legno Bastone is the most powerful marketing tool in our arsenal. It is a luxury brand that is associated with heritage, quality, and exclusivity. By ensuring that our products carry the Legno Bastone brand name openly, we signal a commitment to upholding these values. We trust that a discerning consumer base recognizes the authenticity of our approach and values products that stand on their own merits, rather than being concealed under a private label.
Large Format Showroom
A pivotal outcome of our dedication to consumer education is the transformation of our showroom visit into a learning experience. We know that it can be hard to decide based on small samples or panels, so we wet our showroom up like an art gallery. Instead of paintings, we showcase large format samples of all our products. When customers enter our showroom, they are not just met with displays of beautifully crafted flooring but also with the opportunity to expand their flooring knowledge in an accessible, non-threatening way. We believe that a purchase should be based on more than just aesthetics; it should be informed by a deep understanding of the product’s features and benefits. By the time our customers leave, they often depart not only with a product but also with newfound insights that empower them as informed consumers.
An Investment in Knowledge
So, what’s our approach to selling our luxury engineered wood flooring? Consumer education – it’s at the heart of everything we do – from our special events, website, and blog to our social media, trained sales professionals and showroom design. Everything is designed to help our customers gain an in-depth understanding of our engineered wood flooring.
Education and The Art of Engineered Wood Flooring
We recognize that informed customers are more likely to make confident choices and remain satisfied with their purchases. By engaging in conversations about the intricacies of engineered flooring, delineating the differences between finish types, and upholding the transparency of our brand, we have created an environment where customers are not just buyers but partners in making informed decisions. As the saying goes, knowledge is power, and in the world of flooring products, this power translates into enriched customer experiences and enduring brand loyalty.