Can You Install Engineered Hardwood Over Existing Hardwood: Expert Insights for a Flawless Flooring Transformation

Can You Install Engineered Hardwood Over Existing Hardwood?

Yes, it is possible to install engineered hardwood over existing hardwood, as long as the existing floors have a wear layer of at least 3mm and have been installed for several years.

It is important to verify the wear layer thickness with the flooring manufacturer to prevent any damage to the engineered wood planks.

Additionally, refinishing should only be necessary after years of wear, and it is recommended to consult the flooring manufacturer for the correct refinishing process.

Most engineered hardwood is pre-finished, but adding a seal can offer extra protection against water leaks and spills.

Always refer to the flooring manufacturer’s guidelines for the recommended sealing process for your specific engineered hardwood flooring.

Key Points:

  • Engineered hardwood can be installed over existing hardwood if the existing floors have a wear layer of at least 3mm and have been installed for several years.
  • Verify the wear layer thickness with the flooring manufacturer to avoid damage to the engineered wood planks.
  • Refinishing should only be necessary after years of wear, consult the flooring manufacturer for the correct refinishing process.
  • Adding a seal to pre-finished engineered hardwood can provide extra protection against water leaks and spills.
  • Follow the flooring manufacturer’s guidelines for the recommended sealing process for your specific engineered hardwood flooring.

Did You Know?

1. In most cases, you can install engineered hardwood over existing hardwood floors, as long as the subfloor is in good condition and level.

2. One advantage of installing engineered hardwood over existing hardwood is that it saves both time and money by eliminating the need to remove the old flooring.

3. However, it is important to note that the thickness of the existing hardwood floor can impact the height of the room, so adjustments may need to be made to door frames and transitions to accommodate the new flooring.

4. Engineered hardwood is constructed with a top layer of hardwood veneer bonded to multiple layers of plywood or high-density fiberboard (HDF). This layering technique gives the engineered hardwood superior stability and resistance to moisture, making it suitable for installations over existing hardwood floors.

5. If you decide to install engineered hardwood over existing hardwood, it is recommended to use a floating installation method rather than nailing or gluing the planks down. Floating floors allow for more flexibility and adaptability during installation and in case of future changes or repairs.

Recommended Conditions For Installing Engineered Hardwood Over Existing Hardwood

Installing engineered hardwood over existing hardwood can be an excellent way to give your flooring a fresh and updated look. However, it is crucial to consider certain conditions before proceeding with this installation method.

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Firstly, it is recommended that the existing hardwood floors have a wear layer of at least 3mm. The wear layer refers to the topmost layer of the engineered hardwood, which is made of real wood veneer. Having a sufficiently thick wear layer ensures durability and longevity for the new flooring.

Additionally, the existing hardwood should have been installed for several years to ensure stability. This is important as it helps to minimize the risk of any potential issues such as cupping or warping, which can affect the performance of the engineered hardwood.

Refinishing Considerations For Engineered Hardwood Floors

One of the advantages of engineered hardwood is that it typically only requires refinishing after several years of wear. This is due to the protective layer provided by the wear layer, which helps to resist scratches, dents, and other signs of wear. However, it is essential to follow the recommended refinishing process provided by the flooring manufacturer.

Refinishing engineered hardwood involves sanding down the topmost layer to remove scratches and imperfections, and then applying a new finish to restore its beauty. It is crucial to be cautious during the refinishing process, as using too aggressive sanding techniques can cause damage to the real wood veneer.

Potential Risks Of Thin Real Wood Veneer In Engineered Hardwood

When installing engineered hardwood over existing hardwood, it is crucial to pay attention to the thickness of the real wood veneer. If the wear layer is less than 3mm, the veneer could be too thin, potentially leading to damage to the engineered wood planks.

Thin veneer can be more vulnerable to wear and tear, making it more prone to scratches, dents, and other forms of damage. It is important to consider the level of foot traffic in the area where the new flooring will be installed and choose a wear layer thickness that is appropriate for those conditions.

  • Ensure the real wood veneer has a minimum wear layer thickness of 3mm or more.
  • Consider the level of foot traffic in the area where the flooring will be installed.
  • Choose a wear layer thickness that is suitable for the expected conditions.
  • Avoid thin veneers that are more prone to damage and wear.
  • Scratches, dents, and other forms of damage can be minimized by selecting a thicker wear layer.

Consult Flooring Manufacturer For Refinishing Instructions

To ensure you are following the correct refinishing process for your specific engineered hardwood flooring, it is always best to consult the flooring manufacturer. Manufacturers often provide detailed guidelines and instructions on how to properly refinish their engineered hardwood products.

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By following the recommendations of the flooring manufacturer, you can ensure that your refinishing process is carried out smoothly and without any potential risks or issues. Their expertise and knowledge of their products will ensure that you achieve the best possible results and maximize the longevity of your engineered hardwood floors.

  • Consult the flooring manufacturer for specific refinishing instructions.
  • Follow the recommended guidelines to avoid potential risks or issues.
  • Utilize the manufacturer’s expertise to achieve the best results.
  • Maximize the longevity of your engineered hardwood floors.

Pre-Finished Vs. Sealed Engineered Hardwood – Which Is Best?

Most engineered hardwood comes pre-finished, already coated with a protective layer at the factory. This not only enhances its appearance but also provides additional protection against wear and tear.

However, applying a sealant to pre-finished engineered hardwood can offer extra protection, especially against water leaks and spills. A sealed floor creates a barrier, preventing moisture from penetrating the wood and significantly extending the floor’s lifespan.

Ultimately, the decision to choose pre-finished engineered hardwood or apply a sealant depends on personal preferences and requirements. It is advisable to consult the flooring manufacturer for their recommended sealing process. This ensures achieving the desired level of protection without affecting the appearance or performance of the flooring.

  • Adding a sealant to pre-finished engineered hardwood can provide extra protection against water leaks and spills.
  • Sealing the floor creates a barrier that prevents moisture from penetrating the wood, extending its lifespan.
  • Consult the flooring manufacturer’s recommended sealing process for desired protection without affecting appearance/performance.

Importance Of Proper Sealing For Engineered Hardwood Floors

Proper sealing is crucial for maintaining the integrity and longevity of your engineered hardwood floors. Sealing creates a barrier that protects the wood from moisture, spills, and other potential sources of damage. It also enhances durability and resistance to wear and tear.

By sealing your engineered hardwood floors, you are ensuring that they remain in top-notch condition for years to come. This is particularly important in areas that are exposed to high levels of foot traffic or areas prone to moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

To ensure the best possible outcome, it is highly recommended to follow the sealing process recommended by the flooring manufacturer. Manufacturers often provide specific instructions regarding the type of sealant to use, the application method, and the required frequency of reapplication.

In conclusion, installing engineered hardwood over existing hardwood can be a great way to transform your flooring. However, it is important to consider the recommended conditions, such as the wear layer thickness and the stability of the existing hardwood. Additionally, proper refinishing techniques, consideration of the real wood veneer thickness, and consulting the flooring manufacturer are vital steps to take. Finally, the choice between pre-finished and sealed engineered hardwood should be based on your preferences and the desired level of protection. Regardless of the chosen method, proper sealing is crucial to maintain the longevity and integrity of your engineered hardwood floors.

  • Sealing creates a barrier that protects the wood from moisture, spills, and other potential sources of damage.
  • Follow the sealing process recommended by the flooring manufacturer for the best outcome.
  • Consider wear layer thickness and stability of existing hardwood when installing engineered hardwood over existing hardwood.
  • Proper sealing is crucial for the longevity and integrity of engineered hardwood floors.
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Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of flooring can you put over hardwood?

Vinyl plank flooring is another excellent option to put over hardwood. It offers durability, versatility, and a wide range of styles to choose from. Vinyl plank flooring is designed to mimic the look of real wood while providing better moisture resistance and ease of maintenance. You can easily install it over hardwood floors using its click-lock system, avoiding the need for extensive preparation or refinishing. Whether you choose laminate or vinyl plank, both options offer a practical and attractive solution to refresh your hardwood floors effortlessly.

Should I install hardwood or engineered hardwood?

When deciding between hardwood and engineered hardwood, it is important to consider the specific environmental factors and installation requirements. While hardwood offers a timeless beauty and authenticity, engineered hardwood may be a more suitable option in humid locations due to its plywood construction, which provides increased stability and resistance to warping. Additionally, if installation is required on a concrete subfloor, engineered hardwood presents a better choice, ensuring a seamless and durable outcome.

Do you need to put anything under engineered wood flooring?

While engineered wood flooring is generally more resistant to moisture than solid hardwood, it is still susceptible to damage caused by spills, standing water, or high levels of humidity. To provide additional protection against such moisture issues, it is recommended to use an underlay, particularly one that includes a built-in vapor barrier. This underlay acts as an extra layer of defense and helps safeguard the engineered wood flooring against potential water damage and other related problems.

Does engineered hardwood last longer than hardwood?

While solid hardwood can potentially last up to 100 years due to its ability to be sanded and refinished multiple times, engineered hardwood, with its thinner veneer, can only be refinished once or twice, resulting in a lifespan that typically ranges between 20 and 40 years. Therefore, in terms of longevity, solid hardwood generally outlasts engineered hardwood.

References: 1, 2, 3, 4

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