What is an engineered Floor?

Engineered timber flooring is composed of two or more layers of wood in the form of a plank. The top layer (lamella) is the wood that is visible when the flooring is installed, and is adhered to the core (or substrate) which provides the stability.

What is the difference between an engineered floor and a laminate, vinyl or veneer floor?

Laminate, vinyl and veneer floors are often confused with engineered wood floors—laminate uses an image of wood on its surface, while vinyl flooring is plastic formed to look like wood.  Veneer floors use a thin layer of wood with a core that could be one of many different composite wood products (most commonly, high density fibreboard (HDF)).

Is engineered flooring a floating floor?

This is the most common question we get asked. Engineered flooring is not classified as a "floating floor". In fact, "floating" is simply an installation method. Recycled Timber Innovations' products can however be installed via floating, gluing or nailing down methods.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How are engineered floor boards made?

Recycled Timber Innovations' multi-ply 14mm product has 9 cross sectional layers of hardwood ply with a 3mm + or - 0.5mm timber wear layer. Our multi-ply 19mm product has 12 cross sectional layers of hardwood ply with a 3mm + or - 0.5mm timber wear layer. In both the 14 and 19mm products the top hardwood timber lamella is glued and pressed to the top surface of the plywood using a high strength adhesive.

Are all engineered floor boards the same?

No, engineered boards vary in a number of ways between manufacturers. Some can be manufactured using a pine ply core or consist of a block wood core. Recycled Timber Innovations uses the incredibly strong and stable European Birch plywood base.  Another variation of engineered boards is the thickness of the lamella or wear layer. Some can have a very thin wear layer making them only suitable for re-coating. Recycled Timber Innovations multi-ply engineered flooring has a wear layer of 3mm, giving you a floor that can last many years and be re-sanded several times.

What is the advantage of raw engineered flooring?

By laying a raw engineered floor, you have the flexibility of a wide range of finishes to choose from. Ranging from water based and solvent based polyurethanes to oils, waxes and stains. You can also choose from a range of gloss levels. Another advantage of a raw floor is once it is sanded you will have a seamless flat floor without beveled edges and lipping. 

What are the advantages of Pre-finished engineered flooring?

By laying a pre-finished engineered floor, you reduce the need to sand and coat onsite, thus speeding up the project. The elimination of sanding and coating onsite also tends to produce a cleaner site due to the fact no sanding machines are used and the coating is generally free of the contaminates that can occur on a site finished floor, as it is done in a controlled environment in the factory. The cost of installing a pre-finished floor can also be slightly less expensive as it eliminates the extra labour charges incurred for the flooring to be site finished.

What is the advantage of Engineered Flooring vs solid T&G Flooring?

Engineered timber holds many advantages over the traditional solid T&G flooring. Firstly, Recycled Timber Innovations multi-ply engineered flooring only requires a 1/4 of the timber that solid flooring requires, therefore conserving our worlds forests. Engineered flooring can also be installed very quickly, many flooring installers report that they are 20-40% more productive when using our multi-ply product over solid T&G flooring. Engineered flooring, when finished, will give the same appearance and will generally have just as much wear layer as a solid T&G floor.  Due to the cross laminations of the engineered flooring substrate, the stability of the engineered product is much better then its solid counterpart. 

What species and sizes are available in multi-ply engineered flooring?

Recycled Timber Innovations' multi-ply product comes in both raw and pre-finished in a variety of widths as follows;

Multi-ply 14/3mm x 600-3000mm (Random Lengths) Range:

  • 80-85mm

  • 100 mm

  • 120mm

  • 130mm

Multi-ply 19/3mm x 600-3000mm (Random Lengths) Range:

  • 130mm

  • 160-180mm

Species available: Tasmanian Oak, Baltic Pine, French Oak, American Oak, Spotted Gum, Blackbutt, Sydney Blue Gum, Mixed Reds, Red Ironbark, Grey Ironbark, Tallowood, Turpentine, Messmate, Silver Top Ash, Chestnut and Red Gum.

Can Engineered Flooring be used over joists or battens?

Recycled Timber Innovations multi-ply engineered 19mm range can be used over joists or battens with maximum of 400mm Centres. Our 19mm is an end matched structural floor. If the underside of the flooring is to be exposed to the environment, a suitable sealer will need to be applied for protection. Recycled Timber Innovations multi-ply 14mm engineered flooring is not suitable for installation over joists or battens. 

What surfaces can I install Engineered Flooring on?

Recycled Timber Innovations multi-ply engineered flooring is designed so that it may be installed as a 'floating' system or as a stick down system. It can be installed on any clean, dry, level surface that is free of voids (3mm over 3m). As a stick down system it must be free of curing compounds, paint, loose materials, oil, wax, grease and sealers. It may also be fixed over all plywood, chipboard, fibre cement sheeting and concrete to be installed in accordance with residential footings and slabs AS2870-1996 and concrete is to be no greater than 5.5% moisture content or 65% relative humidity. If the moisture content exceeds these recommendations, a suitable moisture barrier system must be used. 

Can engineered flooring be used over a heated concrete slab?

Recycled Timber Innovation does not warrant installations over heated sub-floors due to the many uncertainty's involved.  However, our product has been successfully installed on numerous occasions by persons experienced with such installation methods and if carefully installed and well monitored after installation, with sensible running of the heating system then yes, it may be use over a heated concrete slab. It is recommended that the sub floor be heated to its normal operating level for 14 days to remove excessive moisture, then turned off for 2 days before installation to ensure the heating has no adverse effect on adhesive or timber, and then gradually increase the Under Floor Heating (UFH) to normal expected temperature. The heating should be increased in stages from a low level to the desired room temperature over a period of about 10 days, incrementing by no more then 2°C each day and then maintained for a further two weeks.  If the floor has been sanded and coated recommendations vary with this, with some coating manufactures indicating that it should be carried out about 3 days after the heating was turned back on, while others indicate the heating should be turned off and the floor sanded two days after the floor has cooled. It will be up to the sanding professional to be aware of what the manufacturers recommendations are for the product used.  The heating operating panel is to be fixed at a maximum of 27°C for the lifetime of the floor, this will need to be strictly adhered to. Engineered flooring installed over slab heating can still be expected to shrink however the amount will depend on the in-service room temperature and relative humidity. With a heated concrete slab the optimum relative humidity range is between 45%-60% year round with room temperatures of about 18°C to 24°C.

Should engineered flooring be acclimatised before installation?

Yes and No. It is imperative that the flooring installer, takes a moisture reading of the engineered flooring to ascertain suitability for the given installation site. The flooring should not be any more than  1-2% different than the normal EMC (Equilibrium Moisture Content) level for that given area. If the EMC is expected to be 10% and the flooring is 10% then no acclimatisation is required. However if the EMC is expected to be 13% and the the moisture contenct of the timber is 10% then it must be allowed to accimatise. This is most effectively done by being racked out or stacked in the room of intended installation with in-service conditions being applied. Opening cartons and leaving in the garage is not appropriate in-service acclimatisation, neither is leaving the timber inside the cartons in the room it is to be installed. 

In most circumstances little or NO acclimatisation is required.

Is the timber available in different grades and what are the differences between each grade?

Recycled Timber Innovations produce our products in two grades; Premium and Rustic.

Premium (Standard and Better)-

This is our highest grade and can contain a very subtly amount of natural occurring features. This grade of flooring once installed presents a uniform, natural look. As timber is a natural product, this grade of timber flooring will contain some degree of feature such as pin holes, gum vein, surface checking, knots, sapwood, natural occurring stains, black specks, burls and hob nails. The premium appearance of this grade is ideal for the most discerning eye.

Rustic (Standard and Feature)-

This grade is carefully selected to include the most natural and interesting features to enhance the natural appearance of your timber floor. This grade may contain screw holes, nail holes, saw cuts, large knots, gum vein, pin holes, surface checking, splits, cracks, man made features and other natural occurring features that are filled during manufacturing to lessen the amount of work required onsite. Rustic grade presents a timber floor to you the way mother nature intended with very little done to adjust this natural featured grade appearance.

What colour and species should I choose?

Recycled Timber Innovations do not sell our products as 'colours' but as 'species'. This is due to timber being a natural product and within each carton there will be a variety of natural colours pertaining to the certain species and in some cases a mixture of species. The colour variation present in these species is what makes each floor unique, so it is expected to have colour variation between cartons and across the entire floor. When it comes to recycled timber, you should expect colour variation amongst a species and a mixture of species at times due to it being reclaimed and often similar looking species will be mixed together.