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Making Engineered Wood Flooring

5037 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  DMIHOMECENTER
I have a dinning room that I would love to install hardwood flooring, but I have a concrete floor and live in a humid climate (Houston). I wanted your thoughts on possibly making some engineered wood flooring.

I want to take 1/2" ply and laminate 1/4" or 1/8" solid wood to it. Cut the planks and put a T&G on it. I know I can buy it from a flooring store, but that's not how I roll.
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I'm now unemployed. But, the guy I used to work for got involved with a neighbor that started doing exotic engineered flooring.

I will have to think about this and get back to you.

Basically I saw all the problems he encountered. I hope I can remember what he went through. Most of the problems he ran into were about moisture, bowing, glue, etc. In other words, gluing veneers to plywood isn't the problem. Getting it to stay flat can be. As is end matching (depending on how particular you are.)
A little more info would help. What width/length are you looking for. Do you have any specific species of wood in mind. How many square feet is your dining room. And welcome to the forum.
The dinning room is 120 sf. I have not decided on the type of wood yet. I was think of a 4" x 24" board. I figured I would resaw the hardwood and rip the plywood. Then laminate the two together and cut a T&G giving an final width of 3 1/2". I believe that 1/8" should work. Isn't the hardwood on engineered wood flooring at most 1/8"?
Make a clamping jig, you will need a lot of compression to make sure you get a good bond between the two. Unless you have a lot of clamps I would make a jig to hold Either (4" x 8') or (8" x 4'). Be prepared for a lot of gluing and I would invest in a T&G router bit, but certainly not necessary. Everything else on your end looks good.

I am certainly no pro but this is what I would do. You should do a little more research and some trial runs prior to investing a lot of time and money into it.. Just because this has worked for me in no way will it mean it will work for you.
Although you probably can make something that looks like engineered flooring in a home shop, it's very unlikely that you'll make anything that matches the durability, consistency, and finish quality of the "store bought" stuff.

They use adhesives, tools, and finishes that you probably can't even buy.
"Engineered" flooring is mostly 3/8", 1/2", 5/8" and 3/4". All can nail down, some can glue OR nail, and some can even "float" like laminate.

First, each of the plies' grain alternates direction each layer. This goes a very long way in making these floors stay flat and are not prone to "cupping" as traditional solid floors are. Expansion and contraction is greatly lessoned versus traditional solid floor, so cracking open in the winter and closing in the summer is eliminated or greatly decreased.

The number of plies depends generally (of course) on the overall thickness, but it can vary within each thickness. Sometimes the top ply (what we call the "wear surface" is a bit thicker so that there is the possibility of refinishing the floor at least once down the road.

I see this is a nearly year-old thread, but wonder if you ever did this ?

My experience / take on engineered flooring (we sell and install):

Fit and finish is superior to raw or finished solid tongue-in-groove flooring. It is available flat, with micro-bevel, bevel, hand-scraped, etc. Wood species = many, including exotics.

Finally, the finished top often has many (usually 6-8) very thin "perfect factory-applied" layers of urethane that has aluminum oxide suspended in the material. This clear mineral additive adds great strength and durability to the finish (up to ten times that of urethane alone). In oak hardness or better, you can let a fat lady in high heels clog or river dance on it without making divots. Well, maybe not river dance. lol

You may not roll that way, but I doubt that anyone could come even remotely close to duplicating even an average engineered floor product without incurring prohibitively great expense.
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