Choosing – Engineered or Installed

Hardwood flooring generally consists of layers of plywood onto which a ‘wear layer’ of solid hardwood is laid.

In most floors, this process of bonding the wear layer to the ply is done large-scale in a factory, then purchased by flooring companies to install on their sites relatively quickly and easily. This pre-assembled, engineered approach is cheaper to deliver and is the only option offered by most companies. There are some advantages beyond cost over installed floors, particularly where time is of the essence, but fitting pre-finished floors inevitably demands compromises in how the floor will fit into a space and limitations to the range of designs, dimensions, finishes and colours.

By contrast, Weldon’s installed flooring is assembled on-site, with two layers of birch plywood cross-bonded over an approved sub-floor before a 10mm wear layer of hardwood is laid on top. This approach delivers the greatest long-term stability and durability; it is Truly Bespoke because we tailor the floor entirely to the space and the client’s wishes. The same attention to detail that went into the design and manufacture of the floor is now brought to bear in the installation, everything from the spacing of border embellishments to the tapering of corners worked to the exact (often idiosyncratic) layout of the room, and adjusted to the inevitable variations thrown up on-site.

We believe that Weldon’s installed floors bring the most exquisite results, but well-made engineered floors can be superior to some freely-laid floors; much depends on the sourcing, processing, machining and handling of the wood, and how the engineered floor is created. In practice, however, much engineered flooring consists of mediocre, cheaply-sourced wood in slim wear layers that will not last long in most settings, particularly if any sanding or other maintenance is required.

To meet the demand for a simpler offering, Weldon added an engineered range in 2017 that redefined the category. The timber is sourced and machined in our workshops in the same way as for an installed Weldon floor but fixing the specification – size, shape, timber type and grade, surface and edge treatments – allowed us to bring high-quality floors to market in a selection of pre-assembled floors and finishes at a reduced price, while retaining most of the upsides of a Truly Bespoke floor.

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