Engineered Wood Flooring: Overcoming concrete and radiant heat.

Engineered wood floor being installed



Engineered wood flooring is normally comprised of a veneer of hardwood on several layers of plywood. This design grants freedom for installation in situations where you normally couldn’t lay hardwood floors. Obstacles such as concrete slabs, radiant heat, and below grade sites that would pose a problem for solid hardwood flooring are the exact situations engineered wood flooring was created for. Available in all of the latest colors, species, and plank widths that are currently trending; engineered wood flooring is a great option for getting the floors you’re in love with on a site that is not optimal for them.

Radiant heat is a great option for in home climate control. It provides even heat without the dramatic temperature differences or uneven warming of the upper and lower portions of a room. Unfortunately radiant heat dries out the flooring and sub-flooring around it making solid hardwood a relatively poor choice. When solid hardwood flooring becomes too dry it will start to shrink causing gapping and various other problems. However engineered wood flooring has layers of plywood designed to deal with the expansion and contraction due to varied amounts of moisture without damaging the board or hardwood veneer itself. This makes engineered wood flooring an excellent option when considering floors over radiant heat.

Concrete slab is very common in apartments, basements and on the first floor of homes across the country. While radiant heat removes moisture from the site, concrete is constantly releasing moisture into the area; especially below grade. A solid hardwood floor absorbing moisture will start to cup, crown, buckle, and warp as the moisture content rises. These issues are usually difficult and expensive to remedy if they can be remedied at all. It is possible to build a plywood sub floor and anchor it into the concrete, but this is not always an option and adds to the cost and complication of the job. Engineered wood flooring can be glued or floated over concrete slab, making for an easier and less costly installation. The plywood under the veneer allows engineered wood flooring to expand if needed without causing it to fail. The more layers of plywood, the better it can handle these fluctuations.

Whether you’re dealing with a concrete slab or radiant heat, the hardwood floors you were hoping for are not out of reach. Engineered wood flooring is available in almost every species and stain you can think of. Manufacturers even produce handscraped and varied width planks to replicate the vintage or rustic look of reclaimed wood. No matter what design you had in mind, it’s possible to overcome these obstacles and achieve the home of your dreams with engineered wood flooring.

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Frequently Asked Questions?

If you decide to tear down and build new you will be subject to new set-back bylaws that could mean your home will have to be smaller or not situated on the lot the same as the original home.

Typically renovations can be less expensive than building new, but this depends on the type of upgrades you choose and how much you decide to renovate. You may start out with a budget to renovate the kitchen and bathrooms but later decide to include living spaces which will increase your budget depending on the quality of upgrades.

When choosing to renovate or build new look ahead 10-15 years. Is your family size going to change? Do you plan on living in the home for the next 30-50 years? A quality renovation and proactive design and planning could make this your forever home or a great investment.

The Innovative Group is here to advise you on whether a renovation or new build is your best choice. Our knowledge and experience in the construction industry gives us the ability to help you understand how your decision will affect your home’s current and future values in the local market.

This depends on the size of the renovation. Many large renovations can be done room by room, but this could leave you without a kitchen or bathroom for a period of time. An unoccupied home allows for a faster completion timeline.

The Innovative Group strives to be as discrete and non-invasive as possible. We pride ourselves on having professional, efficient and respectful trades and staff.

Cost is always dependent on many factors but The Innovative Group will work closely with you to work within your budget.

It’s important to agree upon a scope of work and how you want to handle unexpected costs. We use transparent billing and open communication to ensure spending is on track.
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We are here to help you understand how long projects could take. Working with a designer, an architect, an engineer and applying for city permits can take a few months but if you involve your builder from the beginning we can help lay out a timeline and schedule.

We recommended consulting a designer once you’ve decided what work you want to do. They can help you decide if a renovation is worthwhile based on your needs. Designers will create sketches and plans based on your input and ensure you have included all the required details.

We work closely with engineers, interior designers and architects to ensure your project is of the highest quality and meets all your expectations and needs.

All our project sites have liability insurance for the construction work being done. We recommend you notify your home insurer about the work you are having done including the scope and timeline. Also, check our detailed post about “The Ultimate Guide to Renovation Insurance

Our relationship and knowledge of city hall means we can arrange all the required permits and inspections for your project accurately and efficiently.

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