Thick Wear Layer

The thickness of the wear layer on engineered hardwood flooring varies from product to product. There is a large range of thickness available, from 0.6mm to 4mm. The wear layer lets you know how many times you can sand and finish the flooring over its lifespan. The thicker the wear layer, the more times it can be sanded, and the longer the life span will be. We offer engineered hardwood flooring in both prefinished and unfinished domestics and exotics.

Depending on how long you want the engineered hardwood flooring to last will decide how thick of a wear layer to purchase. Typically, you will not sand and refinish your flooring very often. This process involves sanding down a small portion of the wear layer to remove any scratches or dents in the floor and then a coat of finish is applied to give the floor its sheen back. On average, a hardwood floor needs refinishing about every 15 to 20 years. It all depends on how well you upkeep the engineered flooring, and how much foot traffic there is.

Here are some estimates on the life span of common wear layer thicknesses:

  • 1mm Layer- Cannot be sanded, only recoated. Lifespan is approximately 15 to 25 years
  • 2mm Layer- Can be sanded and refinished 1 to 2 times. Lifespan is approximately 30 to 40 years
  • 3mm Layer- Can be sanded and refinished 2 to 3 times. Lifespan is approximately 40 to 50 years
  • 4mm Layer- Can be sanded and refinished 3 to 4 times. Lifespan is approximately 50 to 80 years
  • The best engineered floors have at least a 2mm wear layer, and 3mm thickness is most commonly found in high quality engineered products.

There are three ways that the wear layer is produced for engineered hard wood flooring. The rotary peel method creates a thin layer and is characterized by a "cathedral" grain pattern. Sliced layers are cut with an industrial slicer that is essentially a large knife that cuts rolls into layers. Lastly, there are sawn layers, which are made from thin saw blades that minimize waste.

When purchasing engineered hardwood flooring, be sure to choose the wear layer thickness that best suits your home.


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