No matter how well seasoned, oiled, waxed or lacquered it may be, timber remains hydroscopic. This means that when the humidity is high it will absorb some of that moisture, swell and rise or ‘crown’ in the middle. If that same piece of timber is placed in a dry environment – as happens when using heating or air conditioning – it will release its moisture, dry out and shrink. Lay pieces of timber side by side in a confined space and those changes in humidity, over time, may well result in them bowing, warping, cupping or gapping – gaps between the planks. This is what can happen with a solid timber floor, wall or ceiling.
Engineered boards are like solid timber planks with lots of benefits:
* They are far more stable than solid timber planks so there is far less likelihood of eventual problems and much wider boards can be produced.
* Engineered boards are usually available pre-finished which means a reduced installation time and no surprises on site.
* Unlike the vast majority of solid timber planks, engineered boards can usually be fitted over underfloor heating.
* Engineered boards make far more efficient use of slow-growing, lamella layer timbers (oak, walnut, etc).
* Engineered boards offer alternative, easier methods of installation.