Best Engineered Wood Flooring Manufacturers in China And How To Choose Best Engineered Wood Flooring.
Around 75 years ago, engineered wood flooring stems from Kahrs, Sweden company from Europe, Kahrs is still one of the famous floor brands in the world. As an alternative to solid hardwood floors, two special countries: Germany and Austria create 3 Ply engineered wood flooring named “sandwich flooring”, so you can find lots of wood flooring manufacturers in Germany and other EU countries, such as high-end wide plank manufacturers in Germany & Austria and high end parquet manufacturers in Italy.
Best Engineered Wood Flooring Manufacturers:
There are some difference between engineered flooring and solid hardwood flooring, the main difference between them is that solid hardwood flooring is more expensive and not durable and versatile compared with engineered wood flooring.
Multiply engineered wood flooring China also originates from Europe, the United States, Japan included in the 1960s and 1970s. And it has long occupied the mainstream position of the world’s flooring market. Since entering the Chinese market in 1995, engineered flooring has matured after 25 years of development. Now, there are about 8 sizeable engineered wood flooring manufacturers in China with good production line and each with annual output more than 800, 000 sqms. These floor factories products range from 2 Ply, 3 Ply to multiply wood flooring.
So, why you choose engineered wood flooring manufacturers in China, not other countries, like Japan, Germany, Lithuania or Eastern European countries? Reasons are that China offers quick turnarounds, strong supply chain and quality product at a very affordable price, the most important truth is that lots of famous wood flooring brands in the world choose China wood flooring factories as their best reliable wood floor suppliers. Brands, such as Shaw Floors, Mohawk Industries, Bruce Hardwood Flooring, BerryAlloc of Beaulieu International Group Canada, Somerset Hardwood Flooring, most of their suppliers are in South China (Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Guangdong, Shanghai), you can get these data from Custom. So, singling out reliable, good price and appropriate deliver time factories are the most important thing.
Now, let’s take a look at these tips and note how to choose a good engineered wood flooring manufacturer in China.
Veneer, the top layer of engineered hardwood flooring – the layer you see and walk on – is made of a thin layer of solid hardwood such as European Oak, Russian Oak, Maple, Hickory, Teak, Black Walnut or Cherry. The bottom layers are made of a backing material such as plywood or fiberboard(it is not visible). GOLINKWOOD engineered hardwood flooring uses multiple layers of birch hardwood as a backing material, providing a stronger and more stable flooring product.
01. Veneer Quality Identification
When you take dip into China engineered wood flooring factories, the first thing you need to look into is about wood grades, also called veneer grades. There are AB, ABC, ABCD, BCD, CD, CDE, EF grades in most flooring factories, and you may have heard Prime grade, Select grade, Natural grade, Rustic grade, or ABR grad etc. All these grades are almost same meaning with different names. You can tell veneer grades difference by rules of knots and holes in the veneer wood or just ask manufacturers to tell you the difference and let them give you document and photographs that outline all defects of veneer. Why you must carefully check the veneer quality, because it serves as the ‘wear layer’ which will ultimately determine the life span of the floor.
Qualified factories has good warehouse management system and also has sufficient stock of veneers available with a wide range of grades. Veneers are carefully inspected and sorted into different grades for convenient selection and order picking before put into storage, at the same time, veneers harvesting and grade information are attached and readily available in warehouse. For some factories, they only buy veneers on the market or temporarily buy from other factories when they have orders, which makes them not able to offer stable service and reliable products to customers and put the integrity of the stock at risk.
02. Plywood Quality Ranking
While veneer(wear layer) also plays a key role in the life span of engineered floor, the most important structure of engineered wood flooring is plywood supporting the whole floor. It means that plywood is a core layer providing key function to veneer. Quality plywood determines how dimensionally stable and moisture resistant of engineered floor is and how long it can be used. Quality plywood is stronger than softwood, so we generally consider multiply engineered flooring is strong than 2-ply and 3-ply engineered wood flooring, which makes engineered flooring durable and stable. Quality plywood should come without overlap and gap, and each layer should be evenly distributed. For example, an 11mm plywood should be made of 7 layers all and each layer should be at thickness of 1.5mm. Different wood species of plywood also determines the quality of plywood itself and different factories in China choose different plywood materials ranging from birch to eucalyptus to New Zealand pine, Chinese pine and Poplar & Fir. And please note that good plywood can also lead to an increase on floor price.
With size: 15/4 * 190 * 1900 mm, unvarnished flooring(raw), Russian Oak, AB grade, FOB Shanghai Price is roughly as below(For reference only):
Multiply birch plywood > 3-layer SPF > Eucalyptus plywood > Chinese Pine > Poplar plywood > Chinese Poplar
03. Wood Moisture Balance Control
Although engineered wood flooring is less prone to moisture damage, it is wood after all and still requires the same MC management as any other wood product. All wood holds moisture content. As the RH rises, wood absorbs moisture from the air. And, as RH falls, wood releases moisture into the air. Wood, therefore, must be allowed to reach its equilibrium moisture content (EMC). That is, it must reach a balance between the wood’s MC and that of the ambient conditions.
The reason that engineered wood floors must be acclimated to room temperature before installation is because of their internal moisture content. Wood is like a dense sponge, it will absorb moisture as well as release it depending on the surrounding conditions. If you install dry wood flooring in a high humidity environment, the flooring will gain moisture and expand (swell). The opposite will occur if the humidity is low, causing gaps between boards. What acclimation does is level the amount of moisture coming in with the moisture going out. Therefore flooring providers who have an ideal balance on their products to begin with (8-11%) will provide a better installing plank on the back end.
04. Veneer(Lamellas) & Plywood Gluing Together, Hot Press or Cold Press?
Method of inner layers of veneer and plywood put together also determines quality of engineered flooring and environmental protection. One of the biggest potential risk is toxins can be released when the layers of plywood and veneer & plywood are glued together. A professional manufacturer would test floor for CARB Rating and delamination to reduce emissions according to industry requirements and quality standards. Floor should be tested throughout the gluing together and pressing process. When you take a visit a factory, please ask wood flooring manufacturer how inner layers are pressed together, It is also important to note there are big difference between hot press and cold press for engineered wood flooring. We all know that hot pressed engineered flooring is easy prone to bow after installation due to heat pressed flooring less dimensional stability in the floor manufacturing process.
05. Repairment of Wood Veneer Defects
While Knots and holes tend to adding natural look and beauty of wood, high grade, such as AB, ABC wood grades are prone to be smooth and defect-free on the surface. And now more and more customer like top grade floor after years of option of low grade floors(ABCD, CD, CDE, EF).
Factories will repair defects or holes on the wood veneer surface before veneer and plywood put into manufacturing. But how factories repair these imperfections have become an important thing. High quality wood flooring manufacturer pick up durable and smooth epoxy resin as repairing material, however, some factories use cheap wood powder instead that can collapse and compromise the surface of floor.
06. Joint System of Tongue and Groove Quality
Whether you believe or not, the quality of tongue and groove(T&G) on engineered wood flooring varies greatly from one factory to another in China. We all know that Even if wood floor has balanced moisture content, good grade and composition, the wood floor are easy installed crooked with gaps without high quality T&G. Germany Homag is symbol of high quality and it is recognized the ‘Cadillac’ of tongue and groove machines with the best combination of high quality notching and increased speed. Check to see what kind of T&G machine the factories have and whether their tongue and groove tests well or not with an angle square and feeler gauge.
07. Materials of Lacquer Coating
The lacquer coating on the flooring not only provides the layer of gloss which affects the floor’s looks, it also acts as a protective layer for surface. It’s important to know what type of lacquer coating the factory is using (recommended Germany Treffert ) so that it can make the floor scratch resistant and impervious to UV damage. Lacquers have ratings including the adhesive level, hardness, and anti-scratch qualities.
There is no point in taking time to order and manufacture quality wood flooring in China if floors get damaged in shipping. Top notch manufacturers will carefully pack their products with paper cartons and durable sides to avoid product damage and hot shrink and protect against moisture. Pallets are great invention that can be used for easy loading and unloading in the warehouse and transportation.
09. Delivery Time or Lead Time
Another thing to carefully check is the estimated delivery times of order. Even though there is some leeway between when people purchase floors and the actual installation, we still recommend minimizing wait time just in case. At the same time, a quality factory would have a large volume of plywood and veneer on hand for production, especially when a ‘rush’ is needed for shortages or emergency jobs.
10. Floor Price
Extremely low prices from manufacturers in China should raise a red flag. Affordability is definitely a concern but low offers usually mean poor construction and low-quality material resources. Floor with short life span or one that must be continually be shipped back and forth for replacement will raise the overall price in the long run.
Finally, you want to look for a best engineered wood flooring manufacturer that will be your partner, keeping an open line of communication and operating with your best interests in mind. There are some real inferior manufacturers out there, but sifting through the rubble to find a quality provider is worth the extra time and effort.