Shortly after the second world war, the Swede Johannes Kähr invented the three-layer engineered wood floor, which could be installed with a prefinished surface. The great interest in his invention led to a great economic hype in the parquet and wood sector.
Since then, more than 1.5 million engineered wooden floors have been installed in Europe alone. Due to the high prevalence of older engineered floors, demand for floor renovations has risen highly. There has been a clear trend.
The question ... New Install or Renovation? ... hardly arises with your customers any more.
Certainly, the cost factor for a new install is also an important aspect for the decision of your customers. From a visual point of view, there is hardly a difference between a professionally renovated and a newly laid wood floor.
Obviously for you, as a specialist, the differences are clearly recognizable.
Wer seine Kosten z. B. beim Hausbau begrenzen möchte, trifft mit Fertigparkett eine gute Wahl. Es unterscheidet sich optisch kaum von Massivparkettböden und ist ebenso renovierbar. Allerdings sollten für die Renovierung eines Fertigparketts erfahrene Handwerker beauftragt werden, da diese die einzelnen Tücken kennen. Heute entscheidet man zwischen Zwei- und Dreischichtfertigfertigparkett.
[Those who want to limit their costs, for example, when building a house, make a good choice with prefabricated parquet. It hardly differs visually from solid parquet flooring and can be renovated just as easily. However, for the renovation of a finished parquet should be experienced craftsmen, because they know the individual pitfalls. Today, one decides between two-layer and three-layer prefabricated parquet.]
As the name implies, the solid wood floor is made of a solid wood element. Depending on the thickness of the material, it can be sanded several times and, with the appropriate care, lasts for a lifetime..
Two-layer engineered is not suitable to be floated and is always glued down over the entire surface. The floor consists of two layers of wood: a hardwood top/wear layer on which your customers will be walking later, and a bottom layer below the wear layer. The bottom layer serves for stability and it is perpendicular, or turned by 90°, to the wear layer.
Three-layer engineered is well suited for a floating installation since it has a better dimensional stability and is therefore less distorted. Two lower layers of wood serve as carrier/backing material. The thicker middle wood layer is turned perpendicular and glued to the wear layer. As a result, the fiber directions lie crosswise and reduce the stress in the overall structure.
► Is it possible to sand engineered wood flooring?
► And if so, how often?
► Can any machine be used?
► And what do you have to watch out for?
► Are there differences between two- and three-layer engineered floors?
► Which grid size should be used?
The test floor was a floated three-layer engineered oak floor with a wear layer of 3.5 mm, sealed with Permadur®, an aluminum oxide reinforced finish.
(In this article we consider floors with a wear layer of 2.5 mm to 6.0 mm wood as an engineered wood floor.)
A drum or belt sanding machine was not an option for our test floor, due to the type of install (floating) and the thickness of the wear layer. Even though the Permadur® finish is very tough in the renovation, a drum or belt sanding machine is too aggressive and removes too much material, so we would run the risk of sanding through the wear layer.
In our experiment, the TRIO three-disc sanding machine has proven itself very well. Its free-mounted sanding plates adjusted themselves perfectly to the surface of the floor.
Since our floor had only minor damages to the wood surface, we were able to start with our zirconium abrasive grit size 60 for our first cut. According to our Premium Sanding Technology (PST®) concept, further cuts with 80 and 100 followed. The floor was then finished with a natural oil.
To find out how often an engineered wood floor can be renovated, we have sanded our test area several times. After the fifth renovation of our test floor, the wear layer was sanded through in some spots.
Our experiment has shown that in principle several renovations of an engineered wood floor are possible.
Important factors for the renovation of an engineered floor, however are, the flatness of the floor, the type of the install (glued or floating), the condition of the surface (damage / pollution) and the surface coating / finish.
In practice an engineered wood floor with a 3.5 mm wear layer should be renovated no more than three times. You should always keep in mind that a certain thickness of the wear layer has to be maintained so that it can continue to withstand the general wear. If the wear layer gets too thin the floor will likely start cupping.
► Engineered wood floors can be renovated.
► Depending on the condition of the floor you can renovate it up to a maximum of 3 times.
► Use the TRIO according to our Premium Sanding Technology (PST®) concept.
► Use Lägler zirconium abrasives.
Note: Consider and be aware of the risks when renovating engineered wood flooring. Before you start sanding, check the condition of the top layer and the substrate. Point out the risk of the wear layer being too thin and the potential of sanding through.
We focused on our recently lunched social media channels.
Technical tips, tricks and informative topics on our new social media channels will keep you up to date.
Read more about this in the next section.
Another important point at our booth was the subject of machine maintenance. After our "Wall of Shame” - as we call it lovingly - seemed to be growing, we wanted to sensitize our visitors to this issue. Our visitors were able to live test and sand with a machine (year 2004) which has never been maintained and a continuously maintained machine (year 1993). Due to the slow wear of the machines people often don't realize the change in their sanding quality, this demo caused a lot of customers to pay more attention to maintenance.
► You can advertise to your customers with well maintained machines. You know best how important your image is. Therefore a "well-groomed appearance" of your machines is important.
► The cost of individual maintenance is reduced. Your machines are checked at regular intervals, which avoids increased follow-up costs in subsequent maintenance.
► You save yourself a lot of effort on the job site when sanding floors. Cause of sanding traces could be a sign of soiled or worn out wear part.
Early 2015, we expanded our communication portfolio. Social networks such as Facebook and Instagram are opening new paths to our customers.
We not only use social media to inform our customers, but to answer sales and technical support questions. Social media gives us an even faster way to provide customer service.
With a couple weeks to go, the stage is set for the 2017 NWFA Expo, April 11-14, in Phoenix, Arizona. Lägler, as a proud, long time NWFA member and exhibitor is looking forward to its most important North American trade show.
And the cool thing about it, it is dedicated to Wood Floors ONLY.
Especially if it comes to training and education, this exhibition sets itself apart from the crowd. There will be 60 speakers presenting interesting facts about marketing, technology, new developments and other topics related to wooden flooring. 30 training courses and demonstration of the latest techniques in 9 tech zones. And 278 exhibitors showing the newest trends in wood flooring.
Lägler sees huge value in training and education from the early beginning, this is why we focus at this year's EXPO on our certified Premium Sanding Technology education program and the prevention of maintenance backlogs. We are looking forward to talking shop with our great and loyal customer base, to experience new trends in the industry, to take part in one of the several education sessions and to meet new people.
If you want to know more about the National Wood Flooring Association and its Expo visit http://www.nwfa.org/
As a special highlight, the NWFA will be raffling off one of the last LÄGLER® limited edition Carbon fiber TRIOs, drawing from the names of those of you who took part in NWFA education during the last year.
Looking forward to seeing you in phoenix.