Thermal modified or engineered wood is not a new thing. It has been around in Europe for about 20 years. The idea of the process began in early Europe with the Vikings. Burning the surface with fire gave it a heat treatment that helped make it more resistant to moisture and rot from outdoor exposure. Since then, it has been modified and is done much more accurately and precisely to get much better results. The use of this process only begun to catch on in the US in the last few years. Because it doesn't get much attention and is not a widely used process, many customers are not aware of this type of wood flooring.

For some customers, this is a great option for a product that has not been pumped with chemicals and is coated with finishes that are natural. The wood planks are put in a kiln and heated to over 400 degrees. To keep the wood from burning, steam is applied during the process. The moisture content still is reduced and the wood goes through a physical change as well. The organic compounds that were in the wood that absorb water, expand & contract, or provide a food source for rot or bugs are removed. It is then resistant to water, insects, and decay. It is also more dimensional, stable, and stronger than untreated wood.

One of the differences you will notice with a thermal modified plank is that it will have a matte finish to the surface. Because it is not finished with an aluminum oxide or polyurethane coating, it will not have a mirror shine to it. Some of the various colors though, will be created using oil-based products which also help protect the planks from the UV which can alter the color in direct contact. Because of the type of process the planks undergo, the color in the wood is throughout the thickness of the board. If you scratch the board, the color will not be different. It will be consistent throughout the board because it doesn't have a stain on it. The color will naturally be in the plank.

If you want a more durable floor with less maintenance, thermal engineered wood planks are a great choice. The wood veneer on the surface is more durable than traditional wood flooring because of the heat treatment. You will not have to deal with scratches showing up and becoming a problem down the road because the color is completely through the treated wood. It is water-resistant and will look beautiful for years. It isn't in every store yet, but it is growing in popularity. It has taken a little more time to get going here in the US because different species of wood require different changes to the process. It isn't universal to every type of wood grown. As time passes, this will become another option for homeowners who need a tough wood floor that will stand up against the unexpected things life has in store for us.

Interested in learning more about the different types of flooring? 


Contact us at BPS Southeast. We service Spindale NC and Western North Carolina.