Oak is a symbol of longevity and strength. Many consider it as the leader in hardwood flooring. Not only does it offer durability, it is also versatile enough to work with any kind of interior décor. This amazing material has gained popularity again as house flooring and is used by designers all over the world. In 2018, is it going to be the top choice for the modern homeowners? Let us find out.
Where Does Oak Originate?
Oak is known to be very versatile compared to other types of wood. It is native to the northern part of the world but many other types of oak trees are found even in the cold parts of South America and Asia. Nowadays, oak wood use as flooring materials usually comes from America as most of its species grow there.
What Are Its Common Features?
Besides being famous for its beauty and class, oak wood flooring is able to resist decaying and rotting. Here are some common features of oak wood:
- Attractive grain markings
- Can withstand fungal and insect attacks
- High amount of tannin
- Famous for its hardness and strength
How Dense is Oak Wood?
It’s important to consider the wood’s density when you want to use it as your flooring or decking material. The idea is that the denser the wood that you use, the better its resistance is to molds and rotting. The density also lowers the chance of having termite infestations in the house. Red Oak has a density of 780 KG.m3. White Oak is known to be denser than Red Oak at 900 kg/m3.It’s good to take note that there are other types of wood that are denser than oaks just like Ipe. However, when it comes to flooring materials, Oak is best to use compared to walnut and cedar because of its high-density feature.
Types of Oak Flooring
Here are some of the different types of Oak floorings for your information.
- Solid Oak. It is a type of material that is hard-wearing. Extremely durable and easily available. Solid oak is usually made from a single piece of timber.
A few of its disadvantages include having limited width and length sizes. It also tends to expand in hot climates and contract in cold ones.
- Oak Laminate. It is typically less costly compared to solid oak. Oak laminate is capable of adding texture, color, and warmth to the room. In line with that, there are many styles and colors to choose from. The rich color of oak laminate attracts many homeowners.
On the other hand, you cannot refinish oak laminate and it is hard to repair. It also has a strange feel and sound.
- Engineered Oak. When compared to solid oak, it is a little more affordable. It offers more flexibility as it is made from the top part layer of an oak wood with the support of about 3-4 layers of syntactic. It can withstand in any weather conditions, and be able to serve your home up to 25 years.
While it has several benefits, engineered oak is considered to be not as powerful as solid oak.
Shades of Oak Wood Flooring
The king of hardwood has many different kinds of natural shades, from limed white to dark rosy ones. Oak wood can be cut to create a rustic, old appeal by its various grain patterns. There are also prime grade cuts for those who want a cleaner and contemporary appearance.
The Benefits of Using Oak Flooring
- Maintenance. Oak can last for a long time with your family. There are two ways to maintain it, and these are occasional sweeping and mopping.
- Durability. It is given that oak wood has a long lifespan, but you can double its life by treating it with premium quality finish.
- Environment-friendly. It is made of natural material, which helps in making it resistant to damage cause by insects. When it is engineered, it would also be resistant to moisture.
- Appearance. Oak has a beauty that stands out among the flooring materials. Combined with the right interior design, oak floors can make your room elegant and appealing.
- Home Value. When you see oak wood, you know you are looking at a top quality material. In the event of a sale, buyers will consider your home as a high value.
To help you when buying oak flooring, the following are things to look out for:
- Length and width of board. Opt for long lengths of boards as this exudes class and high quality. In terms of width, it depends on how big or small your room is. Overall, so not choose narrow oak boards.
- Moisture content. This is a vital factor to know when purchasing oak wood floors. Ideally, get those boards with 8 to 12 percent of moisture content.
- Thickness of board. You select the thickness of your board depending on the material you use such as engineered or solid. Basically, it is recommended to get boards that are 20mm thicker.
- Surface of board. Generally, manufacturers supply flat surface oak flooring. There are oak wood materials that can simulate wearing and ageing through artificially textured surface.
- Finish of board. Normally, the oak wood you buy is unfinished. This provides you the opportunity to select between varnishing, oiling, or waxing your flooring. If you purchase oak floors that are pre-finished, make sure that it is high quality.
- Country of origin. The main exporters of oak flooring are China, America, Germany, England, and France. All these countries produce high quality oak wood flooring. But, many homeowners prefer European oak compared to the American counterparts.
Oak wood flooring has proven many times that is it one of the best floorings in the world. It has more than a hundred years of proof to back up its durability and strength.
While it comes with a higher price tag, it has excellent value. It features distinctive grain patterns that add character and warmth to your interior.
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