Wood floors have been in use for a very long time, yet it has not lost its essence. Even today, wood flooring is considered to be a sign of class and elegance. It has always been in fashion and will definitely continue in the same way. Wood flooring materials are generally obtained from oak trees popular in Asia and Europe. The textures of these woods from different trees of different parts of the world vary a lot on the grounds of color, grains, length, width and durability. However, European oak flooring is most commonly seen in UK and US. European oaks not only provide the best quality of timber to be used in constructing the floor of a house, but it also offers the majestic finish and the gloss.
Why European oak?
European oaks often intrigue people because of its uniqueness and no other woods stand a chance before it. Architects and home designers are very well familiar with the properties of this kind of oak and they use it quite often in order to carve out furniture, floors and cabinets.
But why these European oaks are so desirable? The Europeans use a technique that is called cant. In this technique, they cut out a square from the centre of the log and slice right through it. Since it has a slower growing cycle, it exhibits tighter grains. Therefore, as a result, a wider plank with extravagant plain swan look in the middle is obtained with the presence of a unique rift as well as quartered grain patter. The most interesting thing about these oak woods is that all the above mentioned qualities can be obtained in a single piece of wood.
Before selecting European oak flooring, there are some important properties that need to be discussed in order to make the readers and planners know a little more about the wood that they are planning to fix on their floors.
European oak woods are fairly heavy and hard but are dense hardwood. It has high blending and crushing strength along with lower stiffness and are resistant to shock loads. That is why these woods are used for preparing the truck bodies and also on harbor works. However, oak wood works satisfactorily and so are good for painting, staining, gluing, varnishing and sanding and polishing. Green oak woods are very easy to work with but they can also react with the metals because it contains high moisture content, whereas dry woods are on the part of being little hard to work with. Therefore, for the best outcome it is recommended by experts to use fixings made of brass and stainless steel.
Solid or engineered oak flooring
Well, there are two types of European oak flooring styles that are carried out – Solid and Engineered. But the real dilemma here is to which one to choose!
Solid oak flooring uses a board of timber which is naturally obtained. That means the wood experiences changes according to a change in the climatic condition, which are damp, heat and moisture. Since timber is a semi porous substance, it is affected by different conditions. When these boards are used in flooring, they can swell because of the changes in climate and would form a bulging out floor with no even features. Therefore, a place should be provided between the floor and walls to allow its expansion in order to cope with it.
On the other hand, engineered oak boards are same as of solid ones, but are better when it comes to climatic changes while providing the same gloss as of a solid board. They are very stable and have less movement. It also acts as an inert product for under floor heating system. Longer and wider boards are used that make it cost effective and lasts long like solid oak flooring. Therefore, while planning for European oak flooring, it is best to get engineered flooring which offers a superior gloss, durability and cost effectiveness.