The enduring appeal of oak is not likely to ever see a decline in popularity, and for good reason. Oak just simply looks great from the moment it’s installed, but it develops a rich patina and maturity as it ages over the years as well. This makes it an excellent choice of material for oak wood flooring.
Of all the various species that can be used for hardwood flooring, maple and oak are perhaps the top two in terms of popularity. What’s even better is that oak is available as engineered hardwood flooring, as well, which can significantly drive down installation and labour costs as well as providing elegance and luxury in addition to longevity.
A Truly Long-Term Investment
Most hardwood floors have a lifespan of a few decades, or about 30 years, depending on maintenance, wear and tear, and the species. That’s certainly enough of a reason to install hardwood floors in the first place, but how does oak stand up?
Well, there’s no denying that oak is the king of hardwood flooring materials. Some oak floors have surpassed 200 years, which is just a hair older than the world’s oldest tortoise, Jonathan, who in 2020 is celebrating a ripe old 188 years. That’s pretty darned old, and as such, oak floors have their own stories to tell. They age with you, making them a superb investment.
Oak Wood Flooring Shades
Many of us might think of oak as being dark and full of knots, perhaps because many centuries-old oak floors have developed this rich patina over the years. Fresh oak, however, comes in a wide range of shades ranging all the way from a lime-white to a rich, dark hue. Furthermore, oak naturally takes very well to staining and colouring.
Clean cuts can contain little to no knots at all, whilst other cuts can have large, colourful knots that add character and a rustic atmosphere to the home. Due to its abundance and popularity, there’s a style and colour for just about any homeowner.
Oak Wood Flooring Patterns
Natural oak cuts are ideal for plank patterns, but the cost of installing solid oak hardwood floors can be prohibitive for many homeowners.
Why not consider engineered oak hardwood flooring instead? By choosing engineered wood floors, the sky’s the limit in terms of patterns since you’ll get the benefits of a beautiful oak surface along with the durability and flexibility of being able to install the floorboards in other patterns as well.
Some popular patterns include chevron and herringbone wood flooring patterns, the latter of which is preferable for many rooms in the home because it optically widens smaller spaces with its zig-zagging V patterns.
Natural Properties of Oak Wood Flooring
What makes oak so superb when compared to most other species? Naturally, oak is more resistant to fungal and insect attacks such as termites, a real and present danger for any homeowner. Consequently, the need for repairs and replacement is far lower for oak flooring than for other, more insect-prone species which can unfortunately be eaten away from the inside if neglected.
In terms of moisture and humidity, oak is also ideal in various climates since it can tolerate higher levels of humidity than other species.
Why Install Oak Wood Floors?
A better question is: why NOT install oak wood floors? The benefits are numerous, and since oak can be purchased and installed in engineered hardwood floor planks, it’s really one of the best choices a homeowner can make in terms of investment. Oak wood flooring is resilient, adaptable, durable, and aesthetically one of the most beautiful choices of hardwood floor species available on the market today.
Author Bio: This article was written by Martin O’Callaghan of Wood Flooring Ireland. Martin sources the best Oak wood flooring available in Europe for the Irish market.