Oak Flooring

November 18, 2005
oak flooring
Oak flooring, unfinished or prefinished, will enhance your home’s look and value. Pre-finished oak flooring makes flooring installation fast and easy, but antique wood flooring adds character than you can’t get from “new” oak wood flooring products on the market today. Whether you choose red oak flooring or white oak flooring, your oak hardwood flooring decision can’t go wrong.

Once a mighty tree, now a mighty floor. That’s right, oak is a common hardwood used in flooring. There are two types of oak hardwood; red oak (quercus ruba) and white oak (quercus alba).

Oak hardwood flooring is one of the more common hardwood floorings and is great for adding a touch of style and elegance to your home. Wooden floors also add a sense of warmth to any room, but what makes oak floors so popular?
Oak hardwood flooring advantages:

  • Easy maintenance and cleaning
  • Available in a variety of tones
  • Can be used in any room
  • Long lasting quality

Oak flooring also suffers from its share of disadvantages:

  • Heavy traffic can cause scratches and dents
  • Excess moisture can damage it

There are different grades of oak and these are determined by appearance. All grades are equally as strong and serviceable. These grades include clear, select, and common. A clear grade of oak flooring is generally free from any eye catching blemishes but can still contain streaks and pinworm holes. A select grade of oak flooring is almost clear but contains more natural color variations and knots. Of the common, there are two grades which have more markings and bring better character to floors.
Of the two types of oak, red is America’s most popular flooring option and is reddish in color with a coarse grain. It’s a dense wood and resists wear and tear but not as well as white oak. White oak is brown in color and has been known to have a grayish hue. The grain in white oak is similar to that of red but has more burls and swirls. White oak, with a Janka rating of 1360, is harder and more durable than red oak, which has a Janka rating of 1290.
Oak has been used for centuries in flooring and much of the antique oak flooring used today has been reclaimed from barns and buildings that were constructed hundreds of years ago. Antique oak flooring ages beautifully and gives a feeling of elegance to any room.
When looking at purchasing oak hardwood flooring it is essential to weight the pros and the cons. As you know, hardwood flooring can be quite an expensive choice, but is it worth it? In short the answer to this question is undoubtedly yes. The cost over the years will generally be less that than the cost of both carpeting, and maybe even tiling. On average, households replace carpets after ten years and vinyl and tiles after twenty years. Oak flooring, on the other hand, if properly maintained, will last a lifetime.
Of course, oak wood flooring is not without its faults, the main one being water. Excess moisture can damage this beautiful floor and therefore additional care is needed in bathrooms, laundries and around kitchen sinks. All spills should be wiped up immediately to prevent water from soaking in and warping your hardwood floor. Furniture glides should be used to prevent scratches. Regular sweeping and vacuuming will keep dirt and grit, which can act like sandpaper, to a minimum, limiting scratches. Using strategically placed mats and rugs can help protect your floor.
Oak hardwood floors that have been properly finished are the easiest of all floor surfaces to keep clean and new looking. Carpets will show wear and tear, regardless of the amount of vacuuming and cleaning that is applied. Carpets also retain dust and allergens, making wooden flooring and even better choice for people who suffer with allergies. In order to maintain the appearance of your oak flooring, vacuuming and dust mopping should be carried out often, weekly being ideal. A damp mop can be used for spills, but in general you should never use a wet mop and lots of water on wood floors. If your wood floor is waxed, an occasional buffing will help to renew the shine and remove any scuff marks. Oak flooring is know for its high permeability which makes it easier to stain and as a result oak flooring can be purchased in a variety of colors to suit any room in your home.
Oak hardwood flooring can make any room feel airy and more spacious and will give your home a feeling of warmth and elegance. When the mighty has fallen why not make use of it in your home.

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