The Traditional Beauty of Oak Flooring

by GuestPoster on January 3, 2011

Few features in a home can have the magnificent impact of either oak flooring engineered or solid oak hardwood flooring. Oak lumber has a noble and splendid look and has a hardness and durability best described as tenacious.  Whether quarter sawn or flat sawn boards are used, the grain patterns of oak lumber are vivid and flamboyant. In quarter sawn lumber the growth rings lay perpendicular to the board face creating a tight grained effect resplendent with shiny flecks. These showy flecks are cross sections of the wood rays and are a famous trait of quarter sawn oak. Flat sawn oak has vibrant and dramatic grain patterns. Having these wavy grain patterns centered in the face of each board is particularly pleasing to the eye.

Engineered wood flooring is the most popular wood flooring in the world. Composed of at least two separate layers of wood, engineered wood flooring is practically immune to warping and splitting. The visible top layer is called the lamella while the inner core is referred to as the substrate. In general, engineered wood flooring is less expensive to install than solid wood flooring and is more easily adapted to difficult applications such as over top of concrete.

Worldwide, engineered flooring is king but in America solid wood flooring reigns supreme and has been a traditional staple of home construction since colonial times. Laying the boards across the support beams of the floors adds stability to the very base of the home. Solid wood flooring is flexible and elastic enabling it to resist the slight shifts that often occur in homes, particularly in cold northern winters. A common manufacturing practice is to cut grooves into the backside of solid wood flooring to reduce the possibility of warp. Most Solid wood flooring can be sanded and refinished multiple times and as such can be in place for the entire lifespan of a home.

Of all of the woods available for flooring use none are more noble and rich looking than oak. Clear defect-free oak is bright and clean looking while rustic or colonial oak has striking character marks that are sound and solid and do not affect the strength of the lumber. Both engineered oak flooring and solid oak flooring are beautiful and functional additions to any home.

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