Just like interior design, the type of flooring that you choose is an important aspect of making the house into a home. From tiles, vinyl, brick and marble to wooden flooring, homeowners pick and choose the flooring type that best suits their needs and lifestyle. If you’re finding that the look of timber flooring suits your style preferences, but want to read more about this versatile and durable flooring option, this handy introduction will tell you all you need to know.
What’s timber flooring?
Timber flooring is, simply put, a product that has been derived from timber to be used as flooring. It’s been a historically popular choice for flooring because of its natural durability and longevity. Selecting the type of timber flooring you’re after and making use of sanding and finishing procedures can customise raw hardwood into a polished and stylish floorboard ready for installation in your home.
Oak as a popular timber flooring choice
Oak is one of the most popular flooring options, and for good reason. Timeless European Oak flooring provides an unmatched aesthetic appeal that adds warmth and character to every room, authentically complimenting any type of interior design with its versatility and unrivalled natural beauty.
Regardless of the current trends, it’s easy to see why Oak wooden flooring has remained ever-popular with interior designers, homeowners, and clients all over the world. With options between European Oak flooring, Australian oak flooring, and even American oak flooring, each type of timber exudes a unique style that’s hard to replicate.
A high quality hardwood that can be sourced sustainably and with a focus on environmentally-conservative practices – it’s no wonder clients are veering towards this durable and visually-striking wood, with its added bonus of being environmentally-friendly. If you’re after oak flooring, make sure to check that the manufacturer is sourcing oak wood from plantation timber, and from organisations that are promoting the management of the world’s forests to ensure that each product is sustainably harvested throughout the supply chain.
Oak wood is used by interior designers for its ability to complement a wide range of interior design styles, from contemporary to rustic, lending credence to its popularity throughout the years. Ideal for most living spaces such as bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, and hallways, interior designers are also seeing a surge in oak flooring used for kitchens – making full use of its easy-to-clean and maintain surfaces, as well as its distinctive aesthetic.
Key features for oak wood
Oak flooring is a popular and affordable choice for homeowners and designers alike, with its sophisticated style and durability. European Oak wood in particular is a pale yellow brown, which can range to a light yellow to pale white sapwood. Renowned for its strength and durability, this wood has a Janka rating of 6.0 kN, and a density of 0.75/, which lends a great strength and hardness, making it a great option for heavy foot traffic areas.
What’s more, with its high tannin content it’s a resistant wood to insect and fungal infestation, which is key for interior spaces.
With a medium to coarse texture, and a distinctive silver-grain figure, this charismatic wood provides an incomparable flooring like no other, at economical price points.
How does engineered oak flooring, solid oak flooring, and laminate oak flooring differ?
Solid oak flooring
Made entirely out of wood, solid oak flooring is a popular hardwood timber that is beautiful and hard-wearing. Nowadays, you’ll find that old homes with solid timber flooring still look exceptionally striking, especially if the timber has been maintained properly.
Its strength and durability means that its appearance improves with age. However, installation can also be a complex and expensive process, and it can be prone to bowing and cupping due to heat and moisture exposure if not cared for correctly. While over time, it can show signs of wear and tear, sanding and refinishing processes can make your solid floors look good as new.
Engineered Oak Timber Flooring
While solid oak is the hardiest flooring option available for this type of timber species, it’s important to note that engineered oak flooring is a more than worthwhile choice for homeowners. Designed and manufactured specifically for flooring solutions, this type of flooring is typically made from three layers. The top is a layer of oak wood, the core is typically made of hardwood, plywood, or HDF, and the backing layer is plywood, with all layers pressed together to create a single board that has the natural wood look while being reinforced by less costly, yet still durable, materials underneath.
This means that it’s a stable alternative to solid flooring, and can actually do better when exposed to heat and moisture. The way it’s processed ensures that it’s an easy-to-install product that is not only more affordable than solid timber, but gives you the same look and feel too, all without sacrificing durability and longevity.
Engineered oak flooring allows for a wide variety of styles and stains for various design requirements, all with easy installation options such as gluing, stapling, or floating, which can vary depending on the manufacturer as well as your aesthetic choice.
It’s important to note that engineered oak flooring can also be refinished, like solid timber, however if this is something you foresee yourself doing in the future, make sure to install flooring with a board thickness of at least 2-3mm thick to ensure that the integrity of the wood is preserved during the refinishing process.
A synthetic flooring product with multiple layers, laminate is designed to look like real wood, but at a fraction of the cost. With a core layer that’s made from fibre board materials and melamine resin, the top layer has an imprinted textured image that’s designed to replicate the look of real oak wood.
While this is an affordable option if you’re after the natural wood look for your floors, it’s important to note that laminate flooring tends to last a maximum of 10 years, and cannot be refinished if it has been damaged.
Depending on your budget, this can be a good option for you – however, keep in mind that the initial investment of engineered flooring, or solid timber flooring, may actually save you money in the long run because of its natural durability and longevity.
There are a lot of wooden flooring options out there, and if you’ve got your heart set on oak flooring, you can choose between solid timber planks, engineered wood, or laminate. What’s important is to look at cost, appearance, and durability, as well as how your top choice will work with your lifestyle. If you’re wanting to really narrow down your options, taking a look at samples of solid flooring, engineered wood, and laminated swatches can go a long way too!