So you’ve decided you need engineered oak flooring for your environment. However with different wear layer and plyboard thickness available it can be a minefield. The thickness of your engineered oak flooring is one of the most important factors, but why?
Let’s start by establishing exactly what engineered oak flooring is. Whilst solid oak flooring boards consist of a single piece of oak, engineered oak boards are made up a combination of layers. Firstly you have the solid oak wear layer, which is what you see once the engineered oak flooring has been laid. This is how an engineered oak floor looks no different than a solid oak floor once laid. Underneath this wear layer you have a plyboard base.
It is the construction which gives engineered oak flooring its stability and its ability to cope with a range of situations. Engineered oak boards can be laid in the same ways as a solid oak floor, with the additional benefits of being able to be glued (even with wider boards) or laid as a floating floor when required. Typically engineered oak flooring is used for laying over the top of difficult subfloors – such as concrete. The added stability of engineered flooring means it can also be laid over the top of underfloor heating.
When looking at the thickness of engineered oak flooring there are a few points to consider.
The first point is the thickness of the wear layer. It is this thickness that is one of the factors that determines the lifespan of your engineered board. A good thick wear layer can be sanded a high number of times. It is worth noting that equal quality engineered and solid boards can be sanded the same amount of times. For example; our 20mm engineered oak boards with a 6mm solid oak wear layer can be sanded the same amount of times as our 20mm solid oak boards.
The next point is the thickness of the plyboard base. A thicker plyboard base will provide greater stability than a thinner plyboard base. When looking at the plyboard base of your engineered oak flooring you should also consider the amount of layers that are present. The more layers there are, the more stable the board is likely to be.
As noted above, engineered oak flooring is designed to provide greater stability. With thinner engineered oak boards you are compromising on this stability. When possible, you should always opt for a thick engineered oak board.
So you’ve decided you want oak flooring, and you’ve come across the Prime oak flooring grade as a possible option. But what exactly is prime grade and is it suitable for your environment?
Prime grade oak flooring boards are all taken from the centre of the trunk. This means that only a small amount of prime grade boards are produced from each oak tree. These boards are free from knots, cracks, shakes and burrs. These boards are also uniform in colour.
Due to the very minimalist nature of the prime boards, they are ideally suited to modern and contemporary settings. Prime grade oak flooring is ideal for those areas where nothing less than perfection will do; where the floor must look beautiful, without distracting the eye.
As with all of our flooring, the prime grade is hand selected. This ensures that when your order prime grade, you get prime grade. If a board isn’t perfect, it won’t be included in this grade.
The prime grade is available in both our solid oak flooring and our engineered oak flooring ranges. When laying over existing wooden subfloors, or directly onto joists, our solid oak flooring can be used.
For the more tricky environments, such as concrete subfloors or over underfloor heating, our prime grade engineered oak flooring can be used. With a 6mm top layer, fixed to 14mm of Siberian birch plyboard, our engineered oak flooring will look no different than our solid oak flooring once laid. The great advantage of engineered boards is the added stability they provide, making them more suitable for different environments.
Give us a call if you would like to discuss the prime grade with us further.
Oak flooring is supplied in either an unfinished state or a prefinished state. Prefinished oak flooring is supplied with a factory finish, meaning that once the boards are laid, no additional work needs to be done. Unfinished boards are laid before a finish is applied. The great advantage of unfinished boards is that they give you a greater range of options of how you would like your oak flooring to look. When applying a finish to your oak flooring there are a number of points to consider.
The type of finish chosen is the first point to consider. Whether you opt for a lacquered finish or an oiled finish, it is important that it meets the demands of your area. How the finish will look on your oak floor is the most important point – we always recommend testing out the finish on a off cut first. How hard wearing your chosen finish is, should also be considered. Our guide to oak floor finishes takes a look at just that. How to maintain your oak floor finish is a further important factor.
Having the right tools for the job of applying your finish will help to avoid any problems, as well as saving you valuable time. Whatever finish you apply, be sure to check the label to see what equipment is recommended for the application – whether this be a natural bristle brush, short-haired roller etc. For the application of any of the oils we supply, we always recommend using our 220mm wide floor brushes. The natural bristles of these brushes, means that only the correct amount of oil is held at the top of brush. This means you will not apply too much. Any standard broom handle can be inserted into the brush, saving the need to get down on your hands and knees. These brushes can be cleaned out using white spirit or a brush cleaner and thinner.
The application process very much goes hand in hand with having the right tools. Always follow the instructions as specified. When applying oiled finishes, it is important that you do not over apply the oil. This will result in extended drying times and a none consistent finish. Equally it is important that you are not applying too little oil. If the finish suggests a coverage of 25m2, that should be the coverage you apply.
After applying your finish, adequate time should be allowed for it to properly dry out. Whilst the finish is drying, refrain from walking across the oak floor. Doing so could cause a contamination to the finish. Once all coats have been applied and have dried, additional care should be taken over the initial weeks whilst the finish hardens.
Give us a call on 01538 304584 if you would like to discuss the finishing of oak flooring with us further.