What Makes Good Oak Flooring?
When searching the oak flooring market, you will know doubt come across the range of different options that are available to you. Sadly during this decision process it can often be difficult to decide exactly what is right to you. With this in mind, here are some of the things to look out for.
What Is The Country Of Origin?
The origin of the oak flooring, as well as the species, can have an affect on the overall quality of the flooring. Oak flooring is available all over the world with Europe, America and China being the main exporters. You can read about the key differences between American and European Oak in a previous blog post by clicking here. Here at Peak Oak, all of our oak flooring is European sourced and European produced.
What Is The Moisture Content Of The Flooring?
The moisture content of the flooring often relates to its country of origin. Some oak which has been imported into the UK from China is often dried down to lower than 8%. This means the moment the oak boards are unwrapped from their airtight packaging, they quickly swell in Britain's damp air and can often become mis-shapen.
How Good Is The Machining?
The precision of the machining, although not an immediately obvious point to note, can influence how easily you are able to lay your oak flooring. This relates to how the tongue and groove of the each board fits into each other.
What Lengths Are Available?
Another point of note is what length of boards are available. Some companies offer flooring where the boards are as short as 300mm in length. This leaves your floor with random short lengths, which often look unsightly. All of our flooring is sold in long lengths only, over 2000mm for the 20mm thick boards and over 1500mm for the 14mm boards.
What Width Of Boards Are Available?
The choice of width of board often comes down to personal preference and to suitability to your environment. Some may prefer the thinner boards, whilst others opt for a much wider board. Here we have huge range of a widths from as thin as 120mm to as wide as 300mm.
What Grades Are Available?
The grading of the board is what defines it, and can really change the look of your whole room. When looking at grades it is basically a choice of whether you want your oak flooring to be full of knots, cracks etc. or not. Once this has been decided, you can then choose how far along the scale you go. For example whether you opt for the extremity of the barn grade, the slightly cleaner look of the character, the more refined select grade or the completely clean prime grade.
What Finish Is Available?
As standard the majority of our oak flooring is supplied in an unfinished state. This means you have the option to apply whatever product you wish. This allows you to achieve pretty much any look you require. Often if you change your mind, many of these products can be reversed via sanding. Our personal recommendation is normally to finish using a hard wax oil. These oils are available in a number of different styles, create a very natural looking floor, and are very hard wearing.