New Year, New Oak Floor
The new year is almost here, which means many of you will be looking to get on with them jobs you postponed until after Christmas. For many its time to rip out that nasty old carpet and replace with some beautiful oak flooring. With this comes a number of points to be considered.
Solid Or Engineered?
The first choice is the question of whether solid or engineered oak flooring is most suitable for your environment. Typically a solid oak floor is laid over the top of joists, or over a timber sub-floor. Solid oak boards can also be glued down, however we do not recommend glueing boards wider than 120mm.
Engineered oak flooring is designed for those areas where a solid oak floor simply is not suitable. Engineered boards are more stable than solid boards. This means they can be used over the top of concrete or over an underfloor heating system. These boards are perfect for areas with changeable humidity, such as a kitchen or bathroom.
Whether you require solid or engineered oak flooring, the thickness of board is also a factor that should be considered. Again this is dependant on what is best for your situation. More information on choosing how thick your oak flooring should be can be seen by clicking here.
The next main point to consider is the choice of grade. The grade of oak flooring dictates what the board looks like from above and how much "character" is present. The main grades are Barn, Character, Select and Prime.
The Barn grade is by far the most rustic of the grades available. These boards contain a high number of knots, burrs, shakes, cracks and holes. This really is the grade for those areas where only maximum character will do.
Next up is the Character grade, which is our most popular grade of oak flooring. These boards feature knots of varying size (some of which may contain cracks or holes), colour variation and the odd shake and end crack. Character grade looks great in just about any environment.
The select grade is one above the character grade. These boards are defined by their almost flawless finish, with the slightest bit of character to break up the floor. These boards feature the occasional pip knot or tiny crack.
Finally comes the prime grade, for those areas where nothing but perfection will do. These boards are free from the knots, shakes and cracks which are present in the other grades, and are uniform in colour.
The width of board is a further point to be considered. The width is again a case of personal preference, and what looks best in your environment. Its worth considering that wider boards can often require alternative fitting methods, such as the case when laying wider boards over concrete.
The finish of the board is the final point of note. The finish dictates what your boards will look like once laid. Some boards are supplied unfinished, leaving you to stain or oil your floor as you see fit. Prefinished boards are also available.
Happy New Year!