Appearance of oak hardwood flooring
Appearance is an important consideration, and you will want to make sure you get the right look for your home. Oak has rich tones with a distinctive grain pattern, and comes in two varieties: red and white. Red oak is lighter in color and has a bit of a pink tone to it. Also, red oak has stronger graining. White oak is darker with a more brown color and yellow undertones, giving the color more depth and warmth. The grain of white oak is smoother, not as pronounced.
Both types of oak accept stain well so getting the right color is easier. That also means it is versatile and will look good with many different types of décor. Oak’s color can fade easier if it is exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time, so it is more suitable for indoor flooring.
Different grades offer variety
Hardwood is graded according to its aesthetic qualities. Oak hardwood flooring is divided into four basic grades, each one with different attributes.
Clear is the highest grade. Boards are selected for maximum uniformity. They are free from knots, splits, or streaks, and there is little variation in color. Select is the second highest grade. There is more color variation allowed. The boards will still be free from knots, splits, or streaks. Common #1 has even more color variation, small streaks and small knots will be visible. Common #2 is the lowest official grade. There are wide color variations with larger streaks and knots. The grade you choose will largely depend on the look you want, whether it needs to match existing flooring, and your budget.
Prefinished vs. unfinished flooring
Oak flooring is available prefinished or unfinished. Hardwood floors need to have a finish to help protect against moisture, stains, and everyday wear. Prefinished floors come from the factory with the protective coating already on them. Unfinished floors have no stain or protective coat. When you buy unfinished flooring, it must be sanded, stained and finished on site, after installation.
Prefinished flooring requires less install time since it is already stained and finished. Since there is no finishing done on site, the room can be used again immediately after installation. Unfinished is a better choice if you need to match flooring or décor that already exists in your house. Because the finishing is done on site, you are not limited to the colors offered by the factory. You can customize the color and installation to your liking.
Maintenance of oak hardwood flooring
Clean your wood floors with a dust mop or vacuum with a hard floor attachment (no rotating brush). When more thorough cleaning is needed, use a cleaner specifically for wood. Avoid getting moisture on your hardwood flooring.
Solid wood vs. engineered wood
Oak flooring can be solid wood or engineered wood. Solid hardwood boards are made from one piece of wood. Engineered wood has 3 or 5 layers. A thin layer of hardwood is on top and layers of plywood or fiberboard underneath. The under layers are stacked cross-grain to make the finished board denser and more stable. Because of the construction, engineered wood tolerates humidity and moisture changes better. This means engineered wood can be installed on any level of the home, even in below grade applications like basements. While solid hardwood flooring is only suitable for levels of the home that are at ground level or above.
Oak hardwood flooring is durable, but normal wear will happen eventually. Solid hardwood floors can be sanded if necessary and refinished. Because of the thin top layer, engineered wood is limited here, and some cannot be refinished at all.
Gowdy Flooring has many varieties of hardwood flooring and can help you find the right one for your project. For questions about our products or services, call us today at (806) 353-6226. You can also connect with us via e-mail. Visit our showroom and office located at 5205 S. Coulter St. in Amarillo, Texas and let our professional staff help you with all your flooring needs.