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From Little Acorns Grows The Oak

From Little Acorns Grows The Oak

Posted in Wood Flooring by Source on July 19th 2011
>The dependable, versatile flooring material has been a standard in homes for many years. Not only is the wood good-looking, it is also strong, long-lasting, and often locally-grown. As far as colour goes, oak features a wide range of beautiful tones. From dark reddish-brown to pale whites and grays, the warm color of oak matches a cornucopia of design schemes. Oak grows very slowly and can reach a great age. European oaks can attain 1000 years of age and trunk girths of 44 feet. They are not especially tall- the greatest height recorded being 128 feet. Contrast this with American white oak which can reach 150 feet in height but with a much more slender girth of 30 feet and a mere maximum age of 600 years. Alot of people ask whether there is any difference between French, German and English oak, however there is such little difference most joinery manufacturers often incorporate all types in the same piece of work – even experts in oak have difficulty in spotting the difference.

After logging, timber is usually sold in boules – where the log has been cut through and through into set thickness planks but still kept in the order from the log – this is an ideal way to purchase oak when the grain and colour matching are important. Oak Timber is available in many different formats. Fresh Sawn, Air Dried and Kiln Dried. When a tree is initially felled, it is classified as fresh sawn or green – it contains high moisture content.  This moisture will dry out over time when the timber is used under cover or inside buildings, however when it is purchased fresh sawn and used straight away it will start to crack and split once it has been moved to a drier environment.  This is often seen as way of making the timber look original and having more character. Air dried timber has been stored outside or in a well-ventilated shed – this gives the timber a more acceptable lower moisture content which is required for kiln drying. Kiln drying is where the timber is placed in large kilns set at a constant temperature and slowly dried to a moisture content of approx. between 7 – 12%.  This makes the timber stable enough to use in furniture, flooring and joinery without excessive amounts of movement or splitting in the timber when it is in a dry environment.

All wood flooring is kiln dried. Oak is a species that really puts the "hard" in "hardwood flooring". Combine these high ratings with a very high density, and you have a flooring material that can stand up to a lot of wear and tear. Treat the wood with a high-quality sealant, stain or varnish, and you can expect many years out of your new floors. Maintaining a beautiful hardwood floor is a breeze. The first step is applying a high-quality sealant or stain. Make sure what you're using is waterproof and protects against harmful UV radiation, which can add years to the look of your floors. Second, remember to sweep and mop regularly. Sand, dust and dirt can wear off a floor's sealant and expose the wood to harmful elements. Buckling, bending and warping are big problems facing home owners with hardwood floors. This occurs when wood floors expand and shrink due to fluctuations in temperature and humidity. The buckling is the worst when boards don't expand or shrink in proportion to each other. Luckily, both red and white oak flooring experience expansion and shrinkage at a relatively even rate, meaning your floors won't warp or bend as easily as other species. Just to be safe, try to keep the temperature and humidity in your home stable.

As you can see, the combination of versatile looks, strength, durability, and ease of care has made oak flooring one of the most popular varieties of hardwood flooring materials in the country. If you are considering putting in new hardwood floors, you will definitely want to consider oak. Please feel free to contact us if you need any help or information about wood flooring : 01379 652613 or 08456 021781, or take a look at our wood flooring collections at www.sourcewoodfloors.co.uk.


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