Different Oak Flooring Options Available Today

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  • Author Veronica Jewell
  • Published June 4, 2009
  • Word count 522

A walk to the local DIY store and you will immediately notice the wide range of flooring that is available for sale. These can range from the cheap and affordable, to the expensive and luxurious. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices available. So how do you come to the right decision? Which type of material will be most suitable for your flooring project? Here are some tips that you may find useful.

  1. Solid wood flooring

Just a few short years ago, solid wood flooring seemed to be the most popular option. Perhaps this is because solid wood (like oak) tend to look more expensive, and they are certainly more durable. But the problem with such materials is that the wooden planks tend to be too thick. If there is nothing underneath the flooring, this type of wood would be perfect for the project, assuming that you have the budget for it. Solid wood will cost a lot more than other cheaper alternatives. But if you are considering installing floor heating systems beneath the flooring, solid materials may not be your best option. The thickness just occupies most of the space, leaving you very little to work with. In such cases, the other option will appear more attractive.

  1. Engineered solid wood flooring

Engineered solid wood is very similar to pure solid wood in terms of properties and characteristics. Understanding the problems that solid materials create, innovative manufacturers have managed to find a way to process the wood such that it is not as thick. The top layer of the plank is glued to another type of wood. No one will notice that it is engineered wood after the project has been completed. This type of material is ideal for homes and offices with flooring heating systems.

  1. Length makes a difference

The length of the floor planks make a difference. For example, it is easier to put together shorter planks, and smaller planks cost less. They also don't twist or warp easily under temperature changes. But the draw back is that they don't look as nice when fitted together. Longer planks are harder to put together, and they usually cost a little more. They have a higher tendency to twist compared to short planks. But if you hire professionals to install the flooring for you, twisting can be avoided. When the project is complete, long straight flooring pieces of wood can create the most beautiful and dramatic effect.

  1. Floor finishing

Unless you are very knowledgeable about wood, it is better to leave the finishing to the professionals. If you really want to apply your own finishing, at least consult your local DIY store. You have to be a little cautious here because there are many types of finishing available in the market. They come as stains or varnishes, and you need to determine the type that is best suited for your project.

In general, there are 2 types of finishing to choose from. You can choose to change the surface appearance with wood stains, or you can choose to preserve the appearance by applying protecting varnishing, which is transparent.

Veronica Jewell is a freelance writer covering topics such as oak flooring and wood flooring.

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