Nothing compares to the natural beauty of a solid oak floor. The distinctive grain and gorgeous honeyed tones give this type of flooring a unique charm that is impossible to beat. The stunning aesthetics are just one of the reasons solid oak remains such a popular choice for so many homeowners. With fantastic thermal insulation properties and its incredibly hardwearing nature, solid oak really is an excellent long-term option for your home.
But a solid oak floor is not necessarily the right choice for every space. In this article, we’re going to take a look at five important factors to consider when deciding whether solid oak is the best option for you.
1. There are high moisture levels in your sub-floor
Before ordering your new wood floor, it’s essential you check the moisture levels of your sub-floor. Sub-floor moisture can wreak havoc with your flooring, causing complications and delays in the installation and leading to compatibility problems and even the formation of the dreaded mold and mildew – not what you want when you’ve just forked out for a beautiful oak floor. Here are some pointers to help you test the moisture levels of your sub-floor.
Ideally, you want a moisture level that doesn’t exceed 2-3 percent. If it exceeds this level, you’d probably be better off opting for an engineered wood flooring product rather than solid oak. Engineered wood, when installed with a suitable underlay or membrane, will help to assure the longevity of your floor.
2. You’re choosing flooring for a kitchen or bathroom
If you’re choosing flooring for a kitchen or bathroom then the fluctuations in moisture levels need to be taken into account. As well as moisture, the temperature changes in kitchens and bathrooms can cause problems with a solid oak floor, which will expand and contract considerably when exposed to environmental changes. Over time, this can cause damage to your floor. That’s not to say solid oak floors can’t be used in kitchens, particularly if your kitchen is large and airy, but you should seek advice before making your choice.
3. There’s heavy footfall
If you’re looking for flooring for a room that experiences heavy footfall and have your heart set on a solid oak floor, the good news, as long as your sub-floor is nice is dry, is that solid oak is ideal. Solid wood can be sanded up to five or six times before any damage is likely to be done to the floor, which means it can take all your busy family can throw at it and keep on looking its best. Hardwoods, like oak and walnut, will potentially last longer than softer options as they do not damage or scratch as easily.
4. The room has underfloor heating
Unfortunately, humidity and significant temperature changes mean that a solid oak floor is not always the best option if you have underfloor heating. If you want a natural wood product then an engineered wood floor will provide the stability you need.
5. You’re on a budget
Many homeowners tend to think that the cost of solid oak flooring puts it out of their reach, but that’s simply not the case. Whatever your budget, there are solid wood flooring options to meet your needs. There’s also very little difference between the cost of solid wood and engineered flooring, which means your budget shouldn’t really come into it. Solid oak floors also add value, appeal and a sense of luxury to your home, as well as producing a warm, rich sound.
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