Choosing The Right Oak Wood Flooring

April 25, 2011

Enchanted owners of oak wood floors cannot decide what they love most about these durable, easy-care floor coverings. It is a tie between the warm beauty and minimal upkeep. Either way proud owners strongly recommend these delightful products to everyone. Understanding the different types of oak hardwood floors makes it easy to match the product to the room and budget. Common choices are hardwood, engineered and laminated products.

Traditional oak wood floorings are white or red depending upon the species. While white has a grayish charcoal tone, the red wood has a reddish tinge, is not as dense and is coarser. Although the red product is easier to sand, it is not as durable and not recommended for wet areas like bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms.

These products can be purchased prefinished with a coat of polyurethane or unfinished. Unfinished oak wood products need to be sanded, stained and sealed. By adding a stain to unfinished floors, homeowners expose beautiful grain patterns while adding color. A sealant is required to protect the wood from water, stains and spills with a variety of products available. As each finishing product creates a different look, purchasers will find a finished they love. These products include penetrating stains, oil and water-based polyurethane, waxes, oils and shellacs. There is even a marine-grade polyurethane finish capable of protecting high traffic areas in wet environments like entryways.

By special manufacturing processes, engineered oak wood flooring is stronger and more adaptable. The white engineered oak wood pieces have a layer of real hardwood with a core made from other materials and an estimated life of 25 years. By coating the red wood with eight different layers of aluminum oxide, the red oak wood is very smooth with increased durability.

Laminated products are less expensive as only a thin layer of real wood is used creating the look and feel of old-fashioned wood floors without the financial investment. Many of these are specially designed to snap together making it easy for do-it-yourselfers to install. A durable finish keeps these looking fantastic with minimal maintenance.

As all of these oak wood floors only required sweeping or dust mopping once a week to keep their beautiful glowing looks, the only serious choice shoppers have is the type of flooring to buy. Regular hardwood pieces are durable and shock absorbent while engineered oak has been specially designed to increase its resilience. Laminated oak looks great and is a cost-effective choice for cash-strapped budgets.

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