Oak Flooring

 

Out of all the wood flooring choices available today, oak flooring seems to be at the top of everyone’s list. If you are considering investing in a wooden floor, take a look at some of the specific benefits that oak offers:

1. Oak is a hardwood and is extremely hard wearing.
2. Oak actually improves with age like a good red wine.
3. Oak provides a very attractive grain that is ideal for flooring.
4. Because of its popularity and abundance Oak has been made available in an astonishing array of styles grades and dimensions.
5. Above all other woods Oak takes very well to staining and colouring.
6. Oak is remarkably resistant to fungal and insect attacks.
7. Oak has been used as a sign of opulence in the past due to its attractiveness and still has a prestigious flair due to this distinction.

All in all, if your priority is getting a high-quality wood with a timeless look and feel, then oak will exceed your wildest expectations. It is the filet mignon of wood flooring, which is why it is in such high demand.

Oak is categorised into different grades of wood. The quality of the grade affects the price but not the longevity or durability of the floor. Prime as the name suggests is the most expensive.

Companies have different terminology to specify these grades, but generally they are as follows:

1. Prime or select –very clean almost no knots and colour variation
2. Natural or medium – Some knots and some colour variations
3. Character or rustic – Large knots and plenty of colour variations

Oak flooring is manufactured into different thicknesses; this again impacts the price but in this instance it can affect the longevity of the floor.

We classify Oak flooring into a number of different styles of Oak:
Standard Oak;
Distressed Oak;
Reclaimed Oak;
Coloured Oak;
Traditional Oak and
Wide Oak.

You can get a better idea of these different styles and what each one looks like from the descriptions below:

Standard Oak

Standard oak flooring has not been coloured, stained distressed or aged in any way. It is machined straight from the log into various widths, thicknesses and profiles and it is then kiln dried and in some cases prefinished with a hard-wax oil or lacquer.

Available in:

Standard Oak - Prime Grade Solid 160mm Wide

Standard Oak - Prime Grade Sample

Available In

Width A variety ranging from about 57mm up to about 220mm. For wider than this see our wide oak section below.
Grade All Grades
Thickness Various thicknesses, most commonly 14mm and 20mm
Profiles Tongue and groove and ends matched in most cases, and square edged in others
Structure Both engineered and solid wood format
Finish Unfinished or prefinished formats depending on your situation
Price Range from £80 to £150 per square meter supplied and fitted

 

Distressed Oak

This style of oak is processed from the Standard oak above but has been through an additional manufacturing process to give it an antique or aged appearance.

Generally it is placed in a large drum and tumbled with nuts and bolts and bits of metal to beat it up a little. The process is very effective and floors like this can look almost the same as the much more expensive reclaimed flooring.

More often than not a stain is then added to give it that extra aged look… but this is optional.

Once fitted professionally it will look as though your floor has been there for hundreds of years.

Distressed Oak - Solid 185mm Wide Finished With Dark Stain

Distressed Oak - Solid 185mm Wide Sample

Available In

Width 145-185-230mm- engineered, and 145-165-185-205-225mm-solid
Grade Natural and Rustic
Thickness 18mm and 22mm
Profiles Tongue and groove and ends matched
Structure Both engineered and solid wood format
Finish Unfinished or prefinished formats depending on your situation
Price Range from £120 to £150 per square meter supplied and fitted

 

Reclaimed Oak

Reclaimed Oak as the name suggests is timber reclaimed from old buildings, railway carriages etc, either from the UK or France. It is the genuine article and is beautiful to look at having developed lovely hues which in truth can only come from time itself.

The downside is availability, it is getting harder to get, although we can source it from a couple of suppliers we know, the price is hefty; at least double what one pays for the distressed oak above. So if you have the budget it is well worth it, but if not the artificially distressed oak is an exceptionally good alternative.

Reclaimed French Oak - Random Width 10mm Overlay

Reclaimed French Oak Sample

Available In

Width Dependant on availability
Grade N/A
Thickness Dependant on availability, normally a random width 10mm overlay or 20mm board.
Profiles N/A
Structure Solid
Finish Unfinished
Price On Request

Coloured Oak

Coloured oak is when Standard oak is changed from its natural colour to one of a variety of different shades. This can be done either by applying a coloured wax or stain or by a process known as smoking, this is where ammonia is used to react with the tanins in the wood and turns it a darker shade of brown. If this process is repeated it is known as double smoked and it produces a very dark brown in colour, not achievable by applying a stain.

Other colour ranges that we supply are white oiled, walnut/ebony, and a cognac brown. The cognac is almost identical to the single smoked colour and is cheaper.

Coloured oak can be bought prefinished meaning the colour is applied at the factory alternatively the colour can be applied on site by us once the floor has been fitted. In some cases this is preferable when you are trying to achieve an exact look. In the latter you are also able to choose from the multitude of widths and grades that are available in the standard oak.

Coloured Oak - Character Grade Engineered 180mm Wide Single Smoked

Coloured Oak - Character Grade Sample

Available In

Width When purchased prefinished some widths; when purchased unfinished all widths. 140-160-180-200mm and upwards to 300mm.
Grade All Grades
Thickness Various thicknesses.
Profiles Tongue and groove or square edged.
Structure Both engineered and solid wood format
Finish Unfinished or prefinished formats depending on your situation
Price Range from £100 to £150 per square meter supplied and fitted

 

Whittlewoods Traditional Oak - The Rolls Royce of floors - Solid 22mm and in widths up to 15"

Available In

Width 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15 inches. Sold in batches of three to four widths.
Grade Character/ Barn
Thickness 19mm to 22mm.
Profiles Square edged or loose tongue. (loose tongue = narrower boards)
Structure Solid
Finish Unfinished
Price Range from £140 to £200 per square meter supplied and fitted

Wide Oak

This is similar to the Standard oak but is just wider up to widths of 300mm.

It extremely important if you are wanting to buy flooring of this width to ensure that you have purchased it from a quality supplier, if it has not been properly cut and Kiln dried your floor will buckle and warp.

Our flooring in this Style and width is Engineered, either 3 ply oak or 6mm on 14mm plywood. This is to ensure the boards stability.
Please read our page on engineered flooring to understand how engineered flooring stabilises a board.

This floor makes a loud statement in any house, but is generally more suited to large rooms..

Available In

Width 200, 250 and 300mm
Grade Character
Thickness 22mm
Profiles Tongue and groove, ends matched.
Structure Engineered
Finish Unfinished or prefinished formats depending on your situation
Price Range from £120 to £170 per square meter supplied and fitted.
 

Additional Flooring Information