There are a lot of different choices when it comes to flooring to the point that many homeowners may find the number of options overwhelming. However, once you decide on what qualities you prioritize, the choice becomes a little easier to make. Do you focus on the aesthetic value of the flooring, its durability, or how easy it is to use? Once you know what is most important to you and your home, that should narrow down your choices.
But what if you don’t want to choose? What if you want a floor that has all of those qualities? Then your choice should be European oak floors. They have all the qualities that you could ever want in hardwood flooring, which is why they have become an increasingly popular choice for homeowners over the years. If you are interested in European oak flooring for your home, then get in touch with an online or brick and mortar home improvement store to learn about why European oak flooring could be right for you.
European oak typically originates from France, Germany, or the United Kingdom, though it can come from other countries in Europe as well. It is slow-growing but also very tough, which is why it has been a popular form of wood for centuries. It has been used in applications as diverse as shipbuilding, coopering barrels, and building furniture, so it is no surprise that it would be a great choice for flooring material.
As for exactly why European oak is a great flooring choice, well first there are the practical aspects: It is a high density wood so it is very tough and durable; it has a high tannin content which makes it resistant to attacks from bugs and fungus; despite its toughness, it is very easy to work with so drilling and cutting are relatively easy. Of course there are also various cosmetic reasons why European oak is so appealing. Since it is a slow-growing wood, it has a tighter grain pattern and more variations in its grain pattern than American oaks. European oak also has a darker, warmer hue than the lighter colored American oaks.
Aside from the geographical differences, there are many ways in which American and European oak differ. European oak is longer and wider than American oak which means that the sapwood is wider and thicker than its heartwood. The heartwood is the part of the tree where wormholes, knots, and darker woods are found. The thickness of the sapwood means that it is clearer and wider than the sapwood from American oak.
The milling method of European oak is also different from American oak because it is live sawn, which is when the tree log is cut all the way from the front to the back. That method of sawing includes all the different types of hardwood present in the log. So when the oak is converted into flooring, all of the natural graining of the wood shows up clearly, giving it a beautiful and unique appearance, while also providing durability and stability. Many American mills have started using this method because of the quality of wood it produces.
The other way in which European oak and American oak differ is in their finishing methods. European oak is finished using an oil that penetrates deep into the wood and provides a thorough seal by closing the pores of the hardwood. Since this type of oil finish is absorbed into the wood instead of sitting on top of it, you can actually feel the graining of the wood even though you can use it in different ways. With other types of finishing methods, the oil is applied to the wood in several layers so that you feel the oil rather than the wood. That means wood finished using the European method looks and feels more natural.
Now that you know the advantages that European oak provides, you may be wondering where you can find them. Fortunately, the answer is nearly everywhere. European oak can be purchased from both online retailers and traditional brick and mortar stores. It is slightly more expensive than American oak because it has to be shipped across the ocean, but if you want beautiful, distinctive, and highly durable hardwood flooring, then you may find the extra cost to be more than worth it.