The Ultimate Style Guide To Oak Floors

Beautiful oak floors. You know you want oak, you’ve spent months deciding between which wood species you want to go for, and the look of oak has won your heart.

But choosing an oak wood floor comes with its worries. How big is the price tag? Will it get damaged? Can I have it in the bathroom like I’ve always dreamed?

Well thankfully you have several options when choosing which style of oak floor you want – and it doesn’t even have to be wood!

Depending on how you favour style, to durability, to price, we can almost guarantee that there is a style of oak floor that will suit you.

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Solid Oak Hardwood

This is the top dog in terms of oak flooring. The original. The most authentic and traditional, with its many selling points solid oak hardwood is an amazing choice. But there are a few drawbacks, and it might not suit what you are looking for.

Style

If you are a traditionalist and want the real deal, then the words ‘solid oak hardwood’ should make your heart flutter.

The beautiful colours, the knots and lines, the depth and history of every plank. It is raw beauty that works in both traditional and contemporary style homes.

Due to its durability and tough nature, solid oak works well in rooms that handle heavy footfall. Whether that be bedrooms, dining rooms or hallways.
Unfortunately due to its temperament with humidity and moisture it isn’t often recommended in bathrooms or busy kitchens.

Durability

Solid oak hardwood can last a lifetime.

Each plank is constructed of a single piece of wood normally ¾” thick. This thickness allows it to withstand heavy footfall and high traffic. Any scratches or marks can be sanded away and the wood is able to be refinished numerous times, making solid hardwood flooring a lifelong choice.

Where solid hardwood falls short is it’s weakness to moisture and humidity.

Water is the enemy of solid hardwood floors. Due to the nature of the solid wood the water can seep in and damage it from above and below.

A hot room can dry out the wood and cause it to shrink. A cold room will absorb moisture into the wood and it will expand. This shrinking and expanding can cause a lot of damage to the flooring over time, making it buckle, gap or crack.

Price

Depending on quality and supplier this is easily the higher end of the price scale. It is however worth remembering that not only will it last a lifetime, it will also be an investment and a big selling point should you want to sell your house one day.

 

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Engineered Oak Hardwood

You might think – why look further than solid hardwood? Why try and change the original? But when it comes to engineered oak hardwood you are addressing the flaws of solid hardwood, while keeping the same stunning lo ok. What’s not to love?

Style

Unless you have the keenest of eyes (and even then we still might not believe you!), you shouldn’t see any difference between an engineered oak floor and a solid oak floor.

That’s because engineered oak floors have a top layer of solid oak veneer. Therefore it is solid oak you will in fact be seeing.

Due to engineered oak hardwood flooring unique construction it is great in almost every room including bathrooms and basements. It also works well with underfloor heating so cold toes in the morning could be a thing of the past.

Durability

Due to engineered oak hardwoods layered structure makes it means it is dimensionally stable. All the layers run in different directions in a “cross wire” making it much more stable and therefore less reactive towards moisture.

Although the layered structure does greatly improve the floors ability to withstand water it makes a sacrifice in terms of durability.
The fact that there is only a thin top layer of hardwood means that engineered hardwood can become chipped or scratched easier and can only be sanded once or twice before the thin top layer wears away. However it should still easily see 15+ years if kept well.

Check out our article on Solid Hardwoods vs Engineered Hardwood for more information.

Price

Engineered Oak Hardwood is more affordable than solid oak.

 

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Vinyl

I know what you’re thinking. You want oak, oak is a wood. How can vinyl even be considered. But now, vinyl has taken a giant leap forward in terms of appearance and feel. It looks like that oak floor you’ve dreamed off, without the hefty price tag. Check out our article on it here.

Style

By using new technological advances such as 3D printing technology and printed photo-imagery the image of oak printed on the vinyl tiles looks identical to the real thing.
This technology adds texture, depth and realism to every luxury vinyl tile, closely mimicking the look and feel of oak flooring.

The other popular feature of luxury vinyl tiles is that they are often plank-shaped. Traditional vinyl would have normally came as one large sheet to fit the room and eliminate seams. Now however you want tile to imitate the look of a solid wood floor, therefore coming in plank shapes replicates this much better.

Durability

LVT is water resistant with some products claiming to be entirely waterproof. So that oak wooden floor you want in your bathroom? That effect can be created without any worry of shrinking or warping.

Luxury also works well with underfloor heating unlike a lot of wooden floors, making it even more functional in a number of different rooms.

Vinyl has always been one of the best flooring options for kitchens and LVT is no different. The fact that it is water and stain resistant makes it perfect for busy household areas that might see spills or dirty paws.

Luxury vinyl has also improved in terms of durability becoming much tougher against wear and tear and any scratches that it might see in its lifetime. And if you do somehow manage to damage your floor, it’s much easier fixed by simply replacing the required tiles.

Luxury vinyl floors need little maintenance with being so durable and easy to clean. It’s also great for those that change their minds. Unlike hardwood floors or tiles LVT is easy to install and reinstall if you decide you want to change the look you are going for.

Price

Vinyl flooring has always been one of the cheaper flooring options. It almost goes without saying that luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) are vastly cheaper than the hardwood flooring that they’re imitating. And with the new tile shape it makes it much cheaper to fix issues if any damage is caused.

 

So depending on where you want your beautiful oak floor to be, how big a budget you have, or how much a stickler you are to tradition, one of these styles should suit you.

You shouldn’t have to sacrifice money for style, or style for substance with floors anymore.

If you want to talk further about flooring installations and costs please contact us here or call on 0141 530 9484.