From ancient Egypt to modern-day construction, the need for a sturdy and secure flooring surface has never been in question. With advances in technology over the last century, new flooring surfaces have accrued with even easier installation and maintenance. Yet, to maintain optimal efficiency, these new flooring surfaces must be suited to the environment in which they will be installed. This is where the contemporary engineered hardwood floor comes in.
One of the most popular materials for a floor covering since time immemorial, wood has been the subject of experimentation. Despite its long history, the discovery of engineered hardwood has resulted in even more adaptable flooring systems. Hardwood is a timeless classic, a hallmark of luxury and elegance. And when it comes to flooring, it just doesn’t get any better than natural, white oak.
White oak is considered one of the finest types of lumber and has a unique grain and colour combination. Characterised by its wide range of light beige or brown shades and streaks, the wood easily blends into any décor, transforming the space into a relaxing oasis.
Introduction to Engineered White Oak Floors
Engineered white oak floors are crafted from white oak veneers that are glued to a highly stable core to form a solid wood plank. In essence, it’s a wood plank that’s been enhanced and strengthened through the application of high-quality materials and technologies. The oak hardwood surface is exceedingly durable, moisture-resistant, and of uniform density.
Due to its consistent density, engineered white oak isn’t prone to denting, swelling or warping, which ensures that the floor panels remain in pristine condition for years to come. Engineered white oak floors have a lower initial cost and installation time as opposed to solid hardwood, while also providing consistent quality and beauty. What’s more, the boards are also very easy to install, making them a perfect choice for both commercial and residential applications.
White Oak Vs Other Woods
White oak is a popular choice of wood because of its warm, honeyed tones that impart a relaxing ambience. While the natural beauty of white oak initially draws people to it, it is its many advantages that result in its broad popularity. When compared to other hardwood panels like pine, walnut, cedar, and even red oak, white oak comes out on top with a slew of advantages, including hardness. In terms of hardness, it ranks 1360 on the Janka wood hardness scale, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas.
Apart from durability, one feature that makes white oak wood a preferred choice for flooring over red oak is its neutral colour that richly maintains the colour of any stain to compliment any interior design theme. It’s also a favoured option for homes with pets or children, as it is known to be more resistant to scratches and dents than its counterpart. Its lighter and softer appeal is a bonus for homeowners who aren’t big fans of red oak in its orange-pink state.
White oak wood has a more muted grain pattern than red oak, the latter which appears excessively striking and dramatic.
Factors to Consider When Selecting White Oak Flooring
The overall ambience of a room largely depends on the flooring material. With so many different types of wood on the market today, it’s critical to consider the construction, aesthetics, and durability of any wood before making a final purchase. This applies to the grade, variation, and stains of white oak engineered hardwood flooring.
Different engineered wood flooring panels come in varying grades, which means that the quality of the product varies according to uniformity. The fewer character markings, wormholes, knots, colour patches, and cupping there are, the more likely the wood is of premium quality (select). The grain pattern should be even, without significant dents or holes.
Avoid using oak wood panels with high colour variability, as they will adversely affect the appearance of the floor and make it appear visually disjointed. The higher the colour variation, the more the surface will look uneven and choppy. As recommended by interior designers and wood engineers, oak hardwood with natural or low colour variability adds visual interest without looking overly dramatic. Such floor panels, from personal experience, are easier to match and harmonize.
A stain can instantly transform the appearance of a room by giving it a richer, deeper tone. Not everyone buys the idea of purchasing engineered wood flooring and applying a stain to suit their colour scheme. Some prefer the natural look of a wood plank that showcases the beautiful grain pattern and unique colour of the tree.
Besides, a stain doesn’t necessarily enhance the protective layer of the engineered floor panel, it only adds a layer of shine for visual appeal. In terms of drying time, stain-free oak wood flooring requires less time. However, if using a stain, take into account the dominant colour of the floor panels to ensure a rich, even finish.
How to Maintain White Oak Engineered Flooring
Maintenance is essential for the durability and lifespan of white oak wood panels. Although it does not require intensive care, regular upkeep is necessary to keep it in excellent condition.
Dust, Sweep, and Vacuum
Regular cleaning reduces the collection of dust particles, which can ruin the floor’s finish. Hence, vacuum the wood panels and afterwards, mop them with a slightly damp cloth. The latter will aid in the removal of difficult stains that have accumulated over time.
Avoid Water Retention
Due to its uniform density, engineered wood is water-resistant. However, if left to accumulate water, it will eventually get damaged, especially when its core is compromised. If there’s a spill, wipe the area within 3 hours of the incident.
Lay High Traffic Areas with Rugs and Mats
Scratches, marks, and stains are bound to occur, but these can be easily avoided by laying a rug or a mat in high-traffic areas. A felt or rubber pad should be placed beneath metal-leg furniture. This prevents the edges from dragging over the floor, leaving stains and dents.
White oak hardwood has long been a popular flooring choice, especially in the northern U.S. Its beauty and versatility add charm and sophistication to any home or office. Plus, it is affordable and suitable for high-traffic areas. As far as flooring goes, engineered white oak provides a versatile design that can be incorporated into a variety of décor styles, which any homeowner would love.