Oak floors speak to traditional elegance. Granted, there are many, many options for the homeowner today-imported tiles, bamboo, high-grade vinyl flooring of many shapes and colors-but truly, a hardwood floor is still one of the signs of luxurious living and brings warmth and natural beauty into any room. Oak flooring is also eminently practical as few woods offer the durability and the variety of this wood.
There are two different species of oak used for hardwood floors. Red oak, as the name implies, comes in various reddish hues, while the white variety isn’t really white but has brown or beige tones. White oak is generally slightly more expensive than red, but there are variances within both species that influence pricing.
The grade of the wood has the greatest impact on the price of the materials. Grading is based on the amount of imperfections in the wood. Of course, oak flooring is a natural product and none of it will be “perfect”. Perfect is found in plastic, not hardwood. That being said, the fewer the knots and the greater the continuity of color determine the grade of the wood.
“Clear” is the highest grading offered and indicates that the wood has the least amount of imperfections.
“Select” is the middle grading and there will be noticeable imperfections and a greater variance in the color of the wood than “Clear”.
Finally, there is “Common” grading. While lowest in grade, this type of wood is appealing as it shows the most of the natural qualities of the wood. For some uses, such as a rustic cabin, this may be the most appropriate grade while a very formal dining room may be the best place for “Clear”. In the end, it boils down to both personal taste and budget considerations.
Another consideration the homeowner will have to make in choosing hardwood flooring is whether to go with solid wood planks or ‘engineered’ planks. Engineered flooring has a veneer of oak on the top surface and a layer or layers of plywood underneath. It is used when a greater degree of stability is required and also in circumstances where moisture can be an issue as in below-grade installations such as basements. In other circumstances, a solid oak floor may give you a better quality feel and look and be more affordable as well.
Article from articlesbase.com
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