Oak flooring is durable, stain resistant, and looks great with any kitchen decor. The quality of an oak floor is very hard to miss, and because wood floors in general have such a superior quality to laminate or carpet, upgrading to a wood floor can add the value of your home as well.
Adding oak flooring to your kitchen adds so much style to your home. Wooden floors are elegant and beautiful, regardless of what they are paired with.
For rooms like the kitchen, the oak floor is particularly beneficial as it provides an easy and warm feeling on the feet.
The great thing about oak flooring is that it is extremely durable and versatile. It is important to remember that once your oak floor is a little older and the floor starts to look worn, it is possible to refinish the wood to look like a brand new floor for very little effort and expense. Your oak floor can be sanded and re-stained with a darker or lighter color to match a completely new style.
However, there is a major downside to oak flooring – it is neither environmentally friendly nor sustainable. Although reclaimed woods are used to make different wooden floors, a large part of it is made by cutting down trees – to be used as timber.
Cost of oak flooring
Oak flooring is considered “mid-range” on the budget scale, but the quality can match that of any expensive hardwood flooring available on the market.
Prices will be affected by factors such as the construction of the wood, the manufacturer, the quality of the wood, the thickness of the boards, and how difficult it is to install.
You should keep in mind that oak flooring will save you loads of money in the long run due to its durability.
The price starts around $2 per square foot – and that doesn’t include installation costs.
Tips for buying an oak floor
1. Oak is available in two natural colors – red and white. The white is not really pure white but a kind of beige color that makes the interiors look bright and spacious.
2. Because oak is a light-colored wood, it can either be left its natural color, or stained almost any color. This makes for very versatile options when flooring your kitchen with oak, because you can use the wood in its natural form to match the very light color palette, or you can stain a darker color to match dark color schemes.
3. Oak flooring is also available in pre-finished and unfinished types. The unfinished variety is cheaper, however you will find this Pre-finished oak flooring is best for kitchens because they have high quality finishes that were applied to it in the factory. Therefore, they are stronger and more resistant to scratches, spills, UV rays and moisture. You will also find that warranties with pre-finished floors are better than with the unfinished variety.
4. Engineered oak flooring is another type of pre-finished oak flooring. It is man-made and made of layers of plywood that form the core or the underside of the floor and another layer that is the top surface is made of solid oak. Both the core and the upper layers are made in such a way that the layers are placed on top of each other. Because of this, you will find that engineered oak floors are strong and durable especially good for kitchens that are either at ground level or below. They are generally more immune to moisture, spillage and temperature extremes and are dimensionally stable.
5. For underfloor heating, this engineered oak floor is very effective.
6. Engineered oak flooring is also more environmentally friendly. This is because plywood is constructed from soft wood that grows quickly and is abundant. Therefore, less oak is used.
7. Oak flooring is available in three grades. These grades determine the quality of the wood. Of course, the highest grade is the best. You will find that the lowest grade has the most imperfections, however it is closest to the natural beauty that wood has.
8. What you should also know is that the thicker the wooden boards are the stronger the floorand therefore the thickness of oak flooring is an important aspect to consider when investing in oak flooring.
9. You will find a wide variety of styles in oak flooring.
- Floor Plank – consists of wider, linear oak planks.
- Strip – which is a linear oak floor, but not so wide.
- Parquet – a series of oak flooring that is arranged geometrically.
Installation of oak flooring
The installation of the oak floor can be done as glued, floating or nailed.
A qualified and experienced contractor is advised to assist in the installation process.
One thing about oak flooring is that you have to be concerned about how the oak will react to the change in climate throughout the year. As conditions dry out, the wood naturally contracts and expands again as the moisture is released back into the air. This is one of the biggest reasons you need a professional.
Maintenance and upkeep of oak flooring
With regard to cleaning and maintenance, strictly follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as wooden floors require more care than other types of floor material.
Damp mopping combined with vacuuming is the best way to clean your oak floor.
Use rugs on key areas in the kitchen such as near the sink. This helps prevent scratches and indentations.
Wipe up any spills on your floor immediately. Don’t let it sit there because it will get into the cracks and make the boards swell.
How to get the best price on oak flooring
BuildDirect seems to be one of the best places to buy oak flooring from. Besides the best prices, their customer-friendly policies make shopping from them a pleasure.