This plank is from our Henley range, which is characterised by excellent quality and a textured surface. Milled with a particularly thick wear layer of European oak - it's accounts for at least 25% of the total thickness - the collection was initially developed primarily for the hospitality industry, so it is as tough as it is beautiful. Henley planks come in numerous colours, shades and sizes, with a wide variety of techniques like sawing, brushing, burning, distressing and planing used to achieve the many different finishes. But all share two fundamental traits - they are fashion-forward and high performance.
Finishing your floor with the ideal stair nosing, threshold, ramp or scotia makes the difference between a good floor and a great one. For this reason, at Havwoods we offer a complete range of trims, including T and end sections, pipe covers, cover plates and skirting/architrave profiles, specifically to complement every individual product, and they are stained, textured and oiled as appropriate to match each one as closely as is possible. Of course, this is a bespoke service so it will take approximately one week to fulfil your order.
Smoking, sometimes known as fuming, is a wood finishing process which is used to create really sophisticated shades, both darkening the timber and simultaneously enhancing its grain. Ammonium hydroxide reacts with the natural tannin in the wood, rather like sunlight on the melanin in human skin, and draws it towards the surface. So the higher the level of tannin, and the closer it is to the surface, the more pronounced the effect.
Of course, this means that smoking also enhances the individuality which is fundamental to the charm of a real wood floor. Results vary from plank to plank - even those cut from the same tree can show a difference in colour. And the process also highlights the sapwood (the living part of the tree through which sap and water flow), throwing it into greater relief. If you prefer a more even tone you may wish to opt for a product which owes its appearance to stains or coloured oils instead.
But if you are charmed by its unique and subtle visual, smoking offers another major advantage over staining - its effects run right through the lamella (the wear layer). This makes fumed and smoked products ideal for use in high traffic areas where scratches are inevitable. But beware of cheap imitations. The wood should be held in a sealed chamber with freely circulating air, enabling the fumes to penetrate the cell structure, but if ammonia has simply been wiped across the surface, its effect will only be superficial.
What is meant by character grade?
Whilst you are no doubt aware that wood is graded according to its appearance, you may be surprised to learn that there are no international grading standards. At Havwoods we deal with many different mills, from many different countries, so for consistency we have defined our own grading rules.
This board uses character grade timber, which means that it is visually very interesting but not as busy as a rustic grade, It will contain both heartwood and sapwood and there will be some colour variation. You may see some checks (cracks across the growth ring), and possibly some end shake (cracks between the rings). It will also contain knots, although their size and frequency is restricted.
Knots are formed when a branch has died and its base has become enclosed by subsequent layers of trunk wood as the tree grows, so their presence is emphasised by the grain of the wood flowing around it. Filler is used in the larger knots, the colour carefully selected to complement the wood rather than to match it exactly. The colour of the filler may vary.
If you prefer a cleaner look, then refine your search to look for prime, select or classic grade products. If you want a board with even more character, search for rustic or natural grades.
What is the species?
This product is milled in Europe from European oak. European oak is actually a generic name for two different species, both of which are classified as white oak and exhibit essentially the same characteristics. Also know by their country of origin, e.g. English oak, French oak, et cetera, they have a warm golden, honey colour, slightly richer and less pink-toned than American Oak and with more even colouring. They also have a distinctive wavy grain pattern with scatterings of pips and burr and are particularly suited to the fuming process, ensuring more consistent results.
In general, European mills utilise a technique known as live sawing. This results in a mixture of plain, quarter and rift sawn cuts all in one wide plank of wood. Capturing all parts of the wood in one cut like this gives the floor a unique and notably beautiful appearance, and because at least a third of the cut is quarter sawn, the planks themselves are particularly stable.
What is meant by engineered wood?
Some people confuse engineered wood with laminate, but nothing could be further from the truth. Laminate flooring may look like wood, but it is not, it is simply a photographic image under a clear protective layer. Engineered wood, however, is the real thing. And once laid it is virtually impossible to distinguish it from solid wood. But instead of being milled from a single piece of timber, engineered boards consist of several layers, and this construction results in a number of very sound advantages.
In an engineered board, the top layer is, of course, solid wood, whilst the other layers may be plywood, softwood or yet more layers of hardwood. Each layer is bonded to the next with the grain running at right angles, which makes it virtually impossible for the board to swell or shrink. So when it is laid it is highly unlikely to warp and gap, or otherwise suffer in the same way as solid wood flooring can when exposed to changes in humidity through the use of heating and air conditioning, or simply due to a change in the weather.
In addition to being far more stable, engineered wood offers several other benefits. It may be laid as a floating floor, as well as being nailed or glued down, and some planks even come in an easy to fit 'click' system. It is usually pre-finished, meaning you see exactly how your floor will look before it is fitted and ensuring a faster, easier installation with no mess and no fuss. And, because it isn't affected by changes in humidity, it is available in much wider, longer, more imposing planks. Finally, it is particularly kind to the environment, because every beautiful, stable, hard wearing engineered timber floor fitted uses less of the slow-growth hardwoods. Little wonder that engineered timber is now by far the most popular type of timber flooring fitted around the world.
Product Range Section
A complete range of T and end sections, ramps and stair nosings is available to complement this product: stained, textured, oiled and white oiled, where appropriate, to match it as closely as possible. This is a bespoke service and will take approximately one week from placement of the order.