Oak flooring is by far the most popular of all the wood species. For centuries this hardwood has been a vitally important building material because of its strength and hardness, its high tannin content which makes it exceptionally resistant to insect and fungal attack, and because of its particularly beautiful grain markings. And all these attributes make the species especially suitable for flooring too. At Havwoods we use it for around 350 different, stunningly beautiful planks and parquet blocks, because we believe that nothing can compete with oak wood flooring.
Solid oak flooring
Floors laid with solid planks or parquet blocks can last for generations. Most of ours are supplied unfinished, giving you the ultimate scope to apply your own choice of stains, wood dyes, waxes or oils. And if the floor becomes damaged, or you simply want a change, it can be sanded down and re-finished, not just once but several times.
Of course, like all solid floors, oak can be affected by changes in humidity, so it is best fitted in rooms where the temperature and humidity remain stable. Also we don't recommend it for use over underfloor heating since this can cause the boards to dry out and shrink, leaving large and unsightly gaps.
Engineered oak flooring
Once fitted an engineered floor is indistinguishable from a solid wood floor, but because it is multilayered the engineered wood is more stable and will withstand changes in humidity far more successfully. In fact, it is so stable most engineered oak floors can be installed over underfloor heating.
Depending on the thickness of the top layer, engineered wood may also be sanded down and refinished just like a solid wood floor. And those with a 6mm top layer may be re-sanded equally as often. Sanding down will, of course, affect any surface finishes.
But whether solid or engineered, an oak floor adds the same significant benefits to the value and salability of your home, as well as providing the same physical and psychological health benefits. However, it takes up to 150 years before an oak tree is ready for use in construction, whilst, in general, the timbers used for the base layers in an engineered plank are softwoods which reach maturity far, far more quickly. So, whilst other attributes may be equal, engineering wood does ensure a better use of resources.
Choosing the best oak for flooring
There are actually 600 different species of oak. With the exception of our Xtreme collection and the reclaimed products which originate from North America, all Havwoods' products use European oak. This is actually two different species, but both are classified as white oak and exhibit essentially the same characteristics, with a warm golden, honey colour, an even tone and a distinctive wavy grain pattern. And when fumed, they take on a highly consistent dark, rich colour, very much like that of walnut.
Find your favourite Havwoods' floor
With over 340 oak floors to choose from, the prospect of ploughing through them all to find your favourites may seem rather daunting. Of course, you can always limit your selection process using the filters for colour, shade, grade, pattern or size. But there is another way, and that is to utilise the features which characterise our various different ranges.
For example, have you considered using reclaimed wood? It's an ecologically sound and exceptionally attractive choice. Timber which bears all the character of its previous life as part of a barn, farm, distillery or mooring post yet is as consistent and easy to fit as a brand new plank is the basis of our Relik range.
Or maybe you're specifically looking for a plank with a textured surface? After all, not only do they make a particularly interesting and good looking floor, but they are highly tolerant of everyday wear and tear. Henley will provide you with a wonderful selection of exceptionally interesting boards with texture.
Do you have a big space to fill and want the ultimate in impressive flooring? Then our Hand Grade Collection is the perfect answer. Consisting of randomly sized planks up to an enormous 480mm wide and 4m in length, it comes in a choice of two totally different surfaces and eight exceptional shades. Or, at the other end of the scale, you could choose from the refined dimensions of our Italian Collection - shorter, narrower, thinner boards reminiscent of the complex-looking wood floors which are such a feature of southern Europe.
Whatever your criteria, at Havwoods our aim is to make selecting your new wood floor as easy and enjoyable as living with it.