Oak - Quercus

Oak has a density of 0.75 g/cm3 and is very strong and hard. It has a natural resistance to fungal attack due to its high tannin content. Oak is a popular flooring material because of its attractive grain, which is especially attractive when quartersawn.

Oak is not only indigenous to Europe and America it also the national tree of each country. At one time oak trees dominated the great forests of Europe and America. Sadly deforestation due to agriculture and expanding cities has all but wiped out the oak's dominance. In particular the pedunculate or English oak (quercus robur) and the Sessile oak (quercus petraea) were used for building construction, ship making and furniture making. Today oak is still used to make the barrels to age wine, brandy, whiskey and bourbon. And of course oak continues to be used as a flooring material. Sadly, the value of American oaks have dropped as much as 40% because of the red borer insect which degrades the lumber.

Because of its former popularity and widespread use in Europe and America, oak is one of the cheaper and easier to find reclaimed wood flooring types. For this reason it is advisable to hunt around for a bargain. It is often possible to find antique oak flooring that is in good condition and largely free of 'rustic' saw marks, worm holes and other 'blemishes'.

Antique oak builds up a beautiful patina over the centuries. This means that the finishing process can vary the depth of colour on a reclaimed oak floor to a large degree. In otherwords nearly every reclaimed oak flooring is unique in appearance. A further benefit of reclaimed oak flooring is that it is exceptionally stable because the oak has had many years to acclimatize to the humidity of a region.

White oak has a Janka Hardness Rating of 1,360 (pounds force) making it particularly suitable for flooring which will have high traffic. The pedunculate and Sessile oaks are types of white oak. The Red Oak (quercus rubra) has a slighter lower Janka Hardness Rating of 1,290 pounds force and is indigenous to America and Canada.

Distressed oak

Oak strip

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