If you’re looking at renovating a space in the home you might want to start with the floor and work your way up. There are so many different options for flooring these days that it can feel really easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice, from materials to colours to shape and finish. Today I want to talk about one of my favourite types of flooring – real oak flooring and the advantages to having real oak flooring in the home.
A great style that will complement any decor
Oak is a warm wood but not overwhelming and comes in different shades such as red oak and white oak and is a wood that can also be custom stained if wanted. It is a flooring that can be dressed in any way and will fit with a great deal of styles, from ultra modern to a Victorian replica – it’s really timeless. Whatever rugs, furniture, walls and lighting you go for, you can’t go wrong with real oak flooring. This means over the years as you decide to change your style, you know the flooring is still going to complement your decor.
Straight forward installation
Real wood flooring is straight forward to install. In fact some people with experience with DIY will be able to fit it themselves, whilst for others, a company or an experienced tradesperson can be hired who can fit it in one day. This means there will be minimal disruption to the household.
Oak flooring is sustainable
We all want to be more eco-friendly, from making small switches in the home to cutting back on plastic waste. Oak is the perfect flooring for someone who wants to be sustainable. Although oak is a slow growing tree, there are many sustainable oak forests around the world and sustainable wood flooring is certified as such. The manufacturing process of oak has a low carbon footprint as it releases fewer toxic emissions than other types. Real wood flooring is more eco-friendly than other options as it is the only fully renewable form of flooring, containing no plastics.
A high quality solid wood flooring will also help your carbon footprint in terms of heating or cooling your house, as the insulation and heat retention in both winter and summer will help the electricity bill.
Oak flooring is hygienic and easy to clean
Real oak flooring is easy to clean and very hygienic. This is especially important for families with children or pets. Real oak flooring is very easy to clean with a simple tidy, sweep and dust mop – you don’t even need to use water or any products, and it won’t give safe haven to dust mites or bacteria the way that carpeting does. This also means that your air quality will be higher, in accompaniment with it being easy to clean and requiring no special cleaning products – allergens such as dust and pet dander don’t get deep into the flooring and are easily swept up.
You’ll get better room acoustics
If you have a sound system, whether you’re playing classical, jazz or drum and bass, having real oak flooring is a great way to improve sound quality for your music. This makes entertaining, or just relaxing with some music at the end of a hard day a great experience. Real oak flooring improves the acoustics of the room, reducing any hollow sounds, vibrations or unwanted echoing.
Oak flooring is durable and good value
Oak is a hardwood and is very durable. This makes it an excellent addition for areas in the home which will have a lot of footfall, and doesn’t require your guests to take their shoes off to avoid damage. Having a hard wearing flooring makes it better value and better for the environment, as you won’t need to replace real oak flooring for a long time. If you think you will have a few scratches and marks on your oak flooring then consider one with a heavy grain – this will hide any marks over the years really well, as they will blend in well with the traditional look of the grain. On top of that, solid oak flooring can be re-sanded and refinished easily, keeping it in excellent condition despite heavy use over the years.
This all helps contribute to the fact that it is good value – a good quality oak flooring that lasts for decades works out relatively inexpensive per year when you consider in how long it will last. In fact some solid wood flooring can have a lifespan of 100 years!
Only simple maintenance and protection is required
Finally, when I first started exploring real wood flooring I was worried about the maintenance and protection it would need. I have a toddler and pets, so I definitely wanted to keep my flooring protected and in the best condition possible, but ideally without spending loads of time on it. Was I asking for too much? No – real oak flooring requires basic maintenance and protection to keep it in the best condition possible. Wipe away water spills immediately to avoid it soaking into the floor, use felt pads on the bottom of your furniture to avoid any scratches if the furniture is moved and clean regular with a microfibre cloth or dust mop.
Whether you need to do any in depth maintenance depends on the grain of your real oak flooring and the finish, for example if you have oiled your floor, then you can re-oil it as maintenance. Although real oak flooring can be sanded, there should be no need to do this for the first 10-15 years either! There’s no need to use any other polish or products – real oak flooring is best left natural with a simple finish and simple cleaning, just how I like it.
What are the downsides to real oak flooring?
Sadly, very little in this life is perfect and real oak flooring is no exception. It does have a few disadvantages, such as the fact you need to ensure that it stays dry and to immediately wipe up any spills. If you’re potty training (a toddler or a new puppy) then you’re going to want to protect the flooring as much as possible if you’re not around to mop up any immediate accidents. It also means that the flooring isn’t suitable for bathrooms.
Some may find the initial cost quite prohibitive. Although this does lessen when you consider the overall lifespan of the flooring, it’s still an upfront payment that has to be taken into consideration.
Finally, unfortunately real oak flooring isn’t suitable for use with underfloor heating as this is likely to warp the wood, so if you had planned for underfloor heating, you may need to reconsider oak as flooring.
I hope this article has helped you make a decision about whether real oak flooring is the best type of flooring for you, or if you’d like a different type of flooring for your home. For me, with a busy household, a toddler and pets, real wood flooring is definitely an investment I can get behind.