Solid Oak flooring is the highest-quality product for its species. Constructed with real, 100% hardwood and without any alternations except for a finish, solid Oak flooring is a popular option for many homes. If you are considering this hardwood for your own, what should you expect when looking for and installing solid Oak flooring?
Like any other species, solid Oak flooring is typically 3/4″ thick and 2 1/4″ to 8″ wide. Solid hardwoods, however, are available even thinner. In fact, some manufacturers even offer planks in 5/16″ to even 1/2″ thick, making them unique in that they can actually be glued down to your subfloor.
For installing traditional 3/4″ thick solid Oak floors, the hardwood needs to be added to wood subfloors or built with a floor joist system. All boards are then nailed or stapled down.
Solid Oak flooring is available in both prefinished and unfinished. For the former, the installation process stops after the planks are nailed or stapled down. Unfinished hardwoods, however, need to be sanded and finished. Although the installation process for unfinished solid Oak takes longer, the hardwood blends in better with existing flooring, and finishes are practically limitless and allow you to find an exact match. Both solid red and white oak flooring machine and sand well and are receptive to stains.
Engineered Oak flooring can be installed onto any floor of the house; at, above, or even below grade. With better moisture resistance than solid hardwood, engineered Oak floors are created using multiple layers of natural wood that are bonded together, with the grain on each facing different directions. This quality results in hardwood that expands and contracts less compared to solid flooring when exposed to heat and moisture. As a result, engineered Oak flooring can be installed onto attic or basement floors and over concrete.
Engineered flooring, including Oak, was once only rotary peeled, but in the present, all possible cuts are available for this type of hardwood.
If you decide on unfinished engineered oak flooring for your home, understand that sanding and finishing will be needed. If you expect several rounds of finishing and sanding, find engineered flooring with a thicker top layer. Most manufacturers produce these floors in wear layers ranging anywhere from 3mm to 6mm.
We have been selling and installing hardwood, engineered, and laminate flooring, along with stair parts since 1992. With 300+ shipments each month from 40+ distribution centers across America, learn more about who we are and what we do.