Using a specific kind of hardwood flooring can make a difference in the look and strength of the material used. French oak flooring, for one, is preferred globally for the flooring of houses. It has the same features as other hardwood flooring materials. But having been grown in France, these features are known to be better than the regular ones.
In this article, interested owners will see what makes French oak flooring different from other types of hardwood flooring. This article will also show some of the benefits you get by choosing to have French oak flooring installed on your property.
French Oak Flooring Similarities with Other Hardwood Floors
The main similarity that all hardwood flooring materials have is the fact that they are made from hardwood, which are known to be deciduous trees. Having a slow growth rate has helped develop the high durability and strength of solid hardwood due to its material becoming denser as compared to other wooden flooring materials.
Hardwood flooring panels are known to react whenever there are extreme climate changes. This is an issue that can be clearly seen on flooring panels made only from solid hardwood material. When the solid hardwood panels are subjected to extreme heat, they will tend to expand. In extremely cold conditions, the solid hardwood panels shrink.
Hardwood flooring can last for at least seven years before they need to undergo maintenance. They can be refinished multiple times until the panels become too thin and should be replaced.
Solid hardwood coming from the tree is the material used to make different types of hardwood flooring. Its application depends on the manufacturing process that the solid hardwood passes through:
- This type of hardwood flooring is composed of binding together different layers or plies of wood veneer. A panel usually contains 5 to 6 plies of veneer.
- The topmost veneer uses solid raw hardwood that comes directly from the tree. This layer indicates the kind of hardwood used on the panels. It could be French oak, walnut, maple, or mahogany. As for the other plies, they can be softwood or plywood materials.
- The binding material used is a strong adhesive.
- Engineered flooring also goes through a sanding process before applying multiple protective coatings.
Solid Prefinished Hardwood
- The flooring panel for this type comes from solid raw hardwood.
- There are no different plies of wood veneer added to create this type of floor panel.
- The solid raw hardwood is shaped so that it would get the optimal thickness of a flooring panel.
- The boards also go through both sanding and protective coating processes.
Solid Unfinished Hardwood
- With this type, the flooring panels are only made from solid raw hardwood material. Same as the solid prefinished hardwood flooring panels, a solid unfinished hardwood panel is made by shaping the raw hardwood to get the optimal thickness needed for a durable flooring panel. The panels are released without sanding and adding protective coatings.
French Oak Flooring Differences with Other Hardwood Floors
French oak flooring has certain features that may give it both an advantage and a disadvantage over the other kinds of hardwood flooring materials.
French oak hardwood comes from specific species that belong to the white oak hardwood family. The main difference it has over other hardwood and white oak flooring is that the trees which it comes from are grown only in the forests of France.
The two species of white oak trees grown in the French forests are the Quercus Robur and the Quercus Petraea. There are only six forests in France that grow French oak hardwood. These forests include Vosges, Tronçais, Limousin, Nevers, Bertranges, and Allier. For the other features that make French oak flooring a better choice, you can refer to the following list:
- A French-grown hardwood tree is known to have one of the finest grains. This is known to add to the durability of the flooring materials produced from France. An authentic French oak flooring panel is produced from a hardwood tree that has been harvested with careful and precise timing. The life of French oak flooring may reach at least ten years before it needs to undergo maintenance.
- When it comes to appearance, French oak flooring panels feature a beautiful wavy pattern. For the colour, an authentic French oak flooring panel has a yellowish-brown cognac colour. In addition, the colour distribution of French oak flooring is more balanced, which might fit better for house designs that are going for a cleaner and sophisticated look.
- French oak trees are known for their high tannin levels. Having a high tannin level means that French oak flooring has a better rot resistance. Moreover, it improves the ability of the flooring panels to retain their colour. Over time, the colour of French oak flooring is less likely to fade.
- Another feature that makes French oak flooring a better option is that it has a higher Janka rating. A Janka hardness test is used to determine the hardness of any wood. This is done by measuring the amount of force needed to embed a steel ball halfway into the wood. The Janka rating of French oak hardwood is 6,280 Newtons. This is a very high rating for any wood.
Since there is no perfect kind of hardwood flooring material, there are also disadvantages that French oak flooring has. This is related to the cost and availability of the product. If you are looking to purchase authentic French oak flooring panels, be prepared to pay a bit more than the others. Being grown only in the six forests of France, the production and manufacturing of flooring panels is a bit slower than the other kinds of hardwood flooring. Following the law of supply and demand, the increase in the demand for French oak flooring panels has affected the average cost of buying them.
Benefits of Using French Oak Flooring
Looking at both the advantages and disadvantages French oak flooring has over other kinds of hardwood flooring, you can see that there are clear benefits for opting to use it. For more information about these benefits, you may refer to the following:
- Cost-effectiveness is one of the most significant benefits that you get when using French oak flooring. Even though it naturally has a higher price, you should also consider the longevity of French oak flooring. The increased durability is a factor that should be not be ignored. A long-term perspective would show that this kind of flooring is a better investment.
- The ability to resist harsh external pressure is a benefit that is crucial for hardwood flooring. The Janka rating already confirms that French oak flooring can accept more stress than other kinds of flooring materials.
- Being grown in forests that highlight the environmental conditions in France, the trees eventually develop a well-defined composition and contain fine grains. When it comes to aesthetics, having a consistent fine grain structure and a balanced colour quality between flooring panels would give the floor a more formal and cleaner look. This would make the flooring catch anyone’s attention.
- The fact that you are using authentic flooring panels developed by a French manufacturing company would greatly appreciate the house’s total value. The name of the flooring alone would entice interested buyers even if the total value of the property were a little bit high.
French Oak Flooring is a Truly Wonderful Option
Whenever your budget allows you to use French oak flooring for your house, it is recommended that you do so. Even though it may not seem a good investment initially, as time passes, you will eventually feel the benefits from this kind of flooring material. Always ensure that you purchase authentic products from reputable suppliers. Retailers should produce documentation that certifies that they are selling you genuine French oak flooring panels.
Furthermore, you should hire the services of professional floor installers to accomplish the job for you. With the higher value and cost it would take to purchase French oak flooring panels, you should avoid any chance that some flooring panels would get damaged during the installation process. This type of risk would happen if you opted to buy solid unfinished panels, which would need to be sanded and applied with sealants and stains.
Suppose you are currently looking for a supplier and an installer offering authentic French oak flooring panels. In that case, you can contact Three Trees Flooring at (416) 665-2624.