Why Oak Flooring Is America’s Top Choice For Wood Floors
Oak is the most popular domestic hardwood in America for wood flooring, and with good reason. Oak flooring is beautiful, extremely durable, easy to care for, and relatively affordable when compared to some other exotic and domestic hardwoods. Dollar for dollar, oak is an excellent choice. Chances are, you’ll love your home even more with oak floors, and they will likely increase the value of your home as well.
Unlike more distinctive woods like walnut or pecan, oak goes with virtually everything. Light and dark furniture both look good with oak, and it can be used in traditional, contemporary, or sophisticated settings.
Oak flooring comes in a wide variety of finishes, so you can choose a light or dark floor with a glossy, satin, or matte finish. Available in varying widths, from 2-1/4″ strips to foot-wide planks, it comes hand-scraped, quarter-sawn, or distressed.
Maintaining oak flooring doesn’t take much effort. When properly cared for, oak floors will last for generations. It’s naturally resistant to fungus, insects, and other pests, and when finished correctly, it resists liquids (although any spills should be wiped up quickly to prevent damage).
However, there are several things you should consider before investing in oak flooring. Although oak is quite hard, it does scratch. High-heeled shoes, dog claws, and furniture can all leave visible marks. Fortunately, most of these are fairly easy to prevent. Your best bet there is to use lots of area rugs.
Place pads under the feet of your furniture. Also, pick it up to move it; sliding furniture across the floor is just asking for trouble. Don’t wear high heels, cleats, or other athletic shoes on your oak floors. Always use doormats in front of entry ways and throw rugs inside.
Be sure to rotate your rugs occasionally, because oak flooring will fade in direct sunlight. Many unsuspecting homeowners have rolled up their area rugs for cleaning, only to discover that the flooring under the rug is no longer the same color.
Oak flooring often darkens with time, but many people find this a positive characteristic. If you’ve ever visited a 100-year-old home with oak floors, you know how beautiful the patina that comes with age can be.
When you weigh the advantages of oak flooring — its beauty, durability, affordability, and low maintenance — against disadvantages such as scratching and fading, you’ll likely conclude that the drawbacks are inconsequential. Investing in oak floors will improve your home’s appearance and value, and give you decades of pleasure and use.