Why is oak the best type of wood for hardwood flooring?

oak hardwood

People have been using various types of wood in hardwood flooring for centuries. Common choices include maple, cherry, walnut, ash, mahogany, and even bamboo (though, technically speaking a grass, not a type of wood). However, despite all of the innovation and experimentation, classic oak remains the best all-round choice. 

But why? That’s what you’re about to find out. In this post, we run through some of the reasons for choosing oak over the myriad other hardwoods available. 

It Is More Durable Than Most Other Options

Oak is an extremely durable type of wood. Its color and character often remain unchanged for a quarter century or more. And unlike many other types of wood, will not fade, buckle or splinter if properly maintained. 

Oak tends to be stable, too. Unlike some woods which require highly specific environments to function at their best, wood is happy in practically any climate. High temperature or prolonged humidity will not damage it if properly coated, and it does not absorb water easily, making it a good choice for families. 

Lastly, unlike many other types of wood, oak is resistant to fungus and insects. While termites infest oak flooring occasionally, it is rare. 

It Offers Beautiful Aesthetics

Oak has a classic, timeless appearance that looks great in any era, no matter what the interior design trends might be at the time. What’s more, there are many different grains available, from those that look old-fashioned to more contemporary appearances. 

Contrary to synthetic flooring options, the way your oak flooring looks is unique. Each panel comes from a specific tree with its own characteristics, with swirls, shades and knots not found anywhere else. 

It Has Better Acoustics

Music room designers have been using oak flooring for centuries, owing to its remarkable acoustic properties. As a solid material, it absorbs soundwaves, similar to underlay paired with synthetic wood flooring. It also removes many of the unwanted vibrations and hollow sounds associated with cheaper flooring, giving you a crisper audio experience. 

It Is Suitable For Underfloor Heating

Many homeowners want to get rid of traditional pipework and radiators in their interiors to improve how their rooms appear. Underfloor heating offers a much-needed solution. 

Usually, installers place underfloor heating underneath tiles. However, oak is also a suitable material. Thanks to its dense fibers and low moisture content, you can pair it with underfloor heating, as long as the thickness is correct. 

It Increases The Value Of Your Home

Oak floors are a great choice for people wanting to increase the value of their homes. According to estimates, hardwood floors typically yield around a 75 percent return on investment. This means that if you spend $3,000 on a new hardwood floor, the value of your property will rise by an average of $2,250. 

It’s Eco-Friendly

Oak is also an eco-friendly material for several reasons. First, it’s 100 percent natural. Unlike some wood flooring products, manufacturers do not need to mix oak with any other materials to give it the desirable properties it needs to cover your floors. The raw material itself is already sufficiently robust. 

Secondly, most oak comes from sustainable forests. Foresters carefully plan oak growth to coincide with future demand estimates. They then fell trees according to a strict lifecycle schedule, avoiding damage to the ecosystem in the process. Moreover, while oak grows, it sequesters carbon from the environment, potentially offsetting the CO2 emissions associated with transporting and processing it. 

Lastly, oak flooring installations last for many years. Oak is resistant to moisture and insect damage, unlike many other types of wood, meaning that replacement frequency is lower. Not having to swap out the floor every few years cuts the environmental impact dramatically. 

It’s More Hygienic

Lastly, oak is hygienic. Most people consider synthetic flooring options to be the most hygienic. However, that’s not always the case. Oak floors are considerably more hygienic than chipped ceramic, carpet or laminate because of their smooth surface. They avoid collecting particles or bacteria that could cause foul odor. 

Many homeowners find that oak flooring has respiratory health benefits, too. Because it doesn’t collect asthma- or allergy-triggering substances, it maintains indoor air quality and allows you to keep the windows open even during pollen season. And being a wholly natural and organic material, it doesn’t contain any toxic substances. Unlike some flooring materials, it does not outgas hazardous fumes.