European Oak is by far the most popular choice as flooring in the UK due to the beautiful natural grain pattern and timeless traditional appearance that looks great in almost all settings.
Oak is a very versatile hard wood species that can be finished in Natural Oil, Hardwax oil or lacquered finish including many options for contemporary lime wash, brushed & textured or distressed surface designs.
This makes it a popular choice for factory pre-finishing, where oak has set the trends for the vast array of colours and finishes available straight out of the box that provide a hardwearing beautiful floor that is easy to maintain and will last for years.
Different log cuts create different grain patterns that can influence designers and homeowners, however there can be a high cost for specifying certain cuts of oak.
Heres a look at 3 of the most specified.
This is the quickest, easiest and most inexpensive cut which has the least waste of the log. The annular growth rings are generally at 30 degrees or less to the face of the board which gives a wide range of grain pattern and colouration from sap wood which will contain varied knot sizes that needs sorting into Prime, Rustic, or Character grades. Most oak floors are produced in this cut as standard due to the ease of machining and lack of waste.
As the name suggests this cut is made from quarters of the log and creates surface growth rings at 60-90 degree angles to the face, but has more waste and is expensive compared to Crown cut. This makes a great looking straight grain pattern that is popular with design and veneers but will have a spectacular natural surface fleck know as medullary rays.
This is the most expensive cut due to the high level of waste and can be used in conjunction with Quarter sawn or made as its own cut. Rift saw is cut perpendicular with the growth rings and produces a linear pattern with little or no medullary rays with annular growth rings 30-60 degrees with the best and most optimum being 45 degrees. Rift sawn material is generally considered the most dimensionally stable option for all uses and is selected for the highest specification projects.
The picture below shows the cuts performed on the log to create the grain pattern described.
Oak trees are slow growing however are very well managed in Europe and would be essential to ensure that it is always from a sustainable source, either PEFC or FSC certified and European Union Timber Regulations (EUTR)
Check out the oak options at WFUK by clicking the link below.