European Oak Wood Flooring
Comes from: Europe, Northern Asia, and Russia
Color: Light brown with golden hues
Hardness: very hard (Janka scale 1360)
Stability: Stable (10.5)
Oak is long-lived
The stout Oak: what makes this majestic tree so big and popular in the world of hardwood?
After it’s hundredth birthday, it only grows around an inch every year, and it can live for a very long time--in fact there are a number of Oak trees in Europe that are over 1,000 years old. They are pretty big too, growing an average of 100 feet tall and 40 feet in diameter.
Oak is not only tough but versatile
It is fact that because Oak grows so slowly, this makes Oak an extremely durable wood. It’s durability as well as it’s stability make it ideal for wood flooring, boat building and furniture making, as well as many other uses.
Where does Gate’s Oak flooring come from?
At Gate we are very specific about where we source our European Oak from. When speaking about European Oak, it is broken into two categories. European Oak is forested throughout Europe, North Asia and Russia. While French Oak comes from France, Belgium and parts of Germany. The two have subtle differences in color and grain pattern do to the varied climates and nutrients found in the soil throughout Europe. European Oak has a much more neutral tone than French Oak which has a strong yellow tone.
For extremely wide planks (ie. Planks over 12? wide and 16′ in length), the material is generally sourced from parts of Germany such as the Black Forest were trees grow up to 130 feet tall. These trees are ideal for super sized floor boards.
Oak lends itself to many different looks
Oak has an interesting and appealing grain pattern, which becomes even more interesting when you select different cuts of the log. The traditional milling of the logs in Europe are done in what is called a live sawn cut which is where the tree is cut in slices from top to bottom yielding 100% of the tree. These cuts have a combination of vertical grain (riff-sawn as well as quarter-sawn) on the outside of the board while the inside would be what is termed in the states as flat sawn. In cutting the wood this way, it makes for a cathedral pattern in the grain of the wood, down the center of the boards (i.e. cathedral cut).
These trees can also be milled in a quartered fashion which is standard here in the United States, allowing for three distinctively different appearances as well as stability factor between them (plain-sawn, riff-sawn and quarter-sawn). Quarter sawn has what is called tiger striping and flecking throughout while riff sawn is very straight line do the vertical grain. Both of which work well when using patterned floors such as chevron, the timeless herringbone, or parquet. Prime grade of wood will do just that. Clear and select grade material is very clean with minimal variation which is excellent for contemporary settings, while a light rustic grade allows for more variation between boards do to mineral streaks as well as small knots and splits in boards which lends itself well to the feel of a countryside villa. Character grade is very rustic and is an excellent choice for a more rustic farmhouse look.
For this reason we always recommend that you ask about the grade when choosing an Oak floor: just another reason to talk with a genuine wood floor expert. At Gate, we love to work with Oak. Our hardwood floors can be solid or engineered, and our planks are available in whichever thickness, width and length that you require.