Oak is an extremely popular and sought-after species of wood that has been utilized in the majority of building, flooring, and furniture projects throughout human history. If you are wanting to invest in a floor that will endure throughout a lifetime, you must know which type of oak would best accommodate your lifestyle and your design goals.
In this blog, we will be discussing the differences between European and American Oak flooring so that it becomes easier for you to understand which will suit you the best.
How Are American and Oak Wood Species Different?
You’ll need to choose between European and American oaks if you want a new wooden floor that is not only long-lasting but also simple to install and has a stunning appearance. Other desirable characteristics of oak include its ease of use and its moisture resistance.
Each has distinguishing qualities that set it apart from the others and still affect how an area of flooring appears in a room that has recently undergone renovation. Keep reading to find out the primary distinctions that exist between these two magnificent oak species.
Even though both American and European oaks have similar tones, European oak typically tends to be somewhat of a darker shade than American oak. The color of European Oak is similar to honey and warm gold, whereas the color of American Oak is considerably lighter and has pinkish tones.
The versatility of European oak makes it an excellent choice for a variety of finishing applications. The finish on American Oak is often polyurethane, and it can either be prefinished or applied onsite. Over time, polyurethane will degrade and require refinishing. This is often accomplished by sanding away the previous layers of polyurethane and then adding a fresh coat of polyurethane. This is a technique that takes a lot of time and is expensive.
On the other hand, European Oak frequently has a natural oil applied to its surface after the finishing process. The inherent splendor of the wood is preserved while the fibers of the wood are strengthened by the penetrating action of an oil finish.
The European Oak is the same species as the English Oak and is a type of hardwood that grows naturally in temperate regions across most of Europe.
Another type of temperate hardwood, American Oak is most commonly located in the eastern part of North America. Both of these types of oaks are considered to be “white” oaks, and it is believed that they can live for several hundreds of years.
● Floorboard movement
The fact that the European kind of oak is harder than the American version means that it is less inclined to expand as well as a contract to the same extent as the American oak. This fact is generally known among floor layers who have extensive expertise.
Because of this, a floor, after it has been installed, will exhibit no splits, fissures, or other significant indicators of movement throughout its lifetime.
● Tone variation
Because wood is a natural product, the color changes from plank to plank. This is where the beauty of a natural oak floor lies, and also this is the reason why people all across the world prefer oak flooring so much.
In general, the color tone of European Oak is more consistent from plank to plank than the color tone of American Oak, which can exhibit greater variation between lighter and darker tones.
The hardwood is darkened using a chemical process known as fuming, which involves applying ammonia in the form of a gas in a closed chamber.
The European Oak smokes exceptionally well, producing a beautiful, almost walnut-like hue that is deep and black. Fumigating American Oak is possible, albeit the effects are less reliable.
● Plank length and thickness
It is more typical to just see European Oak, which is naturally a higher tree, available in longer lengthen planks than American Oak, which is a shorter tree. This is because of the size disparities between the trees.
The same may be stated for widths that are thicker since it is common knowledge that the European Oak is broader than its cousin in the United States.
● Strength and durability
On the Janka Scale, a test method that is used to assess the strength of hardwood, European Oak as well as White American Oak rank somewhat better than Red American Oak.
The Janka Scale is a tool for assessing the toughness of hardwood. Both of these kinds are exceptionally strong and long-lasting.
Hence, these are some of the differences between European and American Oak, that you should consider before choosing to install any one of the variants at your place.