Whether installed in a single room or throughout the house, oak flooring provides a warm, attractive appearance that can improve the value of a home. It is a versatile choice of flooring because it blends easily with most decors. As a durable hardwood, it is resistant to wear and tear. Unlike carpeting, oak floors do not collect and conceal dirt and dust, and the surface cleans easily.
Most often, oak is chosen because of its beauty. Often, a rougher, rustic look is chosen over premium-grade flooring, which actually can look artificial. Stains, varnishes and finishes are available to match every taste, and the color of oak naturally deepens with age.
Oak flooring is not cheap. It does increase the value of a home, though, making it a good investment. Hardwood floors lend a sense of sophistication and warmth, which is sought after by many home buyers, and the installation of oak floors can dramatically increase the value of a house.
Another advantage of oak flooring is its durability. With only minimal maintenance, oak resists damage and retains its beauty for years. Despite oak’s strength, though, it is vulnerable to scuffs and scrapes, and it is recommended that pads are used on the legs of chairs and other furniture that might scrape the floor. In the event of a deep scratch or gouge, it is only the damaged board or boards that require replacement, rather than the entire floor.
In addition to oak’s superficial durability, it is very strong structurally. Oak flooring is dense and sturdy, making it an excellent shock absorber. The boards also resist loosening and splitting. White oak in particular is resistant to fungus, insect activity, moisture and standing water, making it a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms.
For allergy sufferers, oak flooring provides another important advantage. Unlike carpets, wood floors do not hold dust, and they are easily cleaned with a broom or dust mop. Allergens are removed from the home, sparing sufferers the year-round symptoms that they otherwise would have to endure. Asthma, eczema and migraine sufferers can find similar relief by choosing oak flooring over carpeting.
As a renewable resource, oak also provides an environmentally friendly building material. Compared to other building materials, less energy is required to manufacture oak boards than flooring made from synthetic materials. Trees farmed for building materials also help to reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, and the demand for lumber prevents forest areas from being cleared for cash crop farming.