European and American Oak Flooring - Five key differences

Customers choosing oak flooring for their home are often intrigued as to the difference between European Oak and American Oak Flooring. So here is a little blog which will hopefully point out some of the key differences.

  1. Species and origin – European Oak (Quercus Robur) is a temperate hardwood native to most of Europe and is, in fact, the same species as English Oak. American Oak (Quercus Alba) is also a temperate hardwood predominantly found in Eastern North America. Both species are classed as “white” oaks and have been known to live for several hundred years. We source our European Oak from sustainably managed forests in France and our American Oak from sustainably managed forests in the USA. The United Kingdom, unfortunately, does not have the same replanting policy as our overseas counterparts and therefore we cannot (and do not) supply English Oak.
  2. Colour tone – Although both oaks are similar in tone, European Oak generally tends to be a little darker than American Oak. European Oak is a warm golden, honey colour whereas American Oak is subtly lighter with pinkish tones.
  3. Variation in tone – As timber is a natural product the tone varies from board to board (this is the beauty of a natural solid oak floor). On the whole European Oak has a more even colour tone from board to board than American Oak which can show greater differences between light and dark shades.
  4. Grain pattern – European Oak tends to have a distinctive, wavy grain pattern with scatterings of pip and burr. American Oak tends to have a straighter, subtle grain pattern.
  5. Fuming – This is a chemical process in which we darken the timber by applying ammonia, as a gas, in a sealed chamber. European Oak fumes very well, giving a lovely rich, dark, almost walnut colour. We can fume American Oak but the results are less consistent.

We hope you find this blog informative. If you have any queries about our European Oak and American Oak Flooring, or indeed any of our products, please call us on 01535 637755, we are always happy to help.

To view our range of solid oak flooring click here >>

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