From the masters of oak wood: a comprehensive guide to oak qualities and benefits

Jun 02, 2023

wood flooring london manufacturing

Oak wood is a precious and one of the most popular materials for interior design due to its natural beauty, technical properties, and versatility. Over 120 years, nature intricately weaves unique patterns into every oak board, surpassing even the most sophisticated machinery.

When it comes to understanding the nature of oak, there is no better authority than a forester. With this knowledge, the Ecowood group, the parent company of Ecohardwood, was founded two decades ago. What began as a modest workshop has blossomed into a cutting-edge, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, embodying our commitment to innovation and excellence. For over 20 years, we have earned a well-deserved reputation as the masters of oak wood products, harnessing our expertise to deliver craftsmanship and quality to the market. 

We will share our expertise and knowledge in articles about oak wood and its manufacturing. Our goal is to help and motivate you by revealing the advantages and benefits of this valuable material and sharing tips on how to use it effectively in your spaces.

Exploring oak wood 

Oak wood is valued for its unique qualities, beautiful appearance and durability. With its warm and earthy tones, oak wood offers a range of colours from light to dark shades. These natural variations in colour result from the specific soil and climate conditions where the tree grows, making each board one-of-a-kind. The colour differences may be less noticeable when unfinished, but they become more prominent when the wood is coated with oil or varnish. These distinctive patterns create a visually captivating, textured look that adds depth and character to any interior space.

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Qualities of oakwood: durable, resistant, and versatile

Oakwood is renowned for its exceptional strength and durability, making it an ideal choice for long-lasting flooring. It can withstand the rigours of daily use and remain resilient over time. Combining its natural resistance to moisture, rot, and insects with today's advanced technology, engineered oak wood flooring is perfect for underfloor heating. It is also suitable for high-traffic areas and rooms with higher humidity levels, such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Not only does oak wood offer exceptional durability, but it also complements various interior design styles. Whether you prefer a Scandinavian, urban, classical, or Provencal aesthetic, oak wood can seamlessly integrate into any space. Its versatility extends to finishing options as well. You can paint oak wood to match your room's colour scheme or leave it in its natural state for an organic look.

To enhance the beauty of oak wood, we at Ecohardwood apply eco-friendly SAICOS oil coatings that add subtle colour while highlighting the natural wood grain. This approach ensures that the floorboards retain authentic appeal while providing added protection.

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Ecohardwood engineered oak flooring. Colour: Natural Oak. Surface texture: Brushed. Architect: Craft Architects. Photo: Agness Clark.​

Oak: a sustainable and timeless choice for interior design

Oakwood is a precious gift from nature and a renewable resource that can be responsibly harvested and replanted. At Ecohardwood, we are committed to sustainability and ensure that our oak wood is sourced responsibly. We are proud to be FSC@ certified guaranteeing that our wood comes from well-managed forests.

We go even further by selecting oak trees 100 years or older. We utilize mature trees and allow younger ones to grow and replenish the forest, creating a continuous cycle of sustainability. We also make it a tradition to plant young oak trees each year, fostering a commitment to the future and preserving nature.

Choosing oak flooring, doors, stairs, and other interior solutions adds timeless beauty to your space and increases its value. Oak's durability ensures that these investments will last for decades, making it a practical choice for homeowners and property developers.

Oakwood styles and patterns

At Ecohardwood, we offer a range of oak wood styles and patterns to suit different interior design preferences. When it comes to sawing oak wood, we utilize two main cutting styles: tangential and radial, each with its unique characteristics.

Tangential cutting involves cutting the wood away from the tree's heartwood, following the bark's tangent. This creates a visually appealing bark pattern and adds character to the oak board. Tangentially-sawn oak wood showcases a variety of textures, giving it a natural and organic look that complements a wide range of interior styles. For floorboards, we recommend exploring our Character and Original grades, highlighting the beauty of tangential cutting.

On the other hand, radial sawing involves cutting the oak wood perpendicular to the growth bark of the tree. Radially-sawn oak is known for its relatively linear structure, moderate texture, and distinctive tower-like shape in the centre of the board. We use this wood for our Select and Prime grade floorboards, which exude elegance and are versatile enough to enhance classic and modern interiors.

The unique beauty of oak medullary rays

Oakwood has a remarkable feature known as medullary or heartwood rays, which sets it apart from other woods. These thin, band-like structures run perpendicular to the tree's growth rings and are only found in oak wood. When visible on the radial surface of the wood, they create a captivating "mirror" effect that reflects light differently from the surrounding wood.

This distinctive characteristic of oak wood adds to its natural beauty and value. The "mirror" effect produced by the medullary rays contributes to visually interesting surface patterns, lending depth and character to oak flooring, wall panels, and other interior design elements. It enhances the overall appearance of the oak board, making it appear brighter and more vibrant.

wood flooring london
wood flooring london

The medullary rays have played a role in prestigious settings like royal palaces, including Edinburgh Castle, where mirror-effect oak boards have been used. Furthermore, the unique pattern of each oak board is further enhanced by the play of colours exhibited by the heartwood. In upcoming articles, we will explore how you can identify and appreciate the lightning marks and branch locations within the flooring boards. Oakwood holds an endless array of stories and discoveries. 

oak wood flooring

Stay tuned for the next article as we delve deeper into its enchanting qualities. Read about how Ecohardwood oak wood flooring is made >>

We used Dune brushed throughout our new house renovation. Absolutely love it. Beautiful tone, interesting details, hard wearing. I did wax the floors after installation as recommended which takes some time but makes all the difference. Highly recommend.
We recently collaborated with Ecohardwoods for our project in Ealing, and I must say, the experience was outstanding. A special thanks to Irmantas for his invaluable assistance. His expertise in engineered wood was evident in the quality of materials we received. The precision and quality of their engineered wood contributed immensely to the aesthetic and durability of our project. Our clients were extremely pleased with the results. Kudos to Irmantas and the Ecohardwoods team for their exemplary service and top-tier products. Highly recommend them for anyone in need of premium engineered wood supplies.
Highly motivated approach to customer service, exceptionally high quality flooring, delivered exactly on the day that was first estimated, extremely pleased and satisfied with the whole experience and will be placing another order in the next month or two for phase 2 of my flooring project.
Hamilford Design have used Ecohardwood floors across multiple projects. The product is incredible and the team are extremely professional and efficient. We look forward to working with them in the future!
The product was of excellent quality and very well finished. Beautiful solid light oak, planed on all faces and accurate. Speedy responses to queries before I placed my order, and then a completely smooth experience of ordering and receiving goods. Arrived well packed - really excellent experience - highly recommend Ecohardwood Ltd
Ecohardwood Ltd - Hardwood Oak Flooring & Engineered Wood Floors London
(70) 5/5