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Fumed Oak Flooring Explained
To put things simply, fumed oak flooring is a result of a professional process involving placing the top layer of the wooden floor also known as the veneer in a sealed enclosed chamber when it is treated until its appearance is transformed. Spacers are placed between each layer of the floorboard, which allows air with ammonia to circulate and penetrate every bit of the wood’s structure. Yes, floorboards are exposed to ammonia when sealed in the enclosed chamber.
The process usually takes a few days, however, it all depends on what is the final result that should be achieved, how much the original colour will be changed, and also the wood species, since some wood species have a dense structure with not so many pores and they can take a bit longer. Overall, the main goal is saturating the top layer of the floorboard with ammonia that will change its colour. This should be done by professionals with experience as this is the only way to ensure the transformation of the colour will be evenly distributed and consistent throughout the whole surface of the floorboard.
Fuming of Wood – The Process
In a nutshell, the process of wood floor fuming revolves around bringing out the natural tannins of the wood species when the wooden floorboards are exposed to air saturated with ammonia. Ammonia helps for bringing natural wood tannins to the surface. Since wood is a natural material, it is guaranteed that each piece of wood will look different and uniquely at the end of the process.
Some pieces will have tannins all up to the surface, while some tannins will remain deeper. The final effect also depends on how much the wooden surface is exposed to ammonia and for how long. However, no two pieces of wood flooring will look exactly the same, even when treated equally with ammonia, and you can expect some beautiful and intriguing variation of the colour. The nearer to the surface the tannins are, the darker brown the floorboards will get, sometimes even black at some spots and areas. The longer the floorboards are left exposed to ammonia, the darker they will get.
The final result is, indeed, really interesting and intriguing. With significant colour variation and deep hues of brown and virtually black, you can enjoy a floor that looks unique and stands out. Such style of wood flooring is a really interesting choice for every interior and looks stunning when complementing traditional, classic, and even vintage-inspired interiors.
Wood Floor Fuming vs Staining
Remember that oak wood floor fuming is not the same as the process of staining. Wood floor staining consists of applying layers of a wood floor stain or dye to the surface of the floor and changing the original colour of the wood species. However, you cannot apply ammonia directly on the surface of the floor as you would do with a stain or dye. It simply will not work the way you want it and you will not be able to achieve the same results as the fuming process, because ammonia will not penetrate the whole thickness of the floorboard. You also cannot achieve the effect of oak wood floor fuming with the help of stain or dye. Stains or dye often give an even and uniform coverage, while the process of fuming creates an interesting and attractive colour variation.
Advantages of Fumed Oak Wood Flooring
Besides the most obvious advantage of fumed oak wood flooring being the attractive and unique look, purchasing a fumed wooden floor ensures even more benefits for your home. First of all, fumed wood floors are really easy to take care of and maintain. Thanks to the colour variation, fumed oak wood floorboards are really good at camouflaging smaller surface imperfections such as scratches, marks and stains, as well as dirt build-up. In addition, fumed oak wood flooring does not show wear and tear as much and your floor will look brand-new for very long until it is time to finally have it re-sanded and refinished.
In addition, since the process of exposing the wooden floorboards to ammonia saturated air also involves heat that helps for a quicker process, the heat also helps for making the wooden floorboards harder and stronger. Once the floor is installed, you can enjoy the amazing durability and hard-wearing power. Unlike stained wood flooring, the colour of fumed oak flooring will not fade over time and will not wear off due to high traffic and everyday use. With fumed oak wood flooring you can go for the finish you desire. Many people prefer lacquer finish as it is known for its amazing durability, lasting power and the high level of protection it ensures. However, we also recommend you opt for an oil-based finish that will enhance the beauty of the fumed floorboards even more.