Engineered wood oak offers the perfect blend of aesthetic appeal and durability, offering an ideal choice for those who value the ambiance of real wood without breaking the bank. This article is dedicated to helping you understand how to secure the most affordable engineered oak flooring without sacrificing quality. We’ll delve into the factors that influence cost, such as flooring style, thickness, wood species, and grade, and help you find a balance between performance and affordability.
Finding Your Engineered Oak Flooring Style
The most common engineered oak flooring styles are traditional plank, chevron, and herringbone. These last two exhibit a distinctive zigzag pattern that is incredibly sought after, yet they are more expensive due to the intricate manufacturing process. For those aiming for the most affordable, or cheap, engineered oak flooring, the traditional plank style is the best option to consider.
Understanding Engineered Oak Flooring Thickness
Engineered oak flooring thickness can range from 20/6mm down to 10/2mm. The first number indicates the overall thickness of the board, and the second number represents the thickness of the wear layer. In these dimensions, the thinner the boards, the cheaper they tend to be. However, it’s essential to strike a balance between cost and performance, particularly in relation to the wear layer.
The wear layer, comprised of real wood, directly impacts the longevity of your flooring. Its thickness determines the number of times the floor can be sanded down and refinished, a process often necessary every 10 to 15 years. Given that each sanding removes approximately 1mm, a 10/2mm option, though among the cheapest, limits you to 1 or 2 sanding operations throughout its lifespan. If feasible, we recommend opting for engineered oak flooring with a 3mm or 4mm wear layer, typically found in 14/3mm or 15/4mm boards.
Choosing the Right Wood Species
The type of wood used in the wear layer also affects the overall cost. Common species include Oak and Walnut, while more exotic, and thus pricier, options include Ipe, African Wenge, Cumaru, Brazilian Cherry, and Pacific Mahogany. However, Oak, due to its popularity and wide availability, generally proves to be the most economical choice, making it a perfect choice for cheap engineered oak flooring.
Grading Your Engineered Oak Flooring
The grade of the real wood layer – the wear layer – in your engineered oak flooring has a significant impact on the cost, though it’s important to clarify that grading is about aesthetics rather than quality. The grades range from Prime, Select, Natural, to Rustic, with Prime being the most expensive and Rustic being the most affordable. Prime grade displays minimal colour variation, sap, and knots, while Rustic grade exhibits these natural characteristics more extensively. If you find Rustic grade too rustic for your tastes, the Natural grade offers a balanced middle ground.
Options From Cheapest to Most Expensive
|Style||Traditional Plank||Traditional Plank||Chevron / Herringbone|
|Thickness||10/2mm (10mm overall, 2mm wear layer)||14/3mm (14mm overall, 3mm wear layer)||20/6mm (20mm overall, 6mm wear layer)|
|Wood Species||Oak||Oak||Exotic (Ipe, African Wenge, Cumaru, Brazilian Cherry, Pacific Mahogany)|
To summarise, finding cheap engineered oak flooring that also offers good quality is entirely feasible. The most economical option would be a plank style engineered oak flooring, with a 10/2mm thickness, composed of Oak, and in Rustic grade. If your budget allows a bit of flexibility, consider a plank style engineered oak flooring with a 14/3mm thickness, made of Oak, and in a Natural grade. At Wood and Beyond, we have all these options and more in stock, ready to transform your spaces without depleting your wallet.
Q1: What is the cheapest style of engineered oak flooring?
The cheapest style of engineered oak flooring is the traditional plank style. Other styles like chevron and herringbone, while popular for their unique zigzag patterns, are usually more expensive due to their intricate manufacturing process.
Q2: How can I get cheap engineered oak flooring without sacrificing durability?
For cheap but durable engineered oak flooring, it’s advisable to select a traditional plank style with a suitable thickness. Boards with a 10/2mm thickness are typically more affordable, though for longevity, a slightly pricier 14/3mm or 15/3mm board with a 3mm wear layer is recommended.
Q3: Which is the cheapest wood species used in engineered oak flooring?
European oak is the most economical choice among wood species used in engineered wood flooring, owing to its wide availability and popularity. Although there are other options like Walnut, Ipe, African Wenge, Cumaru, Brazilian Cherry, and Pacific Mahogany, these tend to be pricier.
Q4: How does the grade of the real wood layer affect the cost of cheap engineered oak flooring?
The grade of the real wood layer in your engineered oak flooring has a significant impact on cost. Rustic grade is the cheapest, while Prime grade is the most expensive. However, this grading is about aesthetics rather than quality.
Q5: What’s the best option for cheap engineered oak flooring that offers good quality?
The best option for cheap but quality engineered oak flooring would be a plank style, with a 10/2mm thickness, composed of Oak, and in Rustic grade. If the budget allows some flexibility, a plank style with a 14/3mm thickness, made of Oak, and in a Natural grade can be considered.