Ash wood flooring is a highly-affordable, beautiful, durable choice that can transform any home into a work of art. The look of ash flooring is both timely and timeless and comes with its own unique characteristics. One can expect to see natural variations in the color and grain. Depending on what part of the tree from which the wood is cut, ash can varies in color. It also has a specific grain pattern that is determined by the direction and method used when cutting. As is the case with natural stone, the variations inherent in ash flooring are what impart the floor's natural and unique beauty.
There are certain decisions that should be made prior to purchasing ash flooring, some of which can be real money saving choices. One of them is whether to have the flooring professionally installed or whether one should make a do-it-yourself project out of it. Certainly, the latter choice is the most financially efficient, and flooring manufacturers are now using cuts that make going about installing a wood floor much easier than it used to be. There are planks that snap together with minimum cutting, floors that use adhesives rather than nails and other new methods of installing that make doing it oneself a breeze.
Ash Engineered Flooring
Another consideration is whether to purchase ash engineered flooring or solid ash flooring. There are distinct differences between the two, although both give beautiful results. Ash engineered flooring is a cheaper wood flooring than solid ash flooring. It is constructed from layers of wood. However, the layers below the surface can sometimes be composed of less expensive, stronger wood layers making the engineered flooring very durable and long lasting. The top layer of the ash-engineered flooring is the nicely finished, decorative layer that is visible to the eye and indistinguishable from solid ash flooring. An added advantage of the ash engineered flooring is that it is much more friendly to the environment than solid ash flooring because the sub-surface layers are made from woods that might not have otherwise been used, simply because they are not ornamental. Using ash engineered flooring can help save trees because each tree can be stretched much further than with solid ash flooring, so fewer trees are cut down in the process of manufacturing it.
Solid Ash Flooring
Solid ash flooring is slightly more expensive than ash engineered flooring and many people tend to purchase it because it has the stigma of being the better of the two choices. However, this is not necessarily true, all things considered. An advantage of a solid ash flooring, however, is that it can be refinished more often than ash engineered flooring, therefore requires replacement less often. This rather balances out the environmental advantage of the ash engineered flooring. Solid ash flooring is less conducive to being installed as a do-it-yourself project than is ash flooring that has been engineered, so this should be a consideration.
The easiest type of ash flooring to install for the do-it-yourselfer, is the type that has been pre-finished. This ash flooring is sold in an already-sanded, screened and stained condition. Normally, they are treated with multiple coats of urethane and UV dried to result in a long lasting finish. UV drying is not something a do-it-yourselfer can do at home. This type of ash flooring can be recoated and screened in one's home to rejuvenate its finish and to revitalize its natural beauty.
Another option for ash flooring is to have it finished in place. In this instance, the ash flooring is installed, sanded, stained and finished with up to 3 coats of urethane while it is in the home. This process can be much more time consuming than with pre-finished ash flooring. It can be quite messy as well. However, the result can be customized to the owner's preferences.
How to Install Ash Wood Flooring
Anyone who desires to install and finish ash flooring him or herself, should consider that it is next to impossible to create a dust free environment in one's home. Therefore, it is impossible to keep at least some dust off of a freshly applied urethane finish. One may also discover brush or sanding marks or small bubbles after the installation has been completed. It is highly advised to seek the help of a professional installer for the finishing process, unless one has extensive ash flooring experience.