23 October 2014
One of the properties of oak is that it can be smoked (fumed). The smoking process deepens the colour of the wood.
Mechanism: When oak is exposed to ammonia fumes, the tannins in the wood react and darken. The shade is determined by the tannin content of the wood which will vary between batches and even between individual boards. This often results in a stunning natural shade variety across the floor which cannot be obtained by using coloured finishes.
Appearance: Smoked oaks have similar colour tones, but greater depth of colour, and greater colour variation comared to unsmoked oak. Grades which include sapwood have a stronger colour variation, as sapwood does not contain any tannins and subsequently does not change colour. Batch smoking creates additional variation. Manufacturers will often add interesting textures, such as handscraping, to smoked oaks to enhance the unique appearance.
Maintenance: The smoking process does not penetrate all the way through the wood and will be affected if the floor is re-sanded, however a properly maintained natural-oiled floor should never need resanding. Smoked floors gradually lighten over time due to UV/light exposure, therefore we do not recommend the use of rugs or other covering during the first 6 months after installation.