What is smoked wood flooring?
If you love the look of darker wood flooring, we have a range of rich finishes to add a sense of luxury to any space. There are many ways to create beautiful dark wood flooring finishes; often, stains or tinted oils are applied to the surface of the oak to create the desired tone. But there’s another way to create sumptuously dark wood flooring — a process which can darken the entire depth of the plank’s hardwood top layer. It’s called smoked wood flooring.
So, how do mills produce smoked wood flooring? And what are the benefits?
The process: creating smoked wood flooring
To create smoked oak flooring, the raw unfinished oak is placed inside a sealed chamber where it undergoes the smoking process. The name of the process is a little misleading as it doesn’t actually involve any smoke; it’s done by controlled exposure of the wood to certain chemical compounds, such as ammonia. The tannins in the wood react with the atmosphere created in the chamber. This reaction naturally darkens the timber whilst emphasising its grain patterns and characterful features.
It’s possible to control the intensity of the reactions to lessen or increase its darkening effects. This allows smoked wood flooring to be produced in a variety shades, from light browns to almost black. The process can be used to colour just the surface fibres of the wood, or can achieve a more intense deep smoking, which goes much further into the wood.
What are tannins?
Tannins are naturally occurring acidic chemicals found in the bark, leaves and immature fruit of many plants and trees. They get their name from ‘tannum,’ the medieval Latin for oak bark, and ‘tannare,’ which refers to its use in the process of tanning (toughening and preserving) animal hides. Traditional tanneries in the leather industry still use oak bark to this day. Tannins are also found in tea, coffee, wine, and dark chocolate.
Oak has higher levels of tannin than other wood species, which is why smoking oak is so effective in creating sumptuous dark-toned wood flooring.
Benefits of smoked wood flooring
Smoking oak showcases the natural beauty of the timber
The specialised smoking process enhances the natural beauty of oak; the grain is darkened and accentuated to create a stunning, multitoned aesthetic.
Deep smoked wood flooring wears well
Wood flooring which has been deep smoked is a very practical choice because the colour from the smoking process goes through the entire depth of the oak top layer; as a result, they won’t show signs of wear as much as other floors. Unlike a tinted or stained floor that has worn over the years, the colour of deep smoked wood flooring simply can’t come off. It makes these smoked oak planks a great option for those concerned about wear and tear.
Smoked wood flooring options
Our Deep Smoked finish offers dark luxurious tones and plenty of character. The intensity of this permanent darkening reaction is based on the amount of tannin present in the wood. This means that the process can create significant tonal variation between each board. In our opinion, that’s one of the characteristics that make it so captivating.
We also offer Deep Smoked solid oak herringbone blocks. These are a fantastic choice if you want to use this striking traditional pattern to showcase the characterful colour variations between each block.
Our Double Smoked and White Oiled boards are a distinctive smoked wood flooring option. This product features the eye-catching contrast of a white oil finish that highlights the grain.
Other wood species can also go through the fuming process but they will not darken to the same extent as oak.