White Ash (Fraxinus americana) is an excellent hardwood flooring. It is hard, heavy, and very tough.
Ash is of the olive tree family. It grows throughout the eastern part of the United States, and represents about 3-5% of the total hardwood timber stand.
Ash is similar in hardness to Oak flooring and a little more stable. It is easier to work and takes stain and other finishes very well. Ash tends to have very few knots and therefore resembles the highest grades of Oak, which many people mistake it for when used as flooring. Ash has wonderful white sapwood and grey-brown and sometimes pink or reddish brown heartwood.
It has a Janka hardness rating of 1320 and has therefore a very good balance between durability and ease of installation.
We machine our Solid Ash Tongue and Groove flooring from selected American prime White Ash.
Flooring should be allowed to acclimatise, before installation, to the ambient moisture content of the environment in which it will be installed. Flooring laid over wet concrete, basements and cavities, without proper attention paid to moisture control, and insulation, will shrink or expand excessively. If placed above a concrete slab a minimum spacing of 38mm must be allowed. The concrete must be sealed by a layer of plastic or waterproof coating to prevent moisture movement.
Ventilation must be allowed (see SABS 043-1973 ). A minimum 3000mm2 of opening per square metre of flooring is required to prevent high changes of moisture content in the floor. This can be allowed along the skirting board.
Joist spacing (span) is 450mm centre to centre (centres greater than this will result in laying difficulty and an uneven floor finish and a springy floor).
Start by laying flooring with the tongue facing in the direction you are working. Leave a 1 cm expansion and ventilation space (which will be covered by the skirting) around the edge of the room between the floor and any walls.
We recommend that the Porta Nailer system is used for installing flooring.
Alternatively fasten with 60mm oval nails, secret nailed at one nail per joist per floor board, countersunk with a punch.
Joints must be on joists, and boards must be square trimmed before laying.
Finish by sanding and sealing with a good quality floor varnish – we recommend Rystix ArmaFloor. Various stains can be used BEFORE the final sealer to change the colour. Care should be taken, when applying high strength sealers, that the tongues and grooves are not glued together, which will result in uneven shrinkage gaps.
Our Ash flooring is our most popular hasrdwood flooring product and is a superb flooring surface.
Somerset Timbers Interior flooring Ash (printable summary of this page)