PARQUET IN ASH TREE
Characteristics, advantages and some suggestions for its maintenance
Ash flooring – origin of this wood type
Ash tree is an arboreal species, almost never a shrub, not exceeding 20-25 mt. height and with a slender and straight trunk. The bark has vertical veins and its colour goes from light grey to black.
The foliage is not very thick, with an oval shape and oblong leaves with jagged edges.
In mythology, it is the material with which Cupid’s arrows were made.
Together with the Beech, Ash tree is the first to colonize land abandoned by agriculture and it is, exactly like the Beech, a symbol of rebirth, of transformation and initiation.
Characteristics of the Ash wood
Its grain is of a light tinge, which exalts the natural colour of the wood. According to the brushing, annual growth rings can be stronger or weaker.
The sapwood is ivory-white, while heartwood is white/yellow with greyish shadows. Annual growth rings are very easy to see, grain is straight and texture pretty coarse.
From a mechanical point of view, this is a very good wood – hard and compact, medium durable, resistant to impacts and quite stable.
Finishes on ash produce very good results – ash parquet is homogeneous and its very light grain appears in all its beauty so giving the product a touch of naturalness which mixes well with any colour.
It is very easy to work and it can be easily glued. Its very regular fibres determine the preferable direction to resist to traction (that of the fibres) and to put in nails and screws.
As outdoor decking, it is much used as thermo treated – wood is brought to high temperature so as to induce a physic process of hardening and oxidation, which allows the flooring to resist to weather and humidity. Colour becomes a dark and bronze shade that makes it one of the most requested woods for outdoor, both for elegance and refinement, in private houses, hotels or swimming pools.
Advantages of Ash tree
Durability, resistance to weather, advantageous price, ease of processing, beauty of the finish – these are the main characteristics of ash parquet.
Ash wood is hard and strong but at the same time elastic and flexible. It is employed mainly where its strength can be of better use, such for example sports equipment, tool handles, wooden wheels and furniture. With its decorative vein and his large chromatic range that goes from almost white to a dark brown, it has become one of the most appreciated wood types for the production of wooden floorings.
A true natural wooden flooring is better valued if you walk on it barefoot. As for its look, it is loved for the scarce presence of knots, very fit for modern and refined dwellings.
Choosing an ash flooring means sorting out one of the best wood types for domestic surfaces, with very important features: resistance, durability, strength but without leaving out the aesthetic effect. At the same time, these characteristics make it particularly suitable for sport halls. For all its good qualities, ash remains one of the most appreciated wood types for floorings in a vast range of places.
Ash floorings – uses of the wood
A combination of resistance and malleability makes ash the ideal material for the production of many different objects and wooden structures, first of all parquet, then electric guitars, benches, precious furniture, sports equipment (parallel bars, Swedish wooden panel), small boats and working tools (ladders, handles for hoes, axes, shovels and hammers).
Ash wood is employed for the production of panels for furniture (in particular, office furniture), then for tables, chairs but also handles, poles, clubs and curved objects such as rims, skis and sleds.
As for parquet, it is perfect for humid environments such as kitchens and bathroom. For modern kitchens it is very trendy, thanks to installation techniques that allow numerous and interesting decorations. In bathrooms, it shows a great resistance to water, particularly if thermo treated, whose stability does not change in time.
Last but not least, it can be used along swimming pools, where people usually walk barefoot, as it is hard to split.
Installation can be done without glue if planks have a self-locking click, or using some vinyl glue on the tongue and groove joints. Planks are usually laid upon a mat, for acoustic insulation, so as to reduce the unpleasant effect of trampling.
The other installation system is the one with glue – so, particular adhesives are used to fix the planks onto the screed, which must be even, firm, clean and flat. This kind of installation can be done both on an existing flooring and on a cement screed, with the appropriate prescriptions and precautions.
Due to its characteristics, Ash is very easy to take care of and to maintain.
It is recommended to use electrostatic microfibre cloths to remove dust or a soft-bristled broom.
It can be cleaned using a well-wrung mop and warm water, with the help of a proper cleanser.