Authentic French Oak

The perfect floor can be hard to find.

In order to help you understand the difference between 90% of floor manufacturers and installers, and the type of product that enoak delivers, included here are some common questions we get asked, and their related answers.

For each answer, we are constantly seeking new ways to improve our products, to refine our processes, and to further work in harmony with the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How authentic is your French Oak?

enoak = French Oak grown in France + Made in France

You cannot get a more authentic flooring.

Our French Oak is grown and harvested in France, and comes through a long line of French artisans.

Our main supplier, situated in the North of France near the Champagne region, is a French family who has worked in the wood industry for over 50 years. They have been able to combine their traditional knowledge and expertise with today’s technologies. This has resulted in products that contains all the technical mastery of professional parquetry, as well as the sensibility of contemporary design.

They own not only the sawmill and the finishing facility where our flooring is produced, but also the forest where our oak is grown.

Our second supplier is a French artisan who creates our magnificent Versailles panels. To create these masterpieces he uses traditional French methods, refined over the generations. It is a mastered skill and requires great craftsmanship to know how to assemble each panel as it was done in the 17th century, and thus producing an unmistakably luxurious product. Situated in the South of France for over 30 years, he and his family have recently left city life for the calmer laid back countryside near Luxembourg. Together they are retracing their family history while they still continue to produce magnificent Versailles panels.

Here at enoak we know exactly where our products come from, the process that they have been through and the hands that they have passed through, and it is for that reason that we can say that not only are our products genuinely French/European Oak, but they are genuinely Made In France.

enoak flooring is primarily French Oak, however high quality European Oak may also occasionally be used in some circumstances.

How important is the environment to you?

PEFC Environmental Sustainability

Both our suppliers are certified under the PEFC. This is the worlds leading, most credible forest certification organisation, dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management promoting good practice in the forest, ensuring that the timber and non-timber forest products are produced with respect for the highest ecological, social and ethical standards. Their eco-label allows customers to identify products from sustainably managed forests.

VOC Volatile Organic Compounds

Indoor air is polluted by many sources inherent in buildings, the environment or equipment. Building materials and interior decoration products are known to be non-negligible sources of emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC), some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Given this, some European countries, including France, have introduced different qualification procedures for building products including flooring in order to reduce the emissions of pollutants at source. French regulations require labelling on the basis of work done by an accredited European testing body responsible for emission and pollutant testing such as The eco-INSTITUTE of Europe.

With a rating of A+ and A , enoak flooring is graded on their Indoor Emission Standards For Floor Coverings as having the highest and safest levels of VOC.

ECO products:  All our maintenance soaps carry the eco friendly stamp of approval

For more information, please see our Environment page.

How do you obtain your natural colours?

To obtain our natural colours, Our flooring will pass through a series of different baths. This can range from a single bath to up to 7 different types of baths. The number of baths and the different sequences used all depend on the final colour that we wish to achieve.

This technique allows us to play with the Oak, drawing out the tannins in a creative way and producing a natural range of colours.

Our colours are not achieved by staining or smoking the wood.

Will I eventually need to sand back my floors?

Unlike varnished floor, enoak floors continue to develop their beauty over time. With age a natural patina will develop, and the oak will naturally become more beautiful over the years. Your floors can be maintained using our neutral soap, this will create a film over your floors, adding extra protection, and at the same time it will nourish the oak each time that you wash it.

Floors can be nourished more intensively every couple of years if desired with an oil adapted to the colour of your flooring. With their hard wax oiled finish you will never need to sand. Sanding will take away the beautiful patina that you will have developed over the years, it will remove your aged finish and the colour will return to its natural state.

If we talk about wearing down a floor with wear and tear, you will wear out in general, 1mm of flooring every 100 years.

Sanding, re-staining and revarnishing is required on floors that use a varnish. A varnish effectively seals the floor beneath a plastic coating. This prevents the oak from being nourished by the surrounding environment, and it will inevitably become dull and visibly scratched.

How do we achieve the aged look?

Once we have achieved the desired colour we can then begin to work on the visual aged look.

The goal is to achieve flooring that looks as though it has already been touched by history, it already has a charm of its own, and it already has character. The aged appearance is achieved by passing the Oak through a specialised machine, the machine gives it a distressed appearance creating irregular marks and dents that you would naturally find on an Oak floor of a Parisian apartment or French Chateau where the floors can be over 100 years old.

The aged look is only available in the Heritage & Authentic range

How is my flooring protected ?

To achieve the natural look and feel, our products are not finished with a matt or gloss varnish, but with a hard wax and oil seal that is applied to the flooring. This process is a 21st century evolution of the old flooring technique of using bee’s wax.

Unlike bee’s wax, our waxing process protects your flooring from life’s unexpected moments, but without taking away the essential unique feeling of the magnificance of the raw wood.

What about Chinese French Oak?

Since 2008, European Oak has been imported by China in quite large quantities. China mass produces cheap and inferior copies of modern French flooring techniques. These products are far from being those made with great French passion and artisanal tradition, but they have however, found their place in today’s market.

Since 2008 France and other European countries in the parquetry industry (Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg etc) have been under a moral obligation to difference themselves from the products being produced in China.

To our advantage it keeps us on our toes. We must always be one step ahead in technique, finish, and colour range and two steps ahead in quality. The difference is we are constantly making significant improvements without compromising the important artisanal touch that has been passed down through the centuries.

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower” Steve Jobs