Learning Center

Find the answers to your home improvement questions.

What is White Ash Hardwood Flooring?

Botanical Name: Fraxinus Americana

white ash

The white ash group is actually made up of a number of species including the American white ash, blue ash green ash, and Oregon ash. The first three are found in the eastern United States, while Oregon ash grows primarily along the Pacific coast. The AmBotanical Name: Fraxinus Americana The white ash group is actually made up of a number of species including the American white ash, blue ash green ash, and Oregon ash. The first three are found in the eastern United States, while Oregon ash grows primarily along the Pacific coast. The American white ash is most frequently used for baseball bats, oars, and other sporting goods. Overall, the white ash group is used for furniture, cabinets, flooring, and other millwork. The lifespan of ash is about 300 years, and the average height for a fully grown tree is between 65 and 100 feet with a diameter between 2 and 5 feet.

History

Ash has a rich history that involves ancient mythology. The Norse believed that the ash tree supported the heavens while its roots traversed the underworld. British folklore tells of the healing and protective properties of the ash. Before the popularity of white ash in the flooring industry, it was used for a wide variety of objects. Prior to the popularity and availability of fabricated materials, white ash was the most popular wood for creating tennis racquets. It has also long been popular in the food industry, as a packaging for food because the wood leaves imparts no taste on the items within. Longbows can also be made with white ash, although it must be carefully worked. More recently, this hardwood has been used in the body of electric guitars. Many parts of the tree, in addition to the timber, have also been historically used. The inner bark from some varieties was widely used to create a blue dye and the bark of others has been used in traditional Chinese homeopathic remedies.

Durability

The durability of hardwood floors can be determined to a great extent by its Janka rating. On the Janka rating scale zero is the softest wood and very unsuitable for hardwood floors. The hardest rating for hardwood on this scale is 4000, which is also unsuitable for hardwood flooring because it would be very difficult to mill properly. On this scale, white ash receives a rating of 1320, which is slightly harder than red oak. The strength this lumber makes it ideal for hardwood floors. Overall, white ash has excellent strength in relationship to its weight.

Workability

White ash is easily machined and is well adapted to gluing, nailing, and screwing. It dries quickly with very little degradation and once dried has little movement in performance. It can be sanded and stained with minimal difficulty. This hardwood has very good shock resistance and is a good choice for steam bending.

Where to use

Ash is a very durable hardwood and is an appropriate addition to any area. The coarse grain is similar to oak but the colors are quite different. The natural color of the sapwood is light, almost white. The heartwood of ash can be a number of different colors, including grey, light brown, and pale yellow. This variety allows customers to choose a clear stain to highlight the natural beauty of the wood. However, because it does stain so well, it is possible to customize the flooring further with darker stains that are more appropriate to the home’s décor. The grain is uniform and straight, making it a nice choice for those who want to have a smaller pattern in their flooring. Because ash is so durable, it can be used in higher traffic areas with less worry about damage. As with all hardwoods, locations where the flooring may be exposed to excessive moisture or standing water are not recommended.

Care and Maintenance

Despite the relative hardness of the white ash family, it is necessary to take some precautions in order to maintain both the integrity and beauty of the hardwood flooring. Preventative maintenance is an important first step. All entryways and areas that receive a high amount of foot traffic need to be protected with runners or rugs in order to limit damage. If covering the hardwood flooring is not desirable shoes, especially those with heels, can be removed instead. Pads need to be placed under the legs of furniture to prevent scuff marks and gouges in the flooring over time. In homes where animals will be walking on the floors, their nails should be routinely clipped to prevent scratches to the flooring. In addition to these preventative measures, some routine maintenance will benefit the flooring as well. Regularly remove dirt and sand from the floor with a broom or vacuum set to a hardwood setting. This prevents the sand and dirt from scouring the flooring and damaging the finish. Spills of any kind need to be promptly wiped up in order to prevent stains from seeping into the wood. There may be additional cleaning instructions available depending on the specific finish chosen for the flooring.

Environmental Issues

Ash trees play an important role in the environment. The trees provide animals such as, squirrels, birds, and insect larvae with a home. The fruit and leaves from the trees feed a variety of animals as well. Currently, one of the greatest threats facing the ash trees is a wood boring beetle. The Emerald Ash Borer, or Agrilus planipennis, was accidentally introduced into North America from its native home of eastern Asia. Millions of trees have been killed in Michigan and Ontario as well as in isolated areas of eastern North America. The beetle has killed trees in forests as well as ornamental trees planted in residential and commercial sectors. Studies have indicated that the beetle is able to destroy trees regardless of the type of environment in which they are located. The continued spread of these beetles could threaten the estimated seven billion ash trees in North America. In some areas, this could affect one in 10 trees within afflicted forests, devastating the ecosystem. This situation illustrates the need to be extremely vigilant in preventing the introduction of foreign species.erican white ash is most frequently used for baseball bats, oars, and other sporting goods. Overall, the white ash group is used for furniture, cabinets, flooring, and other millwork. The lifespan of ash is about 300 years, and the average height for a fully grown tree is between 65 and 100 feet with a diameter between 2 and 5 feet.

History

Ash has a rich history that involves ancient mythology. The Norse believed that the ash tree supported the heavens while its roots traversed the underworld. British folklore tells of the healing and protective properties of the ash. Before the popularity of white ash in the flooring industry, it was used for a wide variety of objects. Prior to the popularity and availability of fabricated materials, white ash was the most popular wood for creating tennis racquets. It has also long been popular in the food industry, as a packaging for food because the wood leaves imparts no taste on the items within. Longbows can also be made with white ash, although it must be carefully worked. More recently, this hardwood has been used in the body of electric guitars. Many parts of the tree, in addition to the timber, have also been historically used. The inner bark from some varieties was widely used to create a blue dye and the bark of others has been used in traditional Chinese homeopathic remedies.

Durability

The durability of hardwood floors can be determined to a great extent by its Janka rating. On the Janka rating scale zero is the softest wood and very unsuitable for hardwood floors. The hardest rating for hardwood on this scale is 4000, which is also unsuitable for hardwood flooring because it would be very difficult to mill properly. On this scale, white ash receives a rating of 1320, which is slightly harder than red oak. The strength this lumber makes it ideal for hardwood floors. Overall, white ash has excellent strength in relationship to its weight.

Workability

White ash is easily machined and is well adapted to gluing, nailing, and screwing. It dries quickly with very little degradation and once dried has little movement in performance. It can be sanded and stained with minimal difficulty. This hardwood has very good shock resistance and is a good choice for steam bending.

Where to use

Ash is a very durable hardwood and is an appropriate addition to any area. The coarse grain is similar to oak but the colors are quite different. The natural color of the sapwood is light, almost white. The heartwood of ash can be a number of different colors, including grey, light brown, and pale yellow. This variety allows customers to choose a clear stain to highlight the natural beauty of the wood. However, because it does stain so well, it is possible to customize the flooring further with darker stains that are more appropriate to the home’s décor. The grain is uniform and straight, making it a nice choice for those who want to have a smaller pattern in their flooring. Because ash is so durable, it can be used in higher traffic areas with less worry about damage. As with all hardwoods, locations where the flooring may be exposed to excessive moisture or standing water are not recommended.

Care and Maintenance

Despite the relative hardness of the white ash family, it is necessary to take some precautions in order to maintain both the integrity and beauty of the hardwood flooring. Preventative maintenance is an important first step. All entryways and areas that receive a high amount of foot traffic need to be protected with runners or rugs in order to limit damage. If covering the hardwood flooring is not desirable shoes, especially those with heels, can be removed instead. Pads need to be placed under the legs of furniture to prevent scuff marks and gouges in the flooring over time. In homes where animals will be walking on the floors, their nails should be routinely clipped to prevent scratches to the flooring. In addition to these preventative measures, some routine maintenance will benefit the flooring as well. Regularly remove dirt and sand from the floor with a broom or vacuum set to a hardwood setting. This prevents the sand and dirt from scouring the flooring and damaging the finish. Spills of any kind need to be promptly wiped up in order to prevent stains from seeping into the wood. There may be additional cleaning instructions available depending on the specific finish chosen for the flooring.

Environmental Issues

Ash trees play an important role in the environment. The trees provide animals such as, squirrels, birds, and insect larvae with a home. The fruit and leaves from the trees feed a variety of animals as well. Currently, one of the greatest threats facing the ash trees is a wood boring beetle. The Emerald Ash Borer, or Agrilus planipennis, was accidentally introduced into North America from its native home of eastern Asia. Millions of trees have been killed in Michigan and Ontario as well as in isolated areas of eastern North America. The beetle has killed trees in forests as well as ornamental trees planted in residential and commercial sectors. Studies have indicated that the beetle is able to destroy trees regardless of the type of environment in which they are located. The continued spread of these beetles could threaten the estimated seven billion ash trees in North America. In some areas, this could affect one in 10 trees within afflicted forests, devastating the ecosystem. This situation illustrates the need to be extremely vigilant in preventing the introduction of foreign species.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You can use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.