The ash tree’s real name is the Fraxinus and originates in the British Isles; in fact it is the fourth most common tree in Britain. There are many different species of the tree and they grow across the world in places as diverse as North America, North Africa and various parts of Asia.
It is largely a deciduous plant however there are a few sub-tropical plants which are actually evergreen, and it belongs to the olive and lilac family, or the Oleaceae family. These trees are identified by the silvery grey bark as well as small clusters of green flowers, and their seeds are dispersed by wind.
Mature ash trees can grow to around 45 metres and they can live for up to 400 years. However the tree is currently at risk from a wood-boring beetle, which was accidentally introduced through insufficient checks on imported goods.
Traditionally ash was used for weapons and the word ‘ash’ comes from the Anglo Saxon term ‘aesc’, meaning spear. Contemporary use of the wood includes sports equipment, tool handles, chair making and, of course, flooring as well as many other uses which require a very strong wood.
Ash is a highly grained, pale creamy wood and is renowned for being incredibly strong and flexible. It works well in small rooms by making them look more spacious and adds an airy quality to any room. Whether you choose solid floors, engineered flooring or laminate flooring the distinctive markings of the wood adds character and a natural look.
Because this flooring is so strong and flexible it works well as a hardwood floor. The wood is pale but features distinctive patterns and markings, adding unique character to the flooring. Solid wood floors are high-quality products and, with the correct maintenance, they are incredibly long-lasting.
Engineered flooring is made by fusing several layers of wood using very high pressures, which produces a wooden floor which is stronger than a solid floor. This flooring also avoids the problems of shrinking and expanding, which can happen in solid wood floors, while still retaining the individual character of ash flooring.
Wood effect laminate flooring is a very popular option as it combines the attractive features of ash flooring with the practicality and wide range of choice which laminate flooring provides. It is easy to fit and provides a contemporary feel to any room.