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Red Oak vs White Oak Hardwood Flooring

By Jeff Hosking – Hosking Hardwood Flooring Inc.
© 2004-2012, Copyright protected. All Rights Reserved

The History of Oak Flooring

oak hardwood flooring When most of us think of wood flooring, our minds instantly go to Oak. Oak is known for its durability and long life and because of this, it has been the traditional floor covering used for centuries. Throughout the world, Oak flooring has been seen everywhere from elegant homes such as extravagant European Castles to most rustic settings like Rural Farmhouses and everywhere in between. Oak flooring was and still is hugely in demand because of its longevity, lasting well over 100 years. Evidence of Oak's durability can be seen in homes built around the turn of the 20th century which still have the original solid Oak flooring intact.

Janka Hardness Rating

Within the wood flooring industry, the Janka Hardness Rating is a particular test where a steel ball bearing is pressed into the surface of different wood species until half the steel ball is submerged below the surface of the wood. The force it takes to do this is then measured in pounds to calculate the Hardness Rating of that specific wood species. Because Oak is the popular wood species of which flooring is made, it is typically used as a comparison point when rating other wood species in terms of hardness.

 

Big and Majestic

oak treeOak hardwood flooring provides us with recognizable natural grain patterns, beautiful natural color and interesting natural character. It is also considered a "Greener" use of a National natural resource because it is readily available in the United States. It's carbon footprint is lower than that of exotic wood species like Brazilian Cherry or Tigerwood and because of forestry protection programs, Oak trees are constantly being replanted here in the U.S.

Red Oak vs. White Oak

red oak vs. white oak flooringThere are many different species of Oaks available for hardwood flooring. The two that consumers are most familiar with are Red Oak and White Oak. Red Oak flooring is the more traditional choice of the two Oaks. Red Oak is popular for its light golden to reddish pink tones and its more unique and "wilder" grain patterns. Red Oak has a Janka hardness rating of approximately 1290.

White Oak flooring has been noted as being harder than Red Oak with a Janka hardness rating of approximately 1360. White Oak flooring has less pronounced finer graining and warmer golden brown tones. White Oak flooring is also more stable. Because it is harder, it accepts stain color more evenly than Red Oak flooring does. White Oak has been known to have been used for hundreds of years in the building of boats, truck beds, wooden wagon wheels and wine barrels because of its structural integrity.

 

Board Size Trends

Red Oak flooring and White Oak flooring have been used in a variety of board widths and thicknesses over the years—from 17th century 12 to 20" wide planks to the more commonly used 2-1/4" strip Oak flooring we see today.

The current consumer trend is to use 3-1/4" wide boards. This allows for a more unique appearance than the traditional narrow 2-1/4" wide floor boards, but it's not so wide as giving the home an older country feel like the wider 4-8 IN. floor boards do. 4-8" or wider boards offer a very casual aesthetic, giving the home a unique and dramatic country or rustic feel.

Hosking Hardwood Flooring has many styles and sizes of both Red Oak and White Oak flooring available in either solid or engineered designs. You can click on the links below to check out our low prices on the very best Red and White Oak flooring selections!


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Web Page: Red Oak vs White Oak Hardwood Flooring
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Overall Rating: 4.3 stars - 9 reviews

By:
Date: September 28, 2016
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
Comments:
Doesnt red oak absorb water much more easily than white? Doesnt that mean that white oak wont warp much compared to red also?
By:
Date: April 22, 2016
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
I have some willams j.l.and sons john select grade white oak reclaimed flooring cwn you tell me more about it and if i can get a good price
By:
Date: November 23, 2015
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
This article helped to make our decision Red Oak vs White Oak.
By:
Date: July 17, 2013
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Full of information..THANK YOU !!
By:
Date: June 23, 2013
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Answered my questions exactly. THANK YOU!
By:
Date: June 13, 2013
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
Comments:
good article
By:
Date: March 18, 2013
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
White oak is harder than red oak so I am going to use White oak. I like the golden color better when finish is applied in white oak too.
By:
Date: October 25, 2012
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
Henri...Its not the fault of the wood. Even if the wood flooring was acclimated before it was installed the environment within the home has to be maintained to what the wood flooring was acclimated at. If the moisture level within the home increases later after the flooring is installed the wood flooring will absorb this excess moisture and swell causing the edges of the boards to cup upward. It sounds like the flooring was not acclimated correctly to what the normal relative humidity was going to be on average day within the home. All wood species will do this whether or not it is red oak or white oak. From reading the different articles this site has they consistently recommend proper acclimation and procedures to help maintain proper RL levels by using dehumidifiers or humidifiers if needed.
By:
Date: October 24, 2012
Page Rating: (2.0/5)
Comments:
We bough Sommerset red oak planks from you in 2011. Its been a disaster. Despite acclimating on site, the floor is cupped terribly. A local installed told us we should have used white oak because it is more stable. If this is true you should warn people who live near the coast. At some point-- -money willing-- we have to spend $8K to have the floors sanded and redone. Huge disappointment.

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