Red Oak Vs White Oak

By: Katie Trevino

June 13, 2017

Flooring

Red Oak Vs White Oak

Background

Oak is a beautiful wood that has been used as a traditional floor covering for centuries due to its durability and long life. Oak is also a very practical choice and, with proper care, can last well over a century. You can find evidence of this in some homes built in the 20th century that have their original solid Oak flooring still intact.

Why Choose Oak?

Using Oak for your hardwood floors is actually more environmentally friendly than installing an exotic species of wood because of the vast amount of Oak trees in the United States. Because of the abundance of Oak in the United States, moving the Oak from forest to a distributor requires less transportation and has a smaller carbon footprint as a result.

Types of Oak

There are several types to consider when looking for Oak hardwood flooring. The two most common choices are Red Oak and White Oak. When you compare the two types of Oak, you will find that each species has different characteristics to make it unique. Red Oak is a more traditional choice with its light golden to reddish tones and its wild grain patterns while White Oak has finer graining and warm gold to brown tones. Typically, the grain in White Oak tends to be straight and tight while Red Oak tends to have wider grain lines that can run in zigzag, wave, or circle patterns within the wood.

Janka Rating

Both Red and White Oak are fairly dense varieties of wood, however, White Oak is a little more durable with a Janka scale rating of about 1360 while Red Oak sits at about a 1290. Therefore, though both would be good in high traffic areas of your home or space, wood flooring made from White Oak is just a little better suited to stand up to wear and tear. (More about the Janka Scale here.)

Other Characteristics

White Oak is also more resistant to rot and water and is suitable for indoor or outdoor settings while Red Oak is more porous and should be used ideally indoors. In addition, its open pores allow the Red Oak to be stained easily and evenly while White Oak’s closed grain tends to be more challenging to stain.

We hope that we have helped clear up the differences between these two types of Oak and whichever wood flooring option you choose, we know that it will be a perfect addition to your space! Though there are several different aspects to consider for each type of wood, they are both beautiful and durable choices and in the end it is all up to personal preference.

At WoodCo we have many Red and White Oak products available in both solid and engineered designs. Find our most popular products below!

Red Oak

White Oak

Reclaimed Mixed

Not a fan of Oak?

Not to worry! We carry so many different species and styles, chances are we have whatever kind of wood you need. Contact us today and we’ll help you find the perfect products to make your designs come to life!