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.
Type 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.
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.)