What's the Difference Between Red Oak and White Oak Floors?

October 7, 2015

It's been a while since our last blog post, but we have a good reason. When you're a family-owned business and the person who handles all of the social media has a nice, long case of morning sickness, blog posts and Facebook status updates tend to fall by the wayside. Now that I'm in the second trimester and things are going a bit more smoothly, back to work it is!

 

 

Hardwood floors began to become popular again in the 1990s after a decades-long love affair with carpet, and the number one choice among homeowners was red oak. Why? Red oak is one of the hardest hardwoods available as well as one of the most common, making it a no-brainer choice for flooring as well as cabinets. If a home has not been updated in the last twenty years, the odds are you'll see red-tinted wood cabinets as well as floors. You can see this for yourself below:

 

 Photo Source: Decor Adventures

 

 

Red oak actually doesn't have to look red, however. Stained with a rich brown color, red oak can achieve a traditional look. You'll notice the grain in the photo below, however. The swirls and strong graining is a hallmark of red oak flooring that will be apparent even with darker color stains.

 Photo Source: Modern Tech Floors

 

 

In recent years, white oak has replaced red oak (at least in middle Tennessee) as the favorite hardwood floroing choice. White oak is a bit harder than red oak, but most clients prefer it because of the appearance. It is naturally void of the pinkish hue that red oak has, and its grain tends to be tighter and less noticeable. These attributes lend a more clean, contemporary feel to the room in which it's installed or finished, as seen below:

 

 Photo Source: Cocozy.com 

 

 

Due to its natural brown tones, many homeowners prefer to finish white oak with a clear finish, allowing the beauty of the wood to shine through.

 Photo Source: Ryan Street & Associates

 

 

In the past white oak has been more expensive than red oak, but it has become popular enough as flooring material that their price points are essentially the same now. Paired with a beautiful pattern, white oak can steal the show in any room!

 Photo Source: HomeBunch

 

 

If you live in Nashville, Brentwood, or the surrounding areas, please contact us at 615-416-9039 with any flooring questions you have! We offer free consultations (and plenty of advice!)  

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