Red Oak vs White Oak Flooring: 3 Key Differences to Consider

Hardwood flooring’s all the rage in interior design nowadays thanks to its good looks and long-lasting durability.

Of all the hardwood species, oak wood’s one of the most widely used for furniture and flooring. It offers a wide range of choices when it comes to colors and wood grains.

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Red oak and white oak are two of the most attractive species in the oak family used for flooring, but which one suits your home best?

Check out this comparison between red oak vs white oak flooring to help you decide.

The Appearance of Red Oak vs White Oak Flooring 

White oak’s the most abundant tree species in the United States, but it’s a little more expensive than red oak. That’s because it’s the denser, harder, and heavier of the two species. 

These properties make white oak a popular choice for furniture, while red oak’s more commonly used for floors. 

Both species are highly attractive when used for flooring and there’s little difference in their appearance. In their raw states, red oak has a pink tinge to it, while white oak appears the darker of the two kinds of wood.

Both have attractive grain patterns although red oak planks feature more swirls and deviations than white oak.

White oak has smaller tighter grain lines, which create a more uniform appearance. Since the wood itself is light in color, the grain patterns on red oak stand out more. 

Since it has such striking grain lines, red oak might not suit all hardwood floor patterns. Hardwood floor guides are a quick way to compare the different types of hardwood floor patterns and see which one might suit the type of hardwood you prefer.

The Pros and Cons of Red Oak vs White Oak Hardwood Flooring

Besides their appearance, white and red oak flooring also differ in a few other respects.

Since white oak flooring is the hardier and more water-resistant of the two species, it’s more suited to outdoor applications.

White oak has a denser composition than red oak and thus accepts stains more readily. It’s also better suited to a wider variety of stains due to its neutral coloration.

The pinkish hues of red oak can interfere with the look you’re trying to achieve when staining your floor. That said, the pink tints of red oak really pop when combined with a dark stain. 

Apart from these minor differences, there’s not much separating these two different types of oak flooring. If you’re working on a budget, you’ll probably find that red oak’s a slightly cheaper option. 

All in all, it’s difficult to make a call as to which one’s the best hardwood flooring for household use. It really comes down to which one suits your home’s decor and style best.  

Either way, choosing a hardwood floor’s a long-term decision, so take your time comparing the two before you make your final decision.   

Decisions, Decisions

When you opt for interior refurbishments comparing red oak vs white oak flooring is only one of the exciting decisions you’ll get to make. 

Keep browsing our blog for more inspiring ideas on the best interior designs.  

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