Red Oak vs. White Oak Flooring | 50 Floor

Red Oak vs. White Oak Flooring

You know you want oak flooring in at least one of your home’s rooms, but maybe you’re unsure about whether red oak or white oak makes more sense.

Both red and white oak floors can dazzle. Nevertheless, if you’re trying to decide between the two, you’ll want to know their similarities and differences.

Commonalities Between Red Oak and White Oak Floors

To learn the benefits of both types, here are some shared attributes between red and white oak floors:

  • Species: They both represent the oak species, which means they have that special oak look. You can always tell oak floors because their grain looks uniform, straight and clean.
  • Hardness: The difference between red oak vs. white oak wood hardness doesn’t matter much. Even though red oak’s a bit softer, it is still a sturdy hardwood that can handle the brunt of normal wear and tear.
  • Stains: Do you intend to stain your oak hardwood floors after they’ve been installed in a room or hallway or on your main set of stairs? Either type of oak can accept premium stains. Still, you’ll want to test the stain on a flooring sample first so you know how it will turn out.
  • Price: You’ll often find small price fluctuations between white and red oak flooring. If your budget allows you to go with oak, you don’t have to compromise if you love the appearance of one type of oak floor more than the other.

Differences Between Red and White Oak Hardwood Flooring

Oak wood has overtones and undertones — no surprise here. Red oak has a reddish hue to it, but don’t expect it to echo the intensity of cherry hardwood. Its tone is more along light pink lines. White oak carries yellowish or brown undertones, making it less bright and more of a deeper shade. Here are a few more contrasts between red oak floor vs. white oak:

  • Grain intensity: Although red and white oak have similar types of graining, a red oak floor’s grain will be a tad stronger. This intensity allows the red oak to hide blemishes more effectively. White oak’s lighter graining makes it appear less patterned, which can be appealing to homeowners who want their oak floors to blend into the background.
  • Water resistance: When you see a boat made of oak, you can bet it’s probably constructed from white oak. That’s because white oak can handle exposure to water better than red oak. Therefore, if you’re choosing an oak floor for a humid area like a bathroom or kitchen, you might want to pick white oak.
  • Average or available plank size: You’ll find more red oaks than white oaks, and they grow bigger on average. If you need a generous plank width of around 5 inches or greater, you’ll find more red oak options.

Choose 50 Floor for Your Oak Hardwood Flooring

Are you having difficulty picking between white and red oak floors? It’s a tough decision — you might be considering mixing both types. However, you’ll want to select one or the other. Mixing and matching them doesn’t usually go well. You’ll do much better with one type of flooring for your space.

Make an appointment with 50 Floor and we’ll bring samples of white and red oak so you can see which one appeals to you most. It’s the fastest, most convenient way to see which floor type will become your next favorite!

Questions or Feedback