The Difference between Red Oak or White Oak Hardwood Flooring

Both red oak and white oak are a smart choice and popular options for hardwood flooring. If your home already has an oak floor and it’s time for hardwood floor refinishing, you probably have red oak. If you’re considering installing new hardwood floors and someone suggests oak, they’re likely referring to white oak.

How to Determine Which Oak Your Home Has

Red oak can appear reddish but don’t rely on the color alone. If the floor is stained a rich brown, you likely won’t be able to tell just from the color of the wood. A more accurate way of determining if your flooring is red oak or white oak is to look at the grain pattern. A red oak floor has stronger grain and often what homeowners describe as a swirling pattern.

White oak floors don’t have the pinkish cast to them and the grain pattern is much more subtle. Some homeowners like the tighter grain pattern that provides for a cleaner look.  It can be stained almost any color as well. If you want a clean and contemporary look consider a light finish or even a clear finish.

Is Red or White Oak Better?

Both are hard and durable making them a popular choice for hardwood flooring. Scored at 1360, white oak is slightly harder than red oak at a 1290 on the Janka Wood Hardness Scale. Most homeowners look at price as a second factor in choosing the right hardwood flooring. White oak has come down in price as it has increased in popularity over the past ten years and is now similar to red oak. The best way to make the right decision between these two popular hardwood floors is to look at the grain patterns and decide based on the look you want for your floor.

Refinishing Oak Flooring

If you’re looking to refinish your oak floors and believe you have red oak but don’t want the reddish tint to come through, talk to the experts at Seer Flooring. Refinishing red oak floors doesn’t have to mean having a red-toned floor, we can help you find the right stain. We’ve refinished hundreds of hardwood floors and know how different stains appear on different wood species. Call Seer Flooring at 727-785-1930 for your in-home consultation.