Red Oak Flooring vs. White Oak Flooring

Oak flooring is the most popular choice of wood flooring in the market and it is highly appreciated for its natural beauty and durability. Oak flooring is affordable and very easy to maintain. However, many consumers don’t know about two species of oak – white oak and red oak flooring.  

And if you want to install new engineered oak flooring for your personal residence or business house, then you can choose red oak or white oak depending on the look or color which you prefer. There is no major price difference of white or red oak, but there may be a slight change in the grade/brand/width of wood which you choose.

Distinguish between Red oak flooring versus White oak flooring:

Color:  Red oak has a pinkish hue and little lighter than white oak, while white oak is bit browner, more yellow and darker.  As the oak starts with different colors and they have different densities, white and red oak absorbs stain color differently and they won’t match each other when stained. 

Price: There is no major price difference between white and red oak flooring.  Because unfinished hardwood is a material where the price tends to fluctuate weekly. White oak is usually slightly more expensive than red oak. The prices may vary based on width and grade. 

Graining:  White oak flooring has less finer graining than red oak and white oak has a bit smoother look.  A few number of consumers prefer the strong graining of red oak and they like the look and the strong graining helps to hide the dents and scratches.  White oak has more mineral streaks and it gives a more contemporary look.  And even the rays are bit longer in white oak when compared to red oak. 

Hardness:  The red and white oak rank hardest among the hardwoods.  As per the Janka hardness test red oak ranks one point below the white oak.  As red oak is less harder, it tends to show the dents a bit less. Most of wood working machines can handle red oak with normal saw blades and bits, but when milling white oak, it’s suggested to use only carbide-tipped blades and bits. 

Workability:  When carving, cutting either red or white oak, you may notice the difference in your hands and how the wood working machines react to them. The inherent hardness of white oak can make the saw blade chatter and burn. White oak is more brittle than red oak and even shatter if the wood is introduced into a blade bit fast.  Red oak cuts smoother and it can be easily bendable than white oak.  When working with hand tools  like chisels, red oak is far easier for carving. 

The above mentioned differences may help you in choosing the correct one of your choice.  Both the white and red oak are very good options among solid oak flooring.  Some consumers prefer the look of white oak while the others prefer red oak. If you are starting from scratch, choose your favorite.  If you are adding to the existing hardwood, it’s better to match the compatibility factors.  

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