Red oak and white oak are two of the most popular board plank flooring and hardwood flooring options in recent times. People are always confused between these two. People ask this question frequently, What is the difference between Red Oak and White Oak, and which is better?
If you’re replacing all of your hardwood floorings, either red oak or white oak will work, and your decision will likely be based on your preferred look/color as well as price. Although the cost of red oak and white oak fluctuate, there isn’t usually a significant price difference, but this can vary slightly at any given time or based on the brand/grade/width of hardwood you choose.
When it comes to picking between Red Oak and White Oak Flooring, it’s always a personal choice, but there are a few elements to consider that can help you choose the hardwood that’s right for you.
What are the differences between Red Oak vs White Oak Flooring?
Here are a few things to consider that can make your decision easier:
The most striking difference between Red Oak and White Oak flooring is color contrast. Surprisingly, White Oak is deeper and more beige and brownish in color, whilst Red Oak has more salmon and pink overtones.
When it comes to staining Red Oak vs. White Oak, both types of wood are quite easy to stain. White Oak, on the other hand, is more suited to lighter white and grey stain colors, which are more fashionable nowadays. When utilizing a medium to dark tone, however, both staining will look almost identical.
The hardness value of Red Oak is 1290, whereas that of White Oak is 1360, making it somewhat more resistant to dents and scratches. However, because these figures are so near, both hardwoods will function similarly once installed, polished, and sealed.
The risk of water damage while installing hardwood floors in your house is always a concern. As white oak is a closed-grain wood that resists water damage, it is widely utilized in boat construction. It might also be a better choice for your home’s exterior.
White Oak has a hardness value of 1360, making it somewhat more hard than Red Oak. While Red Oak is more towards soft end but if installed, polished, and sealed properly both hardwoods will function similarly.
The affordability of both Red Oak and White Oak contributes to their appeal. Red Oak is also less expensive on average, despite price fluctuations. Of course, when it comes to hardwood flooring, price is a key consideration. Though white oak vs red oak price varies based on width and grade, White Oak is normally more expensive and because Red Oak trees are more plentiful, the price of Red Oak flooring is more towards inexpensive side, thus it may be well worth your time to investigate it.
Matching Existing Wood
If you’re replacing wood flooring in a home that already has wood accents such as stair treads and banisters, you’ll want to pick a suitable match so that your wood looks cohesive.
It’s worth noting that Red Oak is far more commonly used for surfaces like stair treads and railings, so if you’re attempting to match existing wood, Red Oak is the way to go. And even if you’re replacing wood stair treads in your house, also then Red Oak is still a better option because it’s less expensive.
Because they are produced and grown in the United States, both Red and White Oak are considered “greener” uses of a national natural resource. Both types of wood have a smaller carbon footprint than exotic wood species like Brazilian Cherry or Tigerwood, for example, and Oak trees are regularly replanted in the United States thanks to forestry preservation measures.
Red vs white Oak Flooring – Bottom Line
While both varieties of oak may be a lovely and long-lasting addition to your house, it’s worth debating whether Red Oak or White Oak is the superior choice. Though White Oak has a more appealing completed appearance, the difference in appearance between the two is considerably smaller than you may believe, especially when deeper stains are added.
Given this, Red Oak’s greater availability and cheaper cost may actually make it the more sensible choice. The final decision is yours, but before you invest in hardwood flooring, think about all of your options and choose the type that will work best in your house and provide you with beautiful floors for many years.
In the end, deciding between red oak vs white oak flooring comes down to your personal preference for which species of hardwood has the color and grain pattern that appeals to you the best.