At Floor Coverings International of Carmel, not only do we provide Carmel families with quality products and efficient installation, but we also give expert guidance on all things flooring. Oak hardwood flooring is durable, versatile, and sustainable—the complete package! The most difficult part about oak is choosing between the two varieties: white and red. Read on for information about the differences between these two hardwoods.
Same Name, Different Hardwood
These woods may share a name, but red and white oak could not be more different. Each hardwood possesses unique aesthetic and functional properties. Depending on what is important to you in a hardwood—durability, sustainability, affordability—one may be better for your family. Here are a few of their key differences:
- Color: the most apparent difference between white and red oak are their hues. White oak is darker, with colors ranging from beige to dark brown. Red oak is typically amber with red undertones.
- Grain: when red oak is stained, it can be hard to discern its red hue. Luckily, these hardwoods also have very different grains. White oak’s grain lines are straight and subtle while red oak has a wavy grain with exaggerated swirls.
- Water Resistance: white oak is slightly more water resistant than red oak. This is because white oak is a closed-pore wood and red oak is an open-pore wood, which means it absorbs more moisture. In fact, during the sixteenth century, white oak was commonly used as a material for oceangoing vessels.
Although these two hardwoods look and behave very differently, they do share a number of similarities:
- Durable: both red and white oak are extremely tough. With a Janka hardness score of 1,360, white oak is slightly stronger than red (1,290), but they are both durable flooring materials. With minimal maintenance, your oak hardwood floors can last for generations.
- Sustainable: oak is native to North America. Today, the majority of oak used for hardwood is sustainably grown and harvested in the eastern United States of America.
Find Your Dream Floors
For more information about oak, or to schedule your free, in-home consultation, reach out to your local flooring experts at Floor Coverings International of Carmel today!
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