Oak is a popular and versatile wood, used for hundreds of years as a floor covering and proven to stand the test of time. If you are considering hardwood floors for your Overland Park home, oak is a classic choice that both your family and potential future homebuyers will appreciate.
Red oak and white oak are the most common species on the market for flooring and interior millwork. Both are readily available in the U.S. and considered a sustainable species. Half the hardwood forests in the U.S. are oak and, under forestry protection programs, they are continually being replanted.
There are some important differences between red oak and white oak to consider. Our team at Floor Coverings International Kansas City West has compiled some information about white oak that will help you understand the benefits of this hardwood flooring.
Appearance and Characteristics
While similar in color, white oak has a finer grain pattern than red oak and is generally less porous. For this reason, white oak has long been preferred for shipbuilding and wine barrel construction, in addition to being used for flooring and other building applications. It has a naturally warm and golden tone that is beautiful without treatment, and it easily accepts any stains and finishes that are applied to it.
White oak is often referred to by how it is milled, and you will commonly find “quartersawn” planks to emphasize the straight grain pattern in the wood and the rays, or lighter-toned ripples that run across the grain. This quartersawn technique also contributes to the stability of the wood. Quartersawn flooring will shrink less than flatsawn planks as it dries.
White oak is known for being slightly more stable than red oak overall, and it’s a harder wood, ranking 1360 on the Janka hardness scale. Its durability makes it a popular choice for high-traffic homes and families with children or pets.
Cost and Care
White oak tends to be more expensive than red oak, but its beauty and toughness make it well worth the investment. You can keep your white oak flooring looking great with regular sweeping and vacuuming to pick up dirt and debris. When deeper cleaning is required, use a product specially formulated for your hardwoods. Area rugs at entrance points and in high traffic areas are also recommended to prolong the life and appearance of your flooring.
Our team at Floor Coverings International Kansas City West is happy to provide a free in-home consultation to discuss the best hardwood flooring option for your family!
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Photo by PavelShynkarou