Q: White Oak vs. Red Oak. Which one is better?
I love the look of oak flooring but the decision between white and red is difficult. With all the different types of stains available and types of structures of floors I need some advice. I have two kids, two dogs, and a wife who seems to always wear high heals. Is white or red oak better from a family housing perspective?
Great question and one that surfaces in the flooring industry often. The main problem here is not which is better, but which one fits your preference. Red oak and white oak are the most common species of hardwood flooring in America. In regards to your additional details to the question I would suggest white oak floors because it a slightly harder wood species. It also will accept stains much easier making it an ideal staining surface. Dura Seal, Bona, and Basic Coatings make great water based stains to cover your floor if you choose to go for a sand and finished look rather than a pre-finished product from a company like Mullican or Mirage.
Red oak is primarily what other species are compared to in determining which is harder because they are more prominent. Again, refer to the Janka hardwood scale. Pre-finished floors such as those made BR-111 (great for exotic flooring species) shows a graph to represent where a particular species relate in hardness to red oak. Red oak is very porous and durable as well. It also is more readily available and ends to be less expensive overall compared to white oak flooring.
Judging by what you are saying you are interested in staining, obviously red or white oak, and have an all American type of family and from that I would suggest going with a white oak floor solely because it is more durable in the long run. Please keep in mind all floors receive a tremendous amount of wear and tear and eventually they all need to be refinished. If there is a lot of foot traffic over your floors then remember to keep them clean. Bona makes a great hardwood flooring kit. Take care of your floors. They are an investment which adds a lot of value to your home. Get quality flooring, have it installed by an experienced flooring contractor, and enjoy the beauty they will bring to your house. Simply put, you cannot go wrong with either red oak or white oak.
Hope this helps!
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Well Kevin, the white oak would be your better choice for hardness and miosture. Red oak is better if you want to stain it. Remember it's still hardwood and all of those things you've mentioned will leave marks in any hardwood floor. But remember its called character. It's still beautiful.
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