Oak Hardwood Flooring and Why It's a Popular Choice
Oak flooring is so popular, you're likely more familiar with it than you realize! It may be that beautiful golden floor in your friend's open-concept kitchen and living area, or perhaps your in-laws installed it on their main floor during their remodel a couple of years back. The question now is whether it's the perfect fit for your home!
Oak hardwood flooring has two species to choose from: red oak and white oak. Both offer the same worthwhile benefits, like impressive durability and decades of life ahead. The big difference is in their coloring and grain patterns, plus which one best lines up with your personal design style. Red oak planks give a classic hardwood vibe while natural white oak planks give off darker brown hues.
Knowing how you want your home to feel and what features you want to highlight can help you choose the best oak hardwood flooring option for your lifestyle when you walk into the showroom. The beauty of oak is that it's incredibly versatile and can match virtually any design aesthetic! So, it really comes down to which one is more your speed: red oak or white oak?
Red oak flooring does a beautiful job of brightening up spaces with its natural light white to golden brown hues accented with subtle pink and red. You'll get a classic hardwood look that’s perfect for your traditional home thanks to the straight grain and occasional swirl.
White oak flooring is the darker of the two oaks. Its warmer brown color, which can evolve over time into a golden brown, is accented with narrow, straight-lined grain. White oak can also better take lighter stains, such as cool whites and greys, which work well in contemporary spaces.
Oak Hardwood Flooring Pros and Cons
Maybe you’re constantly entertaining houseguests or you have a little one on the way, and you’re wondering if oak hardwood is the right flooring choice for your household’s needs. The pros and cons might help you decide:
Pro - You're making a solid investment with hardwood, which can last for generations.
Con - Hardwood can't handle high moisture or drastic temperature changes.
Pro - You can easily find oak wood flooring in a hue that perfectly complements your midcentury or Victorian home.
Con - Oak doesn't boast any soundproofing benefits like cork or carpet.
Pro - Oak wood flooring can hold up to your furry friends running around.
Red Oak vs. White Oak Hardwood
As you shop around, you may have noticed red oak flooring and white oak flooring, which can cause some confusion. These are two unique species with a few differing characteristics, mainly in how they look.
Red oak flooring is lighter than white oak flooring, warming up cabins and other rustic designs.
White oak is darker and works well with white and grey stains. Modern and contemporary decor often uses white oak flooring to brighten up an open floor plan.
White oak is a little harder than red oak, but the difference isn't notable enough to impact their impressive durability.
How Durable Is Oak Hardwood Flooring?
Looking for a handsome hardwood floor that won't flinch when your son's soccer team comes over for a post-game celebration? Oak hardwood flooring gives you that durability, no matter which of the two species you go with. Both oak hardwood flooring options hold up well to scratches, dents, and scuffs. What they do not handle well is moisture. Solid hardwoods in general aren't waterproof, so don't install in wet areas and clean up spills quickly to avoid any damage.
If you are in need of a waterproof flooring option but love the look of oak hardwood, check out engineered oak hardwood which is equipped to better handle the moisture-prone areas of your house.
Lifespan and Installation
Whether you fall in love with white oak flooring or red oak flooring, your investment is for the long haul. Solid wood floors can last for several decades, and even a lifetime or more if you play your cards right. The longevity of your oak hardwood flooring is impacted by several variables, including:
How it's installed
The quality of the materials used
How well you keep up with the routine maintenance
If you follow the manufacturer's instructions
How you and your family treat the wood floors over the years
Once you've committed to the perfect oak flooring for your home, you'll want to get it underfoot ASAP so you can enjoy it! We highly recommend trusting a professional with your installation. An experienced Flooring Canada pro will make sure the planks are properly acclimated to the space, your subfloors are ready, and the detailed process is perfectly completed. You'll end up with a gorgeous, headache-free new floor!
How to Maintain Oak Flooring
The installers just left and your brand-new oak hardwood flooring is simply stunning. So stunning, in fact, you don't want anyone to walk on it! The good news is that you can begin living on it and keep it looking beautiful to ensure a long life with just simple routine maintenance. Like all solid hardwood, oak floors benefit from regular sweeping or vacuuming to remove any dust and debris that's collected. For deeper cleaning, refer to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Oak Wood Flooring FAQs
How hard is an oak floor? Oak flooring, specifically white oak, is harder than most other species. While red oak has a medium hardness, both oak species can handle whatever wear and tear your home sees each day.
Is oak a good choice for flooring? Yes, absolutely! Oak is a classic hardwood flooring option that's incredibly resilient. Its natural warm brown color makes it a neutral favorite.
Do oak floors scratch easily? Oak is a resilient hardwood that doesn't scratch easily, but it can under certain conditions. If you're concerned about scratches, add area rugs and doormats in your busiest places and avoid dragging heavy objects.