Red oak vs White Oak hardwood. What's the difference? Darien, Ct.

Reblogger David Popoff
Real Estate Broker/Owner with DMK Real Estate Ct RE Broker 0789963

Here in Fairfield County, Connecticut Red Oak and White Oak floors are very common. It is a great choice for flooring because it is reasonable priced, looks great natural or takes stain very well and is long lasting. You will find many homes around here 50, 70,   80 years and older with original hardwood oak floors.

Original content by Debbie Gartner

What is the difference between red oak and white oak hardwood?

red oak hardwood flooring Irvington New YorkOak flooring is the most popular species of hardwood here in Irvington NY.  Oak is a very practical wood, is readily available (grown and made in the US), very affordable and very easy to stain so you can find the color you prefer.  But many consumers don't realize that there are 2 species of oak - red oak and white oak flooring.

If you are installing new hardwood flooring everywhere, either red oak hardwood or white oak hardwood will work, and your choice will probably be dependent on which look/color you prefer as well as the price (the prices of red oak/white oak fluctuate, so in general there is not usually a major price difference, but this can vary slightly at any given time frame or based on the brand/grade/width of hardwood you are choosing.

If you already have oak flooring, and are adding additional oak flooring, you will want to match what you already have...that way, you will have a consistent look and wood will absorb the stain colors the same way.  I've seen it happen too often where a customer (or contractor) has mismatched the wood with red oak in some areas and white oak in others.  This means that your wood will never completely match - the graining will be different and the stain color will be different.


What's the difference between red oak flooring and white oak flooring?

Red Oak flooring - select grade                                                                   White Oak flooring - select grade

Red Oak flooring - Select gradeWhite oak hardwood flooring select grade1.  Color - red oak has a bit of a pinkish tint is a little bit lighter than white oak.  White oak tends to be a bit browner, darker and more yellow.  When you stain them, the difference between the 2 species decreases, especially the darker you go.  With lighter stains, the red oak tends to have a bit of red undertone in the color.


2.  Graining - red oak tends to have stronger graining than white oak hardwood.  White oak has a bit of a smoother look. Some people prefer the strong graining of red oak - both because they like the look and because the strong graining helps hide the scratches and dents; other prefer the slightly smoother grain of white oak and feel it's a less busy look.

Red oak vs White oak hardwood flooring - No 1 grade3.  Hardness - white oak flooring is a bit harder than red oak.  On the Janka hardness scale, White oak is 1360 and red oak is 1290.  But, as I mentioned above, even though red oak is a bit less hard, it tends to show the dents a bit less.


4.  Compatibility with stair treads and accessories - Red oak is more common in stair treads, saddles, banisters and other transitions.  If you have oak stair treads already in your home, chances are, they are red oak, so you may be better served matching that.  If you need to get new stair treads or other transitions, they are usually more readily available (and hence lower priced) in red oak.


5.  Price - In general, there is not a major price difference between red oak and white flooring.  Because unfinished hardwood is a commodity item, the price tends to fluctuate weekly.  At times, red oak costs more; at other times, white oak costs more.  the price will often vary based on width and grade.  And, very often, I have the red oak in 1 size as more expensive and white oak of another size is more expensive, and it literally changes all the time.


Please note that matching hardwood is a bit more complex than simply matching red oak vs. white oak.  Also, there are differences in grades of hardwood flooring (e.g. select grade vs No 1 vs. No2 vs quartersawn).  I will share this info in a future blog post.  But, if you are unsure what type of flooring you have, it's best to call in an hardwood flooring expert.

If you live in Irvington NY and would like to add hardwood flooring or refinish your hardwood floors, give The Flooring Girl a call at 914-937-2950 and let us "bring the store to your door."

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Red oak vs White Oak hardwood.  What's the difference? Irvington NY

Irvington NY oak hardwood flooring - red oak vs. white oak floors. What’s the difference

Hardwood Flooring - Carpet - Tile/Natural Stone - Laminate - Refinish Hardwood - Backsplashes

The Flooring Girl logoDebbie Debbie Gartner - Westchester Hardwood FlooringGartner, Owner

"The Flooring Girl"

Floor Coverings International Westchester NY

You can download our free flooring guide.  Or, visit our flooring selector - 2,000 options.  We install hardwood floors, carpeting and runners, tile floors and backsplashes.

Call us for a free estimate 914-937-2950. 

"We bring the store to your door."

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Jeremy De La Garza
Corpus Christi Realty Group - Corpus Christi, TX
Corpus Christi, TX

Very informative write up. Thanks for sharing

Jan 20, 2013 01:08 AM #1
Wika Hutchinson
Eugene, OR

Great info David & Debbie. Thank you for sharing it here.

Jan 20, 2013 02:14 AM #2
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
RealtorĀ®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct
With flooring being such an important part of a home you need to know what u r talkin about
Jan 20, 2013 08:30 AM #3
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

David - thank you so much for the reblog.  Yes, oak flooring is extremely popular in Darien and Fairfield County.

Jan 20, 2013 07:07 PM #4
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Good choice for a re-blog.  Excellent tips on oak flooring.

Jan 22, 2013 09:59 PM #5
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David Popoff

RealtorĀ®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct
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