The Differences Between Red and White Oak
Oak trees are one of the most widely recognized trees on the planet. There are hundreds of oak species, and grow on almost every continent (minus Antarctica). There are many different types, colors and styles, and are used for production in almost every type of wood product imaginable.
No wonder its one of the most popular flooring choices around.
Yes, if you are considering installing hardwood flooring, oak is definitely worth considering.
Here in Colorado, you’ll find two types of oak: red oak and white oak.
Red oak is one of the most commonly used woods, and has been used as the benchmark for hardwoods when it comes to hardness rating and stability.
White oak is very durable and is resistant to water, which has made it the go to wood choice in the shipbuilding industry.
Red oak is a light colored wood that when aged and sealed, may look closer to a pine color than any other species of oak.
White oak has a darker wood color which darkens to a medium brown or even a light black color over time.
Red oak is a porous material easy to work with. Its wood is pitted with microscopic open tunnels that soak up moisture like a sponge.
White oak has closed tunnels filled with solid plugs called tyloses. This makes white oak durable and extremely water tight.
Red oak makes a perfect choice for indoor flooring and for décor. You’ll find a wide array of red oak flooring options in many different planks, sizes and styles. Red oak is also a commonly used wood for stair treads, moldings and banisters because of its ease in carving.
White oak isn’t as easy to work with when it comes to the details. When it comes to outdoor construction, white oak is always going to be the safest bet. You’ll find white oak on your external door frames and on door jambs.
While red and white oak can be used interchangeably throughout your home, it may come down to coloring, style and preferences. If you’ll be staining the stair treads or banisters, for instance, choosing red oak for both the detailed work and for the flooring would be your best choice for matchability. If you’ll be painting the detail work throughout, the two can be used together.
Which oak is better for you, red or white? Come in today to learn even more about the natural beauty of oak.