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White Oak Hardwood Flooring

As the most popular hardwood species in North America, white oak flooring's durability, versatility, and beauty work for all design styles. 

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White Oak Hardwood Flooring

White Oak Flooring in Living Room

About White Oak Flooring

As the most popular hardwood flooring species in North America, white oak and its relative red oak grace millions of homes, from high-end, modern mansions to farmhouse-style ranch homes and everything in between. Its durability, versatility, and beauty work wonderfully with all interior design styles, even in commercial spaces. 

What Is White Oak Hardwood?

White oaks grow throughout the eastern third of the United States and are incredibly dense and resilient. Not only does this result in one of the most durable domestic hardwood floors available, but it also explains why white oak is commonly used to craft long-lasting drumsticks. 

Appearance

Even though white oak has white in its name, don't assume you're getting white wood flooring. While you can find white oak in a whitewash stain, its natural color is a light brown that works well with neutral color palettes. For a more traditional or rustic look, opt for a deep brown stain to highlight the grain of the oak wood flooring. The appearance of your white oak floors may be influenced by:

  • Undertones may impact the color depth
  • Staining will change the colors of your floors and can even be custom blended
  • Plank width can lend a more modern feeling to your room
  • Natural variations in shade and striations are unique to every plank of hardwood 

Wide plank white oak flooring

This wood species shines when used as wide plank white oak flooring. While standard-width planks usually measure between 2.5 to 5 inches, widths larger than 5 inches are considered wide plank flooring. The larger plank width and the wood's linear grain pattern work together to visually lengthen rooms and help cozy quarters feel more spacious. 

Durability and Maintenance

The ever-popular white oak is among the most durable domestic hardwoods after hickory and maple. As a closed-grain wood, it holds up well to moisture, easing your worry in the kitchen or bathroom, but just remember it's not 100 percent waterproof. 

Maintain your white oak floors with these helpful tips:

  • Clean up spills quickly
  • Use furniture pads to prolong the wear of your floors
  • Adopt a no-shoes policy in your home
  • Keep floors free from dust and dirt
  • Follow your manufacturer’s care instructions to avoid voiding warranties

Lifespan

White oak flooring is a dependable investment since it can last decades when properly installed and cared for. The quality of the material used and how much foot traffic it gets in your home will also influence its life. 

To make sure you get the most from your new white oak floor, look into the warranty that accompanies it. The warranty protection at Carpet One Floor & Home ensures you have a beautiful, long-lasting floor for years to come.  

Installation

Before installation begins, it's important to acclimate hardwood flooring to your home for at least 3 days. This helps prevent warping and buckling due to moisture differences between the air and unacclimated wood. It’s important to note that even the most experienced DIYers can improperly install hardwood flooring, which can affect its appearance, functionality, and lifespan. Hiring a professional installer is always recommended. An added benefit to hiring a professional installer is that many offer installation warranties and some even offer lifetime installation warranties.

Advantages of White Oak Floors

  • Dense, durable, and capable of handling everyday foot traffic
  • Tight-patterned grain can hide wear and tear
  • Can withstand occasional moisture
  • Stunning look whether unfinished or stained
  • Unique due to natural variations in shade, striations, and grain patterns

Disadvantages of White Oak Floors

The good news is that the downfalls of white oak floors aren't unique to this wood type. Some of the cons of white oak wood flooring are:

  • Can warp or buckle, especially when not properly acclimated prior to installation 
  • Not suitable for wetter areas of the home, such as basements or below-grade rooms

White Oak vs. Red Oak Flooring

Though white oak and red oak are related, they're notably distinct in a few ways that matter when considering your flooring options. 

While both types of oak appear light brown, red oak offers pink and red undertones. It's also porous with a heavy grain, making it easier to stain and warmer, with more color variation than white oak.

In contrast, white oak features undertones of gray, brown, and sometimes yellow. White oak is nonporous, so it's slightly more water resistant and more challenging to stain. If you're looking for a sleek, contemporary floor, white oak is your best bet with its milder grain patterns and more uniform look. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is white oak good for flooring?

Yes! White oak is a dense hardwood, which makes it an optimal hardwood flooring choice, particularly for areas where you might see a lot of foot traffic like family rooms, stairways, and halls. It's also water-resistant enough to handle an unexpected spill and durable enough to last for decades. 

What color is white oak flooring?

Despite its name, white oak flooring is not white. Unfinished white oak wood planks actually feature shades of light brown, tan, and gray with mild, mostly linear grain patterns of beige and darker brown. With stain or finish, though, the color and tone of white oak hardwood flooring can be altered to fit your desired look. 

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