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Oak Hardwood Flooring

Undoubtedly the most popular domestic wood for flooring, Red Oak is the baseline to which other woods are compared to. Red Oak hardwood flooring has a Janka Hardness rating of 1290, which means it resists dents and scratches and is a good option for areas that have a lot of foot traffic. The color of Red Oak flooring varies—from light with pinkish undertones to a rich brown with burgundy highlights. Oak’s distinctive grain pattern adds texture and eye-catching detail to any room.
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About Oak Flooring

Few trees are as common as the oak. The genus consists of some 600 species that are dispersed on every continent except Antarctica. It is not the hardest of woods, but it is generally the first one mentioned when discussing hardwoods. Its great variety has led to its even greater popularity. There are two chief strains of oak flooring: Red Oak and White Oak. Red Oak hardwood flooring is by far the more popular of the two.

Coming in 20 varieties, Red Oak, with its instantly recognizable, telltale granular circles and ovals, will fit in almost any room. The European version tends to be more dark brown than reddish in hue, but it still occupies the same niche. From the almost black Smoked Kona to the nearly sunburnt Gunstock and albino Antique White and Cloud, options abound. Both European and domestic Red Oak varieties come in either hand-scraped, smooth and wire-brushed versions. Each is a precise example of engineered oak flooring, and the wire-brushed, though not truly distressed, adds a rustic charm to the perfect, arrow-straight cuts of the planks.

Caramel Red Oak hardwood flooring combines the swirls with a collection of tasteful knots that add a touch of whimsy as virtual chocolate chips. Similar to other smooth flooring choices like Vienna or Ambrato Maple, Caramel combines easily with them for a glass-like, textured effect. At the other end of the spectrum, Espresso combines the elegance of the grain of Oak hardwood flooring with the earthy grit of wire brushing.

Whereas Red Oak is, by and large, actually reddish, White Oak is generally browner in nature. Even though Red Oak is more popular, White Oak is much more varied. There are 63 distinct shades in the inventory, and they range from dark brown, such as Bretagne Oak flooring, to almost as light as the wood's name, such as Vintage White Wash. With so many options from which to choose, there is something for almost any taste. Some White Oak wood floor products are as red as Red Oak. Syrah and Champagne are two notable examples. Other products are yellow, like Tumbleweed or Andorra, while still others are bluish, like Chandon or Alaska. White Oak is slightly harder than Red Oak and measures 1,360 versus 1,290 on the Janka scale. Almost all versions of both colors are sealed with nine layers of aluminum oxide finish, but a few have oil finishes.

A Danish company called WOCA produces an excellent oil refinisher that cleans as well as spruces up the finish of an Oak wood floor. This deep cleansing product should be used every three months to bring an Oak floor back to showroom condition. Lighter woods require WOCA White, while darker woods need WOCA Natural. For those who would like a more economical solution, a mixture of 90 percent water and 10 percent glass cleaner will work well, too, but it must be repeated monthly instead of four times a year. In all cases, such hardwood floors should be dusted daily, and all grit and large particles removed to prevent scratching.

 

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