Oak hardwood floors are one of the most popular and common flooring options as these hardwood floors provide all the qualities of a premium floor but cost only a fraction of what luxury hardwood species cost. The beautiful aesthetic look, multicolor availability, different grain structures, and affordability are some of the things that make these hardwood floors one of the most suitable choices for almost every homeowner. The Oak hardwood floors are known to last for hundred years. There are a lot of places where you can see almost 100+ year-old oak hardwood floors that still look and feel extremely beautiful and strong. The longer lifespan of these Oak hardwood floors also makes them a more attractive choice for homeowners that are looking for a long-term solution to their hardwood flooring problems.
The high density and extreme hardness of the different Oak hardwood species also make them a perfect choice to be used in flooring. This high-density property of the Oak hardwood floors enables them to absorb shocks and remain in place for years. Also, the hardness of the Oak hardwood protects it from water damages, pests’ attacks and also limits the speed at which Oak hardwood burns. This means your hardwood floor will provide you extra protection. Apart from all these, the Oak hardwood is extremely durable and affordable. Meaning that it costs only a fraction of what other premium hardwood floors would cost.
Oak hardwood for flooring does not come from a single tree species, it comes from multiple tree species that are native to different regions of the world. Most common Oak hardwood for flooring comes from either White Oak or Red Oak tree species. But there are a lot of other Oak Hardwood species that you can choose for flooring. Below are the 5 most common Oak hardwood species and their features.
5 Common Oak Hardwood Species for Flooring
Here are some of the Oak hardwood species types for flooring.
- Red Oak: This is one of the most commonly used Oak hardwood species for flooring. It comes from the “Quercus spp” tree that is a member of the Oak family of plants. The color of the sapwood of Red Oak ranges from whitish-brown to light brown, while the color of the heartwood of Oak hardwood ranges from Pinkish red to brownish-red. The structure, smoothness, and other features of this are similar to other Oak hardwood species.
It has excellent durability and longer life that makes it one of the most suited choices for hardwood floors. If you want to install a Red Oak hardwood floor in your house, you should choose a slightly darker finish, because Red oak hardwood floors absorb light and change the color. So, if your hardwood floor has a lighter color grade, it would appear pale over time due to color change. If you want to have a long-lasting floor that is capable of surviving over 100 years, Red Oak hardwood flooring is a perfect choice for you.
- White Oak: This is also known as the American Oak and it comes from a plant species that is known as the “Quercus alba”. It is a member of the Oak Plant family. It is also one of the most commonly used hardwood flooring species that is used in the United States and Canada. The reason behind its more frequent and common use is that it is extremely durable and long-lasting and is also very affordable and costs only a small amount as compared to hickory, walnut, and mahogany.
White Oak also provides all the features of these premium hardwood species. The hardness, density, and strength of the White Oak hardwood floors help them survive for centuries, also maintaining their originality. The color of the white oak hardwood floors can range from brown to beige. This is darker as compared to the red oak. So, if you want to have a darker hardwood floor that can last longer and is less messy and easy to clean, you should opt for a white oak hardwood floor.
- Black Oak: Black Oak is also used for hardwood flooring; it comes from a tree that is a member of the Oak family and is known as the “Quercus velutina”. The Red Oak is also a member of this same group. The Black Oak is known for its beautiful color, it can be stained complete black. It is also native to North America and is easily available but is less commonly seen in houses. It is not completely black in its natural form; the sapwood is light brown but the heartwood is slightly darker. This hardwood species is stained black to get one of the most exotic floor finishes.
The Black Oak hardwood also has all of the properties of the other Oak hardwood species such as it is dense and strong. It is also very hard and can last longer like other Oak hardwood species. It also has similar water, pests, and fire resistance ability. These properties help the Black Oak hardwood floor last even longer. If you properly take care of your hardwood floor, it can also last for 100+ years. This hardwood species is a perfect choice if you want a more exotic and uncommon Oak hardwood flooring in your house.
- English Oak: The “Quercus robur” tree is a member of the Oak family and is also known as the pedunculate oak, European oak, or English oak. This Oak species is native to Europe. This hardwood species is mostly imported from Europe to North America. The English Oak hardwood also has all of the properties of the Oak family such as hardness, higher density, and ability to survive for a longer time. The color of the English Oak hardwood can range from light brown to medium brown. But these floors can be finished in any color that you want.
Due to their lighter shade, they tend to absorb light and that is why they change their color over time. Apart from this, they also feel warmer, more comfortable, and smooth under the feet. This is a perfect choice for a long-term solution flooring.
- Chestnut Oak: Chestnut Oak is native to North America, and is known as the “Quercus montana”. The color of the Chestnut Oak hardwood species for flooring ranges from light brown to medium brown and with a vibrant and straight grains structure. The finished Chestnut Oak hardwood floor looks very beautiful after finishing as they retain their original grain structure. Apart from this these Chestnut Oak hardwood floors also have similar features to other Oak hardwood species for floors.
Chestnut Oak hardwood floors are also denser, heavier, and longer-lasting. They can better resist water, pests, and fire. This helps these Chestnut Oak hardwood floors last longer as they are subject to fewer damages as compared to the other hardwood species. If you want a beautiful, aesthetic, permanent, and longer-lasting solution for hardwood floors in your house, you should consider installing Chestnut Oak hardwood flooring.
Common Types of Oak Flooring Hardwood Flooring
Now, you know about a few common Oak hardwood species that are mostly used for flooring purposes because these are hard and dense and they also provide an elegant look and a smoother feel under the feet. Each of these hardwood species is further divided into three different categories based on the floor plank type. Floor plank type tells you that if the floor is made up of engineered wood is from solid wood. This is important that you know about this because it helps you choose a better Oak hardwood plank type for your house.
Below are some plank types:
- Solid Oak Hardwood flooring: The solid hardwood floors are the ones that are carved from the hardwood. These hardwood flooring planks are made using a single Oak hardwood tree trunk. Solid floors are considered a superior choice because they provide an original look and natural feel of the Oak hardwood.
But there is a downside of these solid Oak hardwood floors, as they are not as hard and as strong as the engineered hardwood is. But still, Solid hardwood floors also tend to last longer and be stronger for the long term. So, you can consider them for your permanent flooring solution.
Below are three subtypes of solid Oak hardwood floor planks.
a) Hand-scraped Oak Hardwood flooring: Hand-scraped Oak hardwood floors are made using Solid hardwood planks that are hand-scraped using the different hardwood scraping tools. Hand-scraped oak hardwood floors look more beautiful and are considered a luxury option. But these hardwood floors can cost you more as compared to other Oak hardwood floors. This increases the cost of flooring but the look after the finish of these hardwood floors is worth it.
b) Unfinished Oak hardwood flooring: The Unfinished Oak hardwood floors are finished on-site. These solid oak hardwood floor planks are sanded, coated, and then installed. They provide more options in color, shape, and size. This is why most people use these floor planks. Self-finishing also allows you to get more out of your hardwood floor and finish it the way you want. These unfinished Oak hardwood floors also cost much less as compared to prefinished hardwood floors. But the cost of finishing and installation of these hardwood floors is much more as compared to prefinished oak hardwood floors.
c) Prefinished Oak hardwood flooring: The Prefinished Oak hardwood flooring planks come already finished from the factory and require almost no work on-site related to finishing. You can just directly install these prefinished solid oak hardwood floor planks into your hardwood floor. This helps you reduce the amount of time required to install and finish a floor. This also helps you save a lot of money that you otherwise would have spent on getting your floor finished onsite. But these prefinished oak hardwood floor planks cost more per square feet as compared to the unfinished solid oak hardwood floor planks.
- Engineered Oak hardwood flooring: Engineered Oak Hardwood floors are not cut from a single Oak piece, but they are made using multiple pieces of Oak that are cut, shaped engineered into a much stronger, more durable, and harder flooring plank. This increased strength helps the engineered hardwood floors last even longer and be more resistant to water damages and pests’ problems as well. They are a great choice if you want a floor that requires less maintenance. But the overall cost per square foot of the plank is higher than the other hardwood types. That is the only downside of this type of floor planks.
- Laminate Oak hardwood flooring: Laminate Oak hardwood flooring is easy to install and you can do it yourself, that is why laminate oak hardwood flooring is in trend these days. Another benefit of this Laminate Oak hardwood flooring is that it is very inexpensive. There are a lot of other benefits of using these Laminate hardwood floors as well. The Laminate Oak hardwood floors are similar to that of the Engineered hardwood floors but these have a laminate artificial decorative layer above them. These floor planks are also stronger and able to last longer. They are a great choice if you want to choose a shinier look and easy to install the floor.
Properties of Oak hardwood floors
Oak hardwood floors have many different distinct properties that set them apart from the other hardwood flooring types. In this section, I have listed a few properties of the Oak hardwood floors that prove that Oak hardwood is one of the best choices for your house.
- Color: Each of the hardwood species of Oak hardwood has its distinct natural color, which ranges from light brown to medium brown and in some cases, pinkish to reddish-brown. This multi-color option is not frequently seen among other hardwood species. You can finish your Oak hardwood floors with any color stain you want. There are a lot of people that like the lighter shade of the Oak hardwood floors and want to have that on their floors. But other people want the darker shade of the wood, they can also choose the Oak hardwood floors, as the Oak provides both dark and light shades. Each of these colors and shades has its benefits.
- Grain: The straight grain is mostly seen in different popular Oak hardwood species, including white oak, red oak, and black oak. Each of these species of Oak hardwood has a straight and streamlined grain structure. The Oak hardwood floors tend to retain their original grain color, shade, and structure even after being finished and refinished. This particular grain structure is considered one of the best defenses for oak hardwood floors as it prevents absorption of water. Less absorption of water means that your floor will not get damaged by water. So, if you want to see a glowing straight and beautiful grain pattern in your hardwood floor, you should consider buying Oak hardwood for your floor.
- Durability: The Oak hardwood for flooring is very durable and reliable. It is because both the sapwood and heartwood of the Oak hardwood is extremely dense and strong. Meaning that it helps the hardwood survive heavy-weights, pressure, and even heavy traffic. No other hardwood that is as cheap as Oak hardwood can withstand this much pressure and traffic. So, if you want a hardwood floor that is extremely durable, and reliable, you should consider installing an Oak hardwood floor inside your home.
- Lifespan: Oak hardwood flooring species are some of the long-lasting species. If the Oak hardwood floors are properly taken care of, they can last for hundred years. There are a lot of places where 100+ years old Oak hardwood floors can be seen. These floors are an example of the longevity that you can also expect from your Oak hardwood floors. But you will have to take great care of your hardwood floors to protect them so that they can also last longer.
Pros and Cons of Oak Hardwood Flooring
Below are some of the pros and cons of Oak hardwood Floorings.
Pros of Oak Hardwood Flooring
Here are some of the pros of Oak Hardwood Flooring.
- Modern and contemporary: The look and feel of the different Oak hardwood floors are more modern and contemporary and they feel very aesthetic in different indoor environments. They look very beautiful and also feel very warm, comfortable, and smooth under the feet while walking. The natural look of the Oak hardwood floors is mostly lighter and that helps you expand the space of your floor. Even the darker shades of the Oak hardwood flooring also feel equally beautiful and exotic and provide a modern and contemporary look and warm feel.
- Strong and long-lasting floor solution: As you have read that the hardwood of the Oak species is extremely hard, dense, and strong. That is why these floors provide a longer-lasting solution to your flooring problems. The hardness, high-density, and more resistance make Oak hardwood floors a perfect choice for almost any part of your house. You can also use these hardwood floors in heavy traffic areas as well.
- More Resistant hardwood: The hardness of the upper layer of the Oak hardwood floors makes them more resistant. Oak hardwood floors tend to slow down the absorption of the water and provide you more time to clean water. This also protects your Oak hardwood floors from fire, the hardness of the wood prevents it from burning quickly so it helps to lower the speed of spread. This provides you enough time to put down the fire. Oak hardwood floors are also more resistant to pests that eat hardwood floors. This natural protection helps these Oak hardwood floors last longer.
- Easy Cleaning and Maintenance: Both the lighter and darker shades of the Oak hardwood floors are easy to clean and maintain. The lighter oak hardwood floors are better able to hide the dust and scratches, so you will not have to clean them more often. Darker shades of the Oak hardwood floors need more frequent cleaning but they are easy to clean and you can just remove the dust using a vacuum cleaner. As the lighter shades are better able to hide the scratches, you will have to less frequently refinish or recoat them. So, if you want a hardwood floor that is beautiful, strong and can hide dust and scratches and is easy to clean, and requires less maintenance, you must consider the Oak hardwood floors.
- Wide range of options: If you have decided to choose Oak hardwood flooring, you will be able to choose from a wide range of options. These options include different hardwood species of Oak, different colors, and grain structures. Each of the species of Oak hardwood flooring has its unique color, which means you will be able to choose from a wide range of colors. So, you can choose the one that matches your color scheme in your interior and your needs. You can also choose between dark and light shades of the floor as well. These various options enable you to choose the best hardwood floor that is according to your quality needs and also has desired color and grading.
- An affordable choice for flooring: This is one of the biggest benefits of Oak hardwood floorings. The Oak hardwood trees are mostly native to the United States and they are easily available in abundant amounts and that is why the Oak hardwood species are mostly cheaper as compared to other hardwood species that have similar strength and hardness. So, if you want to enjoy all the features of a luxury and strong hardwood floor but also looking forward to saving some money, you should consider buying an Oak hardwood floor.
- Good for pet owners: Oak hardwood floors have very hard and strong wood. This hardwood also provides more grip over the surface. So, when your pet is walking on the floor, it will not have to walk on its nails. This will help you protect your hardwood floors from scratches due to pets. Not all hardwood floors provide this grip and strength. So, if you are a pet owner and looking forward to having a floor that is pet friendly, you should buy and install the Oak hardwood flooring.
Cons of Oak Hardwood Flooring
Here are some of the Cons of Oak Hardwood Flooring.
- Floors may get noisy over time: The Oak hardwood floors produce noise, if they are not properly installed or if they have become old. The hardwood floors are mostly silent but with time, they start losing their grip, strength and when someone walks or something movies on these floors, they create squeaky noise. This is one of the cons that you should keep in mind if you are choosing an Oak hardwood flooring.
- Color change: Oak hardwood floors tend to change color as they age. This is because of a natural phenomenon. The hardwood of every plant species tends to absorb light. This absorbed light changes the color of your floor. Lighter shades are more affected by this. The solution to this problem is that you should use water-based polyurethane over your hardwood floors and recoat them after every three to five years. This will protect the original color of your hardwood floor but this is not a 100% effective solution, even if you do this still your hardwood floor will change its color.
- Dark Oak floors cannot hide dust and scratches: Darker shades of the Oak hardwood floors are less prone to color change but they require more frequent cleaning. This is because the darker shade of the floor does not match with the dust, and even a small amount of dust looks bad on your dark oak hardwood floor. That is why you will need more frequent cleaning. The same thing is also true for the scratches, if you have a dark oak hardwood floor, your floor will show scratches instead of masking them. That is why you will need more often recoating, repairing, of your floor. This increases the cost of maintenance of the floor.
- May require more frequent refinishing: Oak hardwood floors may require more frequent refinishing. When you install Oak hardwood floor, you should keep this factor in mind that after a few years, you will have to recoat and refinish your hardwood floor. This frequent refinishing is important as it helps your hardwood floors last longer and remains stronger in their place. It also helps you protect your hardwood floors from water, pest, and other damages. But this adds to the cost of maintaining an Oak hardwood floor. So, you should keep this in mind as well when choosing an Oak hardwood floor.
Cost of Oak Hardwood Flooring
The cost of Oak hardwood floors varies differently, every Oak hardwood species has its price. Also, the cost of installation and finishing is different for each of the hardwood type and floor plank types. Laminate Oak hardwood floor planks can cost between $3 to $7 per square foot. While the cost of solid hardwood floor planks can also be different depending upon what you choose. The hand-scraped solid oak hardwood floors cost the most. These can cost between $4 to $10 per square foot. Engineered hardwood floors can also cost between $5 to $10 per square foot. These prices are not the exact prices, as these vary from place to place, type to type and other factors also impact the original cost.
Oak hardwood flooring lumber comes from different Oak hardwood species, each species has its color, smoothness, and hardness. These properties vary greatly and provide a variety of different options. You must have some insight into these hardwood species so that you can choose better. Oak hardwood is strong, dense, hard and provides luxury and aesthetic touch and look. The biggest benefit of buying an Oak hardwood floor is that it is very affordable as compared to the other hardwood types, which are equally strong.
Oak hardwood flooring is pet friendly and it means if you have a pet in your house, you should get Oak hardwood flooring. This is because Oak provides more grip while walking and minimizes the chances of scratches. This also protects your floor from nail scratches because it is hard and can’t resist the scratches over its surface. The cons of the oak hardwood include that it changes its color over time and requires more frequent refinishing. Oak hardwood floors are a long-lasting solution to your hardwood floor problems. So, if you want a permanent hardwood floor that is strong and can last longer, you should choose an Oak hardwood floor.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Question: Is red oak good for the floor?
Red oak species is one of the strongest hardwood species that are used for flooring. It provides a long-lasting solution for flooring as it can last even up to 100 years if properly taken care of. There are a lot of other benefits of Oak hardwood flooring as well. Based on these qualities we can say that, yes, it is good for flooring.
- Question: What is the best way to clean oak hardwood flooring?
There is not a single method to clean the oak hardwood flooring, you must first start by dusting the entire Oak hardwood floor, and then sweep the whole floor using a specific cleaner that is made for floors. After that, if you still see any signs of dust or stains. You should try using some tools and scrap off these stains. One of these techniques cannot be used to entirely clean the floor, but you will need to combine these so that your hardwood floor remains clean every time.
- Question: How long can oak hardwood floors last?
Oak hardwood floors are one of the most strong and long-lasting hardwood floors. There are a lot of examples where oak floors have survived for over 100 years and are still looking good. The life of an Oak hardwood floor depends on how you protect and take care of your hardwood floor. If you keep your floor clean, protected, maintained properly, it can also last 100+ years.
- Question: What is the difference between White and Red Oak hardwood flooring?
White Oak hardwood is more harder than Red Oak making it ideal for resistance from denting. Red Oak has a pinkish tone, while White Oak on the other hand is more daker with a brownish tone.