At Floor Coverings International Metro East, we help customers in the greater O'Fallon, Edwardsville, Belleville area find their dream hardwood. For many Belleville families, that is oak. This strong, dependable flooring option is the most popular hardwood in the United States, and it comes in two varieties: red oak and white oak. Read on for more information about how to choose the right oak for your home.

What’s in a Name?

Both oaks are durable, affordable, and sustainable—excellent hardwoods for most applications. Their main differences lie in their aesthetics. White oak—the more popular option—is simple and elegant. With colors ranging from beige to medium brown, and a light, subtle grain, this hardwood is a popular choice for homes with a modern or contemporary look and feel. White oak floors are not the center of attention; they subtly add warmth and depth to your home.

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Red oak, on the other hand, is white oak’s wild brother. This hardwood has colors ranging from amber to light brown. It earns the name red oak with its subtle red undertones. This rose tint is the easiest way to distinguish red oak from white; however, it can be difficult when the wood is stained. In that case, red oak’s wavy, exaggerated grain lines are a dead giveaway.

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Their Similarities

Red and white oak may look very different, but they share a number of advantages:

  • Durable: white oak is slightly harder with a Janka hardness rating of 1,360. With a rating of 1,290, red oak also makes for strong floors that can withstand multiple refinishings in its lifetime.
  • Sustainable: locally grown and harvested, oak is native to the eastern United States. When you choose red or white oak, you’re choosing a sustainable hardwood option.
  • Affordable: all hardwood is an investment, but oak is certainly a more affordable option, especially considering its strength. Oak floors can last for generations when properly maintained.

Learn More

For more information about red and white oak, reach out to the flooring experts at Floor Coverings International Metro East today. We proudly help families in the greater O'Fallon, Edwardsville, Belleville area find their dream floors. Call today to schedule a free, in-home consultation.

Photos © Artazum (red) & Breadmaker (white)