Home Improvement

White Oak vs Red Oak Flooring: What Are the Differences?

White Oak vs Red Oak Flooring: What Are the Differences?

Did you know in the United States there are about 90 different species of oak trees? Most of them fall into two categories: red and white. We are going to discuss the difference so you can make an informed decision.

If you’re working on renovating your house you are probably considering which flooring to use. Take your time comparing white oak vs. red oak flooring so you can choose which one is best for your home.

They both have great qualities and the decision can be overwhelming. A new floor is an investment you will look at every day so you want to be sure it’s the perfect fit.

In this article, we are going to go over the difference between white and red oak flooring. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about oak flooring options.


The names of the wood can be a bit deceiving. You would probably guess white oak flooring would be lighter than red but it’s not. White oak is a combination of tans and browns making it darker than the red oak’s pinky-red color.

After using stain on your flooring you likely won’t be able to tell the difference between the wood by the color. Darker stains on red oak decrease the pinky hues you may see before the stain is applied. So don’t make your decision solely based on the idea that you don’t want pink floors because that can be taken care of easily.


Both red and white oak flooring hold up well against dents and damage. Red oak is slightly softer than white, making it a little more susceptible to dings. Because white oak is harder, it is used more often than red for outdoor appliances.

Grain Patterns

The woods’ grain patterns are one of the biggest distinguishing factors. Red oak flooring has a lot of variety. It has a wider grain that can be seen as unique. The strong movement that red oak has makes dents and scratches less noticeable.

White oak will appear smoother and uniform and it’ll have thinner lines than red oak. If you’re going for a modern look white grain is the way to go.


The costs for both kinds of wood can fluctuate depending on the demand and availability. It can change from one to the other.

If both are readily available red oak will likely be less expensive but you’ll need to do your research to be sure that is the case. It is also important to consider the cost to replace flooring in your home.

White Oak vs. Red Oak Flooring

There are many things to consider when you are replacing your floors. Color, grain, and cost all contribute to your decision on white oak vs. red oak flooring.

Both red and white oak are great quality and your personal preference is the main deciding factor. Keep browsing our site for more home improvement tips.

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