What Type of a Wood Floor is Best for My Kitchen?

Wood Species
Go with the hardest species you can find. Oak and ash are some of the strongest domestic wood species used in the manufacture of wood floors. Rich grain and exquisite texture of these species will not only make the floor look beautiful and unique, but also help disguise small dents and scratches that are bound to occur over time.

Surface Texture
Wood floors with a light texture and a polished finish are gorgeous, but will they look just as spotlessly perfect after a few pots, pans, and jars have been dropped on your floor? Probably not, which is why highly textured wood species and wire brushed finishes work so well in kitchens and other high trafficked areas. If anything, the floor only ends up looking better over time!

  • Installing Hardwood Flooring In a Kitchen
    In a kitchen, you want to make sure that you purchase a very dense, durable hardwood, and stay away from softwood floors that will be more prone to water damage and staining issues.

  • Finish Options for Natural Wood Flooring
    The protective coat created by this process is much more potent than anything that can be applied on site and can last up to five times longer than traditional self-applied finishes.

  • Maintaining Hardwood Floors In a Kitchen
    The most important thing that you can do to maintain your hardwood kitchen floors is to keep constant vigilance over them. You can test the finish on the floor by pouring a very small amount of water on it in some of the most highly trafficked areas. If it beads up the finish is fine.

  • How To Care for a Hardwood Floor
    The drawback is that the refinishing process is a big, messy job. It involves taking almost everything out of the kitchen and then bringing in big, loud equipment that sends sawdust flying through the air in every direction.

  • The Advantages of Hardwood In Kitchens
    Hardwood provides you with a softer, more yielding surface to stand on than most tile and hard surface flooring options. This also makes it less likely that items will shatter if accidentally dropped.

  • Floods and Leaks in Kitchens
    Unfortunately, each utensil that ties into the plumbing of your house, is a potential disaster waiting to happen. Small leaks can cause standing puddles, that will wear through the finish and seep down cracks to rot the floor from within.​​

Following on from our post about oak flooring, one of our readers Asked the Home Flooring Pros a very pertinent

The article or page: Red Oak Versus White Oak? – Ask the Home Flooring Pros first appeared on the Home Flooring Pros website. Please update your links and bookmarks accordingly.


Following on from our post about oak flooring, one of our readers Asked the Home Flooring Pros a very pertinent

The article or page: Red Oak Versus White Oak? – Ask the Home Flooring Pros first appeared on the Home Flooring Pros website. Please update your links and bookmarks accordingly.

Following on from our post about oak flooring, one of our readers Asked the Home Flooring Pros a very pertinent question; what exactly are the differences between red oak flooring and white oak flooring? Well, both of them are good options for residential flooring, but they do have different properties that might make you opt for one over the other. Read on to find out more…

Difference #1: Color

The fact the two types of oak are distinguished by color is the most obvious difference between the two.  Even the untrained eye will see that red oak flooring has a pinkish undertone to it, and often a red oak plank will have a variation of colors from light cream to deeper amber; whilst white oak has a more brown-yellowish undertone, and the planks have more even, less varied colors.

Difference #2: Stain

Because of its denser structure, white oak will accept stains more evenly. Having said that, most oak flooring manufacturers offer pre-stained planks which have been quality controlled for even staining in both red and white oak; if you wish to custom stain unfinished oak flooring of either type, then we always recommend using an experienced pro for even results.

It’s also worth pointing out that because of the different undertones of red and white oak certain stain colors will suit better than others.  For example, if you want a gray stain then you’re best using white oak as the yellowish undertones work better with gray than the pink undertone of red oak.

Difference #3: Grain and Rays

To an untrained eye, red oak and white oak might look quite similar, but if you look closely you’ll see that the grains are different. The grains in white oak are longer, more straight and tightly packed, with fewer swirly patterns; red oak has a shorter, wider grain formation that often forms wavy patterns. If you want a more unified, less busy floor, then white oak is the better option as there is less variation in the grain.

Where you will see more variation in white oak is when it has been quarter sawn, as that will show up the large ray flecks in white oak that run counter to the grain; however, this is not a very common type of white oak flooring on the market.

Difference #4: Hardness

White oak has a slightly higher Janka hardness rating at 1360 compared to 1290 for red oak. This means that white oak is a bit more more durable and bit less prone to denting than red oak, but there’s really not that much in it. However, it is true that the hardness of white oak does make it harder to saw, and so if you’re looking to do a DIY installation of white oak flooring then you’ll get the best results if you have top quality tools and carbon blades (here’s a handy guide for choosing a good blade).

Difference #5: Stability and Density

As mentioned above, along with being harder than red oak, white oak is also more stable and denser than red oak.  However, like with all hardwood flooring, for best results in terms of stability, both red oak and white oak planks should be allowed to fully acclimatize to the local environment before being installed.

Difference #6: Rot Resistance

White oak is more resistant to rot, which is why – as well as interior flooring – it can be used outside for outdoor furniture for example; red oak is only suitable for interior flooring and furnishings.

Source: woodpeckerflooring.co.uk

Difference #7: Cost and Availability

Red oak is the industry standard, and because red oak trees grow more rapidly and are more common across the USA, red oak flooring tends to be cheaper and more readily available than white oak flooring.  For example, top end solid white oak flooring can cost as much as $10 per square foot, compared to $7 per square foot for the top grade sold red oak planks.

However, with so much competition on the market, you’ll likely find similarly priced red oak flooring and white oak flooring options that will work for your home. For example, you can find both solid red oak and white oak flooring ranging from $3 to $5 per square foot.

Both red oak and white oak are also available in engineered hardwood planks, which are often cheaper than solid; and, of course, budget-friendly laminate oak flooring is also an option.

Read our posts on hardwood flooring prices and hardwood installation costs for more info

How The Pros Tell the Difference Between Red Oak and White Oak

There are in fact several different oak tree species that fall under each of the red oak and white oak categories, so if you’re still not sure what kind of oak you’ve got, then there are two other useful tests to tell them apart.

These tests are, perhaps, of primary use for woodworkers. But it’s also useful to know about these in case you’re trying to match new flooring to an existing oak flooring, and need to make ensure that you’re fitting the same type for a unified color.

Endgrain Test

If you are able to get a clean cut sample of the oak showing the endgrain, then a close inspection will show the pores of the wood (be sure to blow off any dust from the endgrain).

With red oak the pores are open; whilst with white oak the pores will be filled with tyloses, the outgrowth in the xylem vessels of the tree. By the way, it’s the tyloses that makes white oak more rot resistant.

But note that the endgrain test only works if you have a heartwood section, as the pores in sapwood in both red and white oak tend to be open.

Chemical Identification Test

If you can’t get an endgrain sample, or you want to double check, you can also perform a patch test on an area of untreated, raw oak wood using a solution of 10% sodium nitrate (1 cup of water to 4 teaspoons sodium nitrate).

After about 25 minutes, the patch on white oak will appear dark greenish- purple color whilst on red oak the patch will just have a slightly darker tone than the rest of the piece of wood see here for examples). You can also purchase oak testing kits where you just add some wood shavings to the solution and then check of changes in color.

So, now you know the exact differences between red oak and white oak flooring and how to tell them apart. Ultimately, the one you choose for your home will depend on which one suits your personal tastes and your home environment. Read more here about oak flooring in general to help you decide.

The article or page: Red Oak Versus White Oak? – Ask the Home Flooring Pros first appeared on the Home Flooring Pros website. Please update your links and bookmarks accordingly.


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