The Basics of Oak Flooring

Oak Hardwood Flooring

What is a hardwood? Contrary to its name, "hardwood" does not mean that the wood is harder than any other, however, hardwood is considered denser compared to other species. The most common uses for hardwood is for building materials, particularly for flooring. The popular hardwood species include cherry, maple, and alder, but the most widely used among them is oak.

There are basically two ideal types of oak for flooring use: Red oak and white oak. The characteristics of each will be discussed in brief here.

Red Oak Hardwood Flooring

Red oak is probably one of the most popular picks for hardwood floors. First, because it is abundant and, second, because it has a rather reddish hue that appeals to most interior designers and home owners. Red oak is also a comparatively dense type of hardwood so it is more resistant to regular wear. Its texture is a little coarse but it's nothing a little sanding won't be able to fix.

White Oak Hardwood Flooring

White oak is more resistant to moisture than red oak but the latter is more widely available. Because of its general strength and durability, builders even use it to make barrels and ship timber. In addition, various kinds of stains and finish tones reflect beautifully on white oak. It has a medium to coarse texture, so deciding if you'd still want to sand it is up to you.

Oak is one of the best materials to make floors with, but surveys say that its popularity is only next to that of cherry and maple, which are a lot less expensive. But if you're looking to impress your visitors with your red or white oak hardwood floor, then, by all means, make that investment. Oak takes a century to mature, and it can last by about the same number of years if properly maintained.

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