Oak hardwood flooring is a popular option in Honolulu homes for many reasons. It’s a durable wood that has wide appeal and a comparatively lower price tag that some other hardwood species. It’s most commonly found in two varieties – either white or red oak. This naming does not refer to the color of the wood, but there are some important differences to be aware of when selecting oak for your next flooring project.
Appearance and Durability
Both red and white oak are open grained woods, and even when sanded and finished, there are still “valleys” visible in the planks. White oak is less porous than red, however, and it has been the preferred species for wine barrels and ship building for its watertight characteristics.
White oak, like red, comes in a wide range of natural colors, and it takes stain very well, so the versatility of the wood is part of its great appeal. It also ranks above red oak on the Janka hardness scale for hardwood flooring, meaning that it is a durable surface that will be highly resistant to dings and scratches.
White oak has a straighter grain pattern than red oak, and the wood is commonly referred to by the way it is milled. “Rift sawn” planks are cut to maximize the amount of straight grain in each board. “Quarter sawn” planks highlight the lighter colored ray flecks, or wavy ripples, that run across the grain of the wood. Quarter sawn oak is a commonly used in Mission-style furniture.
Cost and Maintenance
White oak tends to be slightly more expensive than red oak, but it’s an excellent investment for its wide appeal, versatility, and resale value. If you’re considering selling your home sometime in the future, potential buyers will be drawn to this neutral flooring.
Maintaining white oak hardwood flooring is relatively easy. Regular sweeping and vacuuming will keep the surface free of dirt and debris and occasional mopping or cleaning with a recommended wood flooring cleaner will help the floors look great over time. It is generally recommended to keep hardwoods out of areas that experience a lot of moisture or humidity, such as the bathroom or laundry room. Cleaning up any spills right away will help ensure standing water doesn’t damage the floors.
Our team at Floor Coverings International Oahu can help you find the perfect hardwood flooring for your Honolulu, Oahu home. Contact us for a free in-home design consultation to learn more about hardwood species and which option might be right for your family.
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Photo by Pavel Shynkarou