How To Distinguish Red oak and White Oak

- Mar 26, 2019-

 oak flooring

Oak flooring is the best-selling wood species in the market. There are two types of oak, white oak and red oak. Actually Red oak is not red, and white oak is not white either. Red Oak is called red oak, because its leaves turn red in autumn. As for the name of white oak, it is because the primary color of the wood is lighter than that of the red oak. The color difference of these two types of oak is not obvious. How to distinguish them?



Generally speaking, the sapwood of red oak is white to light brown, and the heartwood is pink brown. White oak sapwood is light color, heartwood light brown to dark brown.



When using white oak for flooring, the floor is usually a bit harder as compared to the red one.



The grain of red oak is stronger than white oak. Some people like strong graining of the red oak as it helps in hiding the dents and scratches while other people prefer the slightly smoother white oak grain.



The white oak presents a bit of a smoother look while red oak is a bit rougher.


Water and Rot Resistance Properties

The white oak is more water-resistant and rot-resistant than red oak. This is explained by the fact that the white oak is a closed grain wood making it more impervious to water.



According to the factors as the size and availability, the white oak tends to be more expensive than the red one as it is not readily available. The red oak is more abundant, thereby reducing its cost. 


Red and white oak flooring also have individual characteristics. Both are good options for flooring and interior needs.  People can make a choice according to their preferences.