Oak is the traditional choice for hardwood flooring. Oak or White Oak, is closely related to Red Oak. Solid Oak floors are elegant and yet very hard wearing. Solid Oak flooring remains a popular option for the highest quality wooden floor in the twenty-first century. The term White Oak is sometimes used to distinguish from Red Oak, however, this does not mean it is actually white, it just doesn't have the pinkish quality of Red Oak.

Tip - Oak takes finish very well, so why not try unfinished oak flooring? Alternatively, engineered oak flooring is a more affordable option which generally requires no finishing.

Oak wood flooring close up. Photo shows strong figuring common in Oak flooring.

Oak Flooring

Colour An Oak Floor has sapwood that is creamy-white often with some degree of grey pigmentation. The heartwood, which for oak flooring tends to produce the highest grade flooring planks, is darker and tends to be of a light brown pigmentation. Colour change over the years Relative to other hardwoods, Oak hardwood flooring goes through an average amount of colour change with time. Some describe it as ambering.

Hardness and Durability Oak is the benchmark for hardwoods generally and hardwood flooring in particular. This does not mean Oak is the hardest of the hardwoods. However, it has the reputation for excellent durability. Many oak floors around today are just as functional as they were many decades ago.

Grain Oak flooring does have a clearly visible grain but it is not as striking as some other woods. Higher grades tend to show less variety and less knots.

Preparation and Finish Oak floors are very receptive to a wide range of stains and other finishes which is ideal if you want to buy unfinished wood planks. Oak flooring planks are also suitable for machine and hand tooling. Smoked Oak floors can actually respond so well to color treatment as to end up almost totally black. Yet they retain the strength and durability of oak flooring with a hint of the rich texture that makes oak a great choice for a wood floor.