If you’ve decided to get hardwood flooring in your home, you’ve probably considered all of your options and found that the beautiful durability of hardwood is the best choice. Once you’ve settled on hardwood, now comes the fun part of choosing which type you’ll opt for. All the different options can be intimidating, so we’ve picked out two of the most popular hardwood flooring types to talk about here. Keep reading to see if red oak or cherry might be suitable for your hardwood floor.

Red Oak and Cherry

Both red oak and cherry are considered red hardwoods. The woods have a deep red tone that is more elegant than traditional oak or pine. They are both beautiful choices for homes with classic and antique décor.

However, red oak and cherry are not entirely interchangeable. The following points are where these two species differ when it comes to hardwood flooring.


The grain pattern of hardwood flooring is one factor you should consider when making your selection. Cherry wood features a delicate grain that ribbons through the boards. Against its deep red coloring, this grain suits an understated, classical style.

Red oak, on the other hand, has a more visible grain pattern that is typical of all oak species. The appearance is more traditional and pronounced, making red oak an excellent option for a modern-rustic home.


One of the biggest threats to hardwood flooring is water. It can quickly lead to rot if left unattended for a long time. That’s why it is so important to choose a hardwood that will resist rot and decay due to excessive moisture.

Cherry is much more durable in terms of rot resistance, so if you live in a humid area or one that sees a lot of rainfall, cherry might be better for you.

Red oak, on the other hand, isn’t as resistant to decay as cherry. It will also show water stains very visibly. Red oak may be a good option for dry areas, but if you want the look of oak in a wet place, try white oak. It is much more durable and rot-resistant.


If resisting damage from furniture or dropped items is something you’re looking for, red oak is the best option. It is tough and won’t show dings or dents as quickly as other types.

Cherry is much softer and is more prone to damage. If you have kids or pets, or you like to rearrange the furniture often, red oak may be a better option than cherry.


Cost is, of course, an essential factor to consider. Since oak is a much more typical species, it is much less expensive than rarer hardwoods. However, since both of these woods are so popular for hardwood flooring and are grown in the US, you should be able to find them for reasonable prices.

Contact Central Mass Hardwood

Whether you already know which wood is suitable for your home or you still need a bit of help deciding, the experts at Central Mass Hardwood are here for you. As professional flooring contractors specializing in installation, refinishing, and repair services for hardwood, we’ll be able to make sure you get the right floor for your home. Contact us today to request a custom quote!