When considering which wood to use for your house’s flooring, a popular choice is an oak. It’s well known and in high demand because of its durability and availability in the marketplace. With proper construction, your hardwood flooring can last you for up to 100 years if the construction material is oak.

An intriguing fact about oak is that it’s friendly to the environment. This is because it leaves a lesser carbon footprint than most other durable trees. So, it’s great for the home, the climate, and your pocket!

However, what’s less known about oak is that there are two major types of oak; white and red oak, and that they have different qualities. Yet, most people give preference to white oak. While red oak is not as common, it has many benefits that make it worthwhile to consider! Check out some of the differences and benefits of each of the two kinds of wood below.

The Differences and Benefits of Red Oak and White Oak

To assist in your buying decision between white oak and red oak, here are some differences and benefits you may want to consider:


There is a clear difference between the color of white and red oak. But this difference is not as both names imply; white oak is not light in color. It combines both browns and tans colors. This often makes it unexpectedly darker than the red oak. On the other hand, red oak is a mix of pink and red tones all over it.

Nonetheless, this should not be the overall basis of choosing one over the other because when you stain them, you have the ability to transform their look.


Cost is another factor you must consider when choosing between both. While there is not a major cost difference between the two, because red oak is more in abundance than white oak, its price does tend to be cheaper in comparison.

Grain Pattern

Red oak comes with large grain lines that are not straight in appearance. white oak, however, has uniform grain lines that are straight and tight. This difference makes white oak look more durable. But in reality, both are extremely durable.


Janka scale shows us that red oak is 1290 hard while white oak has a hardness score of 1360. This score indicates that white oak is just slightly harder than red oak. Therefore, each can most times be used in the place of the other.

Water Resistance

White oak is a less porous material than red oak, making it more desirable for outdoor installations or spaces where water will be present. Because red oak’s pores are more open, they can become stained more easily. It’s best to use red oak in indoor spaces where water is not a concern.

The difference between both oaks is not as substantial as most people think. Both are beautiful and durable when installed and stained. It ultimately comes down to preference!

Contact Central Mass Hardwood for Installation

If you’re looking to install beautiful new hardwood floors in your home, the team at Central Mass Hardwood is here to help! We’ll be able to help you choose just the right wood for your space, taking all factors into consideration. We provide quality installation services, and you can trust us for your long-lasting and beautiful hardwood flooring. Contact us today to request a custom quote and get started!