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White Oak Flooring

Prefinished White Oak Flooring

White Oak is an excellent choice of flooring material for people who are searching for a hardwood floor that is not only beautiful, but incredibly durable too. White oak, which has a botanical name of Quercus Alba, has a numerical hardness value of 1360 on the Janka Hardness Chart. This Janka Hardness Rating for White Oak is slightly harder than that of its near-relative, Red Oak. Often times people choose White Oak vs Red Oak simply because White Oak is harder, when in reality, White Oak has some other qualities to consider when comparing with Red Oak.

Not only is White Oak harder than Red Oak flooring, it is also more dense (yes, density and hardness are different), meaning it is less likely than Red Oak to dent or be gouged. Also, White Oak flooring is more dimensionally stable than Red Oak, meaning it will expand and contract (move) less during seasonal changes and changes in RH (relative humidity). White Oak is also a better choice than Red Oak for applications where you will be staining the floors any shade of brown, since Red Oak tends to cast a reddish hue altering the color of brown stain colors.

White Oak is grown in North America. White Oak has a high variability in coloring and ranges from light tan to medium brown. White Oak can be used in residential or commercial flooring and can be used in several different decors, due to its varying colors and character. In fact, because of it’s neutral brown and tan tones, White Oak is arguably the most neutral hardwood that can possibly be chosen, and works with the most widely varied group of interior designs. White Oak Flooring is offered in different Grades, each with it’s own varying degrees of natural blemishes, from Select Grade which is near perfect with little or no blemishes, along down the line to #1 Common, #2 Common and finally #3 Common, getting more “rustic” as the grades go down. A wide variety of unfinished and prefinished white oak flooring is available.

Because of these different grades, white oak flooring can be used in virtually ANY home decor. More contemporary, victorian, and craftsman style homes, as well as other styles, tend to look best with Select White Oak Flooring. Homes that are more casual tend to gravitate to the Common, or “Character” grades of White Oak flooring. Character Grade usually refers to a floor that is a blend of multiple grades together, sometimes a blend of #1 and #2 Common, and sometimes even a blend of Select, #1 and #2 Common all together, which is sometimes referred to as “Mill Run” by industry professionals.

If you are convinced that White Oak is the flooring choice for you, then you can start comparing prices right now, just click either Unfinished White Oak or Prefinished White Oak flooring. Or to learn more just continue reading…

As previously mentioned, Select Grade, or “Select & Better” grade white oak flooring is virtually free from natural blemishes, so you shouldn’t expect to find any considerable amount of knots or mineral streaking in this grade. But the Common grades are the ones that are a little bit more tricky to figure out, until now that is… Use this little guide to understand the difference between the different grades of White Oak Flooring:

Select & Better White Oak – Clean and almost entirely free from natural blemishes such as knots and mineral streaks

#1 Common White Oak – Slight color variation because a small amount of sap wood is allowed, some small tight knots and occasional small mineral streaks

#2 Common White Oak – Color variation is prolific, mineral streaks are larger and more frequent than you would find in the higher grades. Larger knots are allowed, although very few of them will be open, and knots will be rather frequent in some cases, depending on the geographic location where the timber was grown

#3 Common White Oak – This is the lowest grade, and therefore basically allows basically everything that the higher grades do not allow. Expect extreme variations in color, prolific mineral streaking, insect workings, worm holes and large knots, some of which will be open knots requiring filling (filler that is formulated for wood floors is available at flooring supply stores in most areas). #3 Common is also the only grade that allows milling defects to be included, such as broken and missing tongues/grooves, splits, cracks and other defects. Typically about 70% of #3 Common grade white oak flooring can be used.

For more in depth descriptions of these grades, visit, the website of the National Wood Flooring Association.

As you begin shopping for White Oak flooring, you will soon notice that different manufacturers offer their flooring in different lengths. For example, you may see Select White Oak flooring from one company may come in Random Lengths from 1 to 7 feet, while another company may offer their Select White Oak flooring in Random Lengths from 1 1/2 to 11 Feet. Usually, longer is better, but it usually costs more too. Also, many manufacturers offer Long Length upgrades as well, such as Random Lengths from 2 to 10 feet, or 3 to 12 feet, or 6 to 12 feet, or even longer lengths are available to suit different people’s tastes.

You will also find that White Oak flooring is available in a rather large variety of widths. It’s possible to find white oak flooring as narrow as only 1 inch wide, and as wide as 20 inches, and even wider. The vast majority of white oak flooring that is made and sold in North America is between 2 1/4″ wide and 8″ wide, while 1 1/2″ white oak flooring is purchased rather frequently as well, mostly when remodeling older homes that were built when 1.5″ planks were still a standard width for hardwood floors.

The last thing you may consider, but still very important, is the way the White Oak flooring is cut. What we mean by that is when a log is cut to be made into flooring, it can either be flat sawn, which simply cuts the log to yield the most possible lumber regardless of quality, or it can be quarter sawn, which yields less lumber from the log, but produces a more dimensionally stable product, and a highly sought after visual appeal. When a log is quarter sawn, some of the lumber that is produced is called Rift. This Rift white oak is very highly prized for it’s tight, straight grain pattern and it’s dimensional stability. Rift & Quarter Sawn White Oak are usually sold together, however you may choose white oak flooring that is either all Rift, or all Quartered. We have just about any white oak flooring that you can imagine.

If you are interested in the varying styles and beauty of White Oak hardwood flooring, please browse our products now to see what has to offer!

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