We professionally sand and finish many solid oak floors in the Pensacola area, floors dating back into the early 1900’s, 1920’s, 30’s and the 50’s. The majority of these floors are Oak, but more than that, there is White and Red Oak flooring. I thought I would take a minute and tell you the difference in case you have them already or you are thinking of going that way in the future.

Oak Floors

Oak floors are very practical and very durable, often found in homes that are a century old. It never ceases to amaze me the houses that we go into and find wood floors under carpet or vinyl that were installed 50 to 100 years ago. A good sand and finish will many times bring these floors back to life.

White Oak Floors

So, there are two types of Domestic Oak predominate in the Pensacola area, White Oak which has fine graining with warm Gold to Brown tones. White Oak is a little harder than Red Oak, and also more resistant to water and rot. White is well suited for indoor or outdoor areas. White Oak has closed pores which makes the stain process a little bit more difficult opposed to Red Oak.

In the 20’s up through the late 1950’s, the type of wood installed in a home aligned with the income level, those who could afford White Oak would put it in their homes, others would select Red Oak, or some mix in between. Today, the pricing for these two woods are very close and Oak is plentiful in the United States.

Red Oak Floors

Red Oak has light golden wood with reddish or pink tones. Red Oak is more porous than the White oak making it more susceptible to water damage or rot. It is usually lighter weight than White Oak and not quite as dense. Red Oak is a wood selection that is more suitable to indoor use only.

Many times in older homes people assume that they have White Oak because the reddish tones are not present, however most times in older homes it is necessary to conduct a species test to know for sure. Over time the Pink tones in Red Oak tend to fade and take on a look more appropriate for White Oak. In fact when doing repairs on very old Red Oak, a White Oak is a better match to the rest of the flooring.

No matter the color palette, both Red and White Oak offer captivating solid wood flooring options. We’re not here to sway your decision one way or another – after all, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Whether you lean toward the elegance of White Oak or the warmth of Red Oak, both choices resonate with classic charm. So, as you embark on your flooring journey, remember to give both White Oak and Red Oak the consideration they richly deserve. Your space, your choice, your timeless beauty.