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Oak Flooring

Having a neutral color and easy-to-stain surface, oak hardwood is one of the most popular options for flooring. With a neutral color, oak flooring is ideal for any room in a home or building: light enough to blend in and distinct enough to stand out. Distributors like Hurst Hardwoods carry red and white oak species.

Although with similar properties and appearances, red and white oak woods have some notable differences, including hardness and color. Both hardwoods are shock and split resistant, are durable, and have good holding ability. Additionally, red and white oak have open grain and a porous appearance, which is more receptive to stains.

Red oak is characterized by a uniform light reddish appearance, and this color pervades both heartwood and sapwood. With a Janka scale rating of 1290, red oak hardwood sands well and is ideal for bleaching floors. 200 subspecies of red oak can be found in North America.

Although lighter in color, white oak flooring has longer medullary rays and is a white, cream-colored, or light brown shade. White oak has a Janka scale rating of 1360, being slightly harder than red oak, and is better for machining. White oak flooring, however, has a high concentration of tannic acid. Although this makes the wood less ideal for bleaching, tannic acid repels fungi and insects.

Because of the appearance of rays, oak flooring is cut in one of three ways. Plain sawn, the most standard cut for flooring, creates a plumed appearance on the surface of oak hardwood. Rift sawn results in a tighter grain pattern. Quarter sawn wood, on the other hand, creates a flake or tiger stripe look on the hardwood.

Oak flooring is often hand scraped, and while not a particular cut of hardwood, this technique also creates a sought-after and notable appearance. Used for creating an antique or distressed look, hand scraping results in textured hardwood that hides bumps, bruises, and scratches better. In a home, hand scraped oak flooring gives a room a rustic appearance. Although flooring can be hand scraped after installation, already-prepared unfinished and prefinished hand scraped oak flooring is sold through distributors.

Although containing no hardwood, oak laminate flooring is another popular product. With similar properties as engineered flooring, laminate consists of multiple materials bonded together under pressure, including moisture-resistant high-density fiberboard. On top is a high-resolution photographic image of oak hardwood. For durability, the fiberboard and image are finished with a hard, clear coating, such as resin-coated cellulose or melamine.