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White Oak Flooring

Harder than red oak, white oak flooring has a Janka scale rating of 1360. Known for a neutral color that stands out and complements a space, white oak flooring is a tan, white, or cream-colored shade and is characterized by long medullary rays. Even with the presence of these rays, however, white oak has less grain variation than red oak when cut.

A high concentration of tannic acid is one notable quality of white oak hardwood. Although this makes white oak flooring not ideal for bleaching, tannic acid makes the wood resistant to fungi and insects.

Because the rays give white oak flooring some variation, the wood is cut in one of three ways to accent this feature. The most common cut, plain sawn, gives white oak hardwood a plumed appearance. Rift sawn, which gives hardwood straight grain, makes white oak's tighter. Quarter sawn, in which the wood log is divided into four parts and then cut, creates a flake or tiger stripe pattern on the surface of the hardwood.

Oak flooring, in general, has several characteristics that make it ideal for homes. For installation, white oak flooring is better for machining and has an open and coarse grain pattern, which is more receptive to staining. Oak, as well, is highly shock resistant and durable, will not split, and has better-than-average holding ability.

In addition to multiple cuts, white oak flooring may be milled to have a hand-scraped appearance. A manual technique used to give hardwood a distressed or antique appearance, hand scraping can be found on prefinished and unfinished white oak flooring and creates a texture that easily hides bumps, blotches, and scratches.

Brands like Armstrong also carry laminate oak flooring – only no hardwood is included. Made out of moisture-resistant high-density fiberboard bonded together, laminate white oak flooring mimics the appearance of hardwood. On top of the fiberboard is an image of oak hardwood, and a clear finish of melamine or resin-coated cellulose is added for durability.