All You Need to Know about White Oak Flooring
As far as interior decoration and hardwood flooring options go, white oak floors stand out among the lot. Very few hardwood flooring options can hold a candle to white oak in elegance and beauty. You may find a few flooring alternatives as good as white oak floors, but you’ll hardly find any better than it.
The exquisite flooring option is the pride of many Canadian homes. Even beyond Canada, white oak is a popular choice in many American and European homes. It’s a regular feature in courtrooms, government buildings and many notable structures. This isn’t surprising given the versatility of the white oak, which makes it suitable for a variety of design ideas.
But what makes the white oak flooring unique and such a popular choice among homeowners? There are several things you need to know about white oak flooring designs to understand why many interior designers recommend them. Let’s view a quick round-up of all the relevant information about white oak flooring.
White Oak Floors Description/Features
The name gives it away in terms of white oak floors’ type and source material. These are floors made using white oak hardwood, which can either be solid or engineered. The white oak is a hardwood species that grows predominantly in North America. You’ll mostly find the trees towards the eastern part of the continent– through the Northern parts of Florida and southern Canada.
White oak floors typically have a pale, subdued tone with light brown and tan undertones. The natural tone of the white oak floor makes it beautiful and creates a visually calming effect. It set the foundation for a relaxing, casual and livable environment. And by effect, it captures the essence of a fuss-free luxury lifestyle.
White oak hardwood also features a distinct closed grain pattern which is often responsible for the slight variations in its colouration. While the white oak generally features tan undertones, the colour may vary slightly from light honey to rich golden brown. Usually, these are not significant differences and may not matter much if you are staining the floors.
Since white oak is readily available in Canada and most of North America, it’s a staple in the flooring industry in that part of the world. However, it’s also quite popular in many other places, most notably in Europe. However, it may not be readily available in those other places compared to Canada and the rest of North America.
Many homeowners and interior designers prefer to install white oak floors in the herringbone pattern. However, the versatility of the white oak wood makes it suitable for any flooring design idea you want it for. And since it can wear a variety of finishes, the design options you can choose with this wood species are limitless.
White Oak Floors Installation
It’s often easier to let the professionals install white oak flooring for you, although it may not be cheap. Regardless, you’re sure to get good value for money with a professional installation for any hardwood floor design. That said, white oak flooring installation is relatively easy, even for amateur DIY enthusiasts. But then again, that’s also subject to the design pattern you’d like to put down.
Of course, most of the processes involved are simply cutting the planks to length, sliding the tongues into grooves and fastening the board in place. However, sometimes, you may need to do more than that, especially if you’re installing a complex design. Nonetheless, the following are some essential tips you want to follow to simplify the installation process and ensure you do an excellent job of it.
Let the wood acclimate with the environment before installation
Most times, the environment in which the manufacturers store the wood initially will be different from the environment in which you intend to install it. The temperature, humidity etc., in the environments will be different. This may cause the wood to contract or expand accordingly when you change its environment.
You want to keep the white oak boards in the new environment for a couple of days to allow them to acclimate. The process will allow the planks to reach their equilibrium moisture content before installation. If you install the white oak floor without proper acclimation, it can lead to significant damage post-installation. A good idea is to let the wood rest for three days in the new environment before installation.
Don’t precut the woods before installation.
It’s often better to cut as you’re laying down the boards. This helps to prevent mistakes and wastage. Also, it makes it easier to rectify mistakes when they occur and mitigate significant losses simultaneously. Nonetheless, the process may take longer, but it’s the safer approach, and the time cost will be well worth it.
Go for a clear finish with your white oak hardwood
Getting colourful stains may sound like an appealing option, but the white oak is best left with its natural hue. The subdued tone of the white oak is beautiful and works quite well with several colour schemes.
Then again, it still mostly depends on the type of design you opt for. Simple straight pattern designs will go well with a clear finish. A brighter option like the Nordic design will also go well with the transparent stain, but you can still stain your white oak a lighter colour.
Nonetheless, ensure to use high-quality material when installing your white oak flooring. Use varnishes and stains from reputable manufacturers and follow the use guidelines appropriately. You typically want to avoid oil-based varnishes to keep your white oak floors from yellowing. Plus, you should reduce your white oak floor’s exposure to UV light as it also contributes to white oak yellowing.
Related Article: How Much Does it Cost to Install Parquet Flooring?
Benefits of White Oak Flooring
There are several benefits to using white oak wood for your flooring. I.e. Aside from the general benefits of installing hardwood floors, White oak has its advantages. These perks set it apart from other hardwood flooring options and are partly responsible for its popularity.
Stable and Durable
With a rating of 1,360 on the Janka Hardness Scale, white oak is one of the sturdiest wood species out there. The Janka Hardness Scale is a metric/ tool by which people measure the hardness of different wood species. It measures the level of force that’ll be sufficient to push a 0.444inch steel ball into a piece of wood with a thickness of at least half the diameter of the ball.
Regarding the Janka Scale, the more the force required, the higher the hardness rating of the wood. Very few wood species measure up to the white oak in terms of hardness. Even the equally popular red oak has a slightly lower hardness rating of 1,290.
The points noted above all speak to the durability of the white oak wood. With that level of toughness, white oak flooring will be able to put up with a significant level of traffic. In addition, you don’t have to worry about normal household wear and tear with white oak floors. So, if you’re looking for a long-lasting hardwood flooring option, you want to go with white oak floors.
Can Create Any Type of Feel and Look You Want
Do you want a modern contemporary feel in your home? Got it! Or do you prefer a more traditional craftsman-esque environment? No problem! Okay, you like something sleek, very similar to the eclectic bohemian? That’s good! Or maybe you’re in love with a simple, natural and minimalist decor like the Nordic design; let’s do it! All these design options are feasible with the white oak.
Most people associate whites oaks with a modern contemporary look and feel; however, that’s not all there’s to the white oak. The white oak’s subdued grain pattern patterns and growth rings give it a relatively modern visage. Nonetheless, it also spots linear mineral streaks, which gives it a vintage feel and makes it suitable for a more traditional setting.
Overall, the close ring pattern on the white oak gives it a uniform appearance that complements any type of setting. Also, when you use it without a stain, its neutral hue goes pretty well with any colour theme. Finally, you can hardly go wrong with white oak floors as the foundation for your interior decors.
Higher Resistance to Water Spills
In addition to its durability, white oak is known to be more water-resistant than many other hardwood options. This is mostly due to its clogged pores which prevent the wood’s grains from conducting water. In simpler terms, water cannot penetrate the pores of the white oak wood easily.
The white oak wood pores are clogged by tyloses created when the original sapwood is stressed. These outgrowths create balloon-like formations that block up the wood pores and prevent water entry.
However, this doesn’t make your floors entirely waterproof. Nonetheless, it can hold the water better and longer than most other hardwood. Thus, white oak floorings are ideal for kitchen and dining areas. And as a bit of a trivia, many boats also feature white oak flooring for this reason alone.
Perfect Canvas For Beautiful Stains
The neutral, pale hue of the white oak makes it perfect for different stains and varnishes. Not only does it have a neutral colour naturally, but the pores of the white oak also absorb stains pretty well. Other hardwoods’ natural undertones can often skew the final product when stained. But the bareness of the white oak reflects the stains as they were designed to appear.
In other words, the white oak brings out the richness of the stains and allows their beauty to shine through. More particularly, it’s very suitable for the go-to grey stain, which is a very popular choice for a pale setting. At the same time, white oak works well with darker stains and carbonization. And if you want a lighter colour for your floors, you can make the white oak wood look brighter.
Adds Character to the Environment
Are you looking to add a rustic charm to your home space? Try white oak flooring. White oak floors are often featured in many interior design shows, and you can’t help but notice a certain alluring elegance to those floors. It’s a practical way to inject a vintage/primitive/slightly-distressed touch into your environment.
The character of the white oak gives it a more comfortable and natural feel than most hardwood materials. So, you don’t need to spin your wheels and expend unnecessary effort to achieve a farmhouse or distressed feel. The white oak wood’s knot holes and grain pattern already give it an interesting character. A little wire brush treatment will bring out the texture as much as you like.
It’s Great Value For Money
White oak is relatively abundant in Canada and most of North America; it’s reasonably cheaper in those parts. However, the price may vary in other parts of the world depending on importation fees etc. Then again, the installation cost will also depend on the professional installer you employ for the job.
Regardless, white oak floors often provide excellent value for money. They’re very durable, so they usually last long. Then again, the white oak floor stands out above others in terms of elegance and luxury. And, its versatility makes it suitable for several different types of interior designs and settings. So, you’ll be investing in a secure flooring solution when you go with white oak.
Related Article: How To Transition Between Two Different Wood Floors
There are several things to note about white oak flooring. However, these are the essential things to keep in mind when shopping for hardwood floors. The numerous benefits and features of white oak make it an ideal choice for any interior decor. And we recommend you try it out.
Interestingly, many people don’t understand the difference between white oak and red oak. To get a good idea of their differences, check out our white oak flooring designs. Here at Three Trees Flooring, we provide a variety of white oak floors designs to meet any need and budget preferences. Look through our online store today!