Nearly 50% of all American hardwood floors are made from oak, making it the most popular hardwood on the market. Here are all the important facts on red oak.

red oak hardwood Columbia

About Red Oak

It may surprise you that red oak is actually lighter than white oak, though it can be difficult to tell them apart when they’ve been stained. The biggest indicator of red oak is its grain pattern. White oak tends to have straight, simpler grain lines with predictably uniform swirls and knots. On the other hand, red oak has snaking grain lines and large inconsistent swirls. While white oak is an ideal option for modern minimalist applications, red oak is found more often in both traditional and rustic homes.


Red oak has fantastic strength when compared to similarly priced hardwoods. With a Janka hardness rating of 1,290, red oak stays strong with usual foot traffic while also remaining comfortable underfoot. Oak can be installed in busier areas of the home like entryways, hallways, and the kitchen. It also works perfectly in the living room and dining room as well. The bold grain pattern of red oak helps obscure little scratches and dents better than other hardwoods.

Sustainablered oak hardwood Columbia

As a species native to the United States, red oak is a more sustainable hardwood choice since it does not need to be shipped from overseas. Since the trees are constantly being replanted in working forests, red oak is an environmentally friendly choice for homeowners that will last decades in any home.

Easy to Maintain

Red oak is easy to clean and maintain like many hardwoods. Be sure to clean up spilled liquids immediately as those can warp and ruin your hardwood. We recommend that you regularly simply sweep or vacuum your red oak flooring to catch the bits of dust and dirt that can scratch your floor over time. Sanding and refinishing your floor is also important to do about once a decade. Red oak can be sanded and refinished over seven times during its lifetime. As this is a difficult task, be sure to contact your professionals at Floor Coverings International Columbia East when you reach this this step.

Are you interested in installing red oak hardwood in your Columbia home? Your friendly experts at Floor Coverings International Columbia East are here to help! Call us today for a complimentary consultation and visit from our mobile showroom.

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Photo credits: pics721, PavelShynkarou