White Oak Flooring

White oak is indigenous to the USA. It is widely available and used for a variety of applications such as flooring and furniture. Among the several types of wood species available for flooring, it is one of the top choices among homeowners. White oak is not white per se.  Its color is a mix of tan and brown undertones that vary from dark brown to light beige and looks lighter than other wood species.

White oak is popular for several reasons including its versatility and its look. Its tan and brown undertones are a refreshing change from the regular red and orange hues found in other types of wood species like red oak and cherry and allows for more finishing color options such as grey.

White oak flooring is a solid choice for contemporary and modern spaces, especially for those flooring installations that require wider wood planks. It is a good choice for both large and small spaces. We list below some of the reasons why we believe you should consider white oak flooring for your project. The pictures below were taken from actual white oak wood flooring installations and refinishing projects completed in the Charlotte area by Fabricio Hardwood Floors.

Durability of white oak

Solid wood flooring is a beautiful addition to any room. It makes a space feel warm, cosy and refined. When selecting a wood specie for your flooring installation, the hardness of the wood you select is an important factor to consider.

The physical hardness of wood hardness is calculated using the Janka Hardness Scale. The Janka test was developed as a variation of the Brinell hardness test and measures the force that is required to push a steel ball with a diameter of 11.28 millimeters (0.444 inches) into the wood to a depth of half the ball’s diameter. The harder the wood specie, the better it will hold up to every day use, and the more resistant it will be to denting and scratching. White oak ranks in the middle on the Janka scale at 1360, which makes it harder than red oak, American Walnut and American Cherry. This is particularly important to know if you plan to have your flooring installed in a high foot traffic area. 

Because of its durability, white oak flooring is a good candidate for kitchens, living rooms and entry ways. Its hardness makes it a more stable flooring that can withstand seasonal movements and high foot traffic. 

white oak flooring durability
pre-finished hardwood floor installation Charlotte

Moisture resistance

White oak flooring is one of the most moisture resistant wood flooring available. Its cellular structure makes it impenetrable to liquids and resistant to decay.  White oak’s pores are plugged with growths called tyloses, which are created when normal sapwood is under stress. Tyloses create balloon-like projections that fill the wood’s vessels so full that they cannot conduct water. 

While no wood specie is fully water proof, the closed-grain of white oak makes it one of the most water resistant hardwood flooring available in the market and a good choice for kitchens, living room areas and entry ways.

Although white oak flooring is moisture resistant, it’s not 100% waterproof so spills should be wiped off promptly to avoid causing damage to the flooring.  In the picture shown below, Fabricio Hardwood Floors installed white oak flooring in the kitchen, entry way and living room area of this Charlotte home as well as the staircase for a beautiful, bright and modern look.


When installing hardwood floors, cost is an important consideration. While exotic wood species can be quite expensive, white oak is not. Not only does while oak flooring look beautiful and is versatile, it’s also readily available in the USA making it one of the most affordable type of wood flooring. Compared to exotic wood species, choosing white oak will save you a bundle on your flooring project, a definite reason why you should, at a minimum, consider it for your project. Even though white oak flooring is in high demand, it remains a better bargain than most other types of solid wood flooring because of its sheer abundance. Wide plank white oak flooring is especially popular among homeowners and while they will cost a little more in material and installation, it is well worth the investment.

white oak flooring moisture resistance

Wood grain

One of the main appeals of white oak flooring is its wood grain, undertone and linear sap streaks. The wood grain of white oak is cleaner than other darker wood species like red oak and its visible linear streaks forces the eye to follow the length of the planks. The linear streaks and lighter color of white oak flooring make rooms appear larger and brighter than they actually area.  

Color versatility

Because white oak has cooler undertones than other types of wood species like red oak, it makes it easier to pick a stain and predict what the final result will look like in order to match the flooring color with the rest of the room where the white oak flooring is installed. 

White oak pairs nicely with both cold and warm colors and goes well with natural earth tone finishes. 

With white oak, the planks can be stained or naturally oxidized. Staining white oak flooring will result in a more refined look that showcases all the wood grain and movements in the wood material clearly. Because of its tight pores which gives it its durability and moisture resistance, white oak is a fantastic surface to stain as it absorbs stain products evenly without blotching and gives the overall finish a beautiful hue which is prized among homeowners. 

white oak wide planks installation Charlotte NC

White oak flooring works well with modern and contemporary colors such as gray and white wash. White oak absorbs lighter stains very well while still easily showing the wood grain through. Modern finishes and wood grain showing through is the perfect combination to achieve fantastic looking floors.

If you live near the Charlotte area and are interested in having white oak flooring installed or refinished at your home, contact the professionals at Fabricio Hardwood Floors at (704) 774-7882 for a free estimate. We have years of experience with thousands of square feet of flooring installed in the Charlotte area. You can view some of our most recent work on our Instagram page here