White Oak Flooring

Density and open grain aren't the only notable features for white oak flooring. The wood, which is common in construction, shipbuilding, and agriculture, is rot resistant and impermeable. The latter quality comes from a closed cell structure, or tyloses, which prevents water from passing through. Like most domestic hardwoods, white oak flooring has average strength – it measures a 1210 on the Janka scale – and comes from a tree known for longevity. As a domestic hardwood, white oak has several species in the eastern states and Canada, but only eight are used commercially.

White oak flooring makes up 15 percent of all domestic hardwoods sold, and the wood itself is known for a light brown color accented by hints of light pink and grey. The sapwood, however, has a cream color. This hardwood has an open grain, which, from a visual perspective, allows for more rays. These can be seen more visibly through quartersawn white oak flooring. Because of the open grain, the hardwood responds well to various stains and finishes, nearly all of which enhance the grain and rays. Light finishes, however, are used typically.

As one of the regularly-requested domestic hardwoods, white oak flooring is sold as prefinished and unfinished solid and engineered hardwood. Because the grain is a defining feature for this wood, several sawing methods are used to highlight this. Although the hardwood is available plain sawn, quartersawn, rift and quartered, and rift cuts are all sold.

In addition to the saw method used, white oak flooring is often available in a large range of grades. Higher flooring grades, such as select and better, still keep the contrast of light brown and grey, but the grain is even and smooth. Lower grades, including common 1, 2, and 3 and character all have less even grains, often with more contrast and knots.


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