White oak wood flooring has been an enduring feature of quality homes for generations. Oak floors are strong and durable as well as pleasing to the eye. This is one of the most important hardwood species as it is almost impermeable to moisture (the enemy of hardwood floors) and for this reason has long been widely used for ship timbers and barrel making. Both red and white oak are extremely popular species favored by furniture makers and well as hardwood flooring manufacturers.
The color of white oak flooring has a wide range from pale blond sapwood that is nearly white in color to richer and deeper tones of brown when the planking is hewn from heartwood. Oak grain is typically straight with a texture that can range from medium to coarse. Grain patterns are influenced by the manner in which the wood is cut. Varying the angle of the cuts made by the saw will create entirely different looks from the same log. In oak, the grain pattern is known as a ‘ray’-a feature that enhances the light reflection from the wood and greatly adds to this species’ aesthetic appeal.
Oak adapts to a variety of finish tones and styles. It can be stained, depending on the natural depth of its color, with nearly any product on the market. The wood itself is a very strong hardwood that has the advantage of excellent resistance to wear and tear.
Choosing the right finish and the correct nails for your oak floor is important. Galvanized nails are the best choice as oak can react with iron and could show dark spots where iron nails are driven over time. This hardwood flooring machines well, but you will probably want to pre-bore for ease of installation.
White oak is not as commonly available as red oak, but both are equally attractive and immensely popular choices for parquet and other types of flooring as well as other uses such as cabinetry, paneling, doors, etc. Oak can also be thin sliced for decorative veneer.
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