Red Oak vs. White Oak: What’s the Difference?

We talk a lot about different types of hardwood flooring on this blog, and sometimes we refer to species and terminology as if all of our readers were industry professionals. For that, we apologize. We understand that sometimes terms can be used without any explanation, and that can be confusing.

White Oak Flooring
Engineered White Oak Flooring

For instance, we often refer to oak flooring on this blog. It’s dependable, attractive, and relatively inexpensive. But there are two main types of oak flooring – red oak flooring and white oak flooring – and we often talk about them without discussing the differences between the two.

Well, no more. There are many noticeable differences between red oak flooring and white oak flooring, as well as similarities. These differences include areas such as strength and durability, appearance, movement in service, and maintenance. Check out “Red Oak Flooring VS White Oak Flooring – What’s The Difference?” for more information on these two amazing hardwood species.

Hardwood Mechanical Properties – What Do They Really Mean?

Do you get confused when hardwood flooring professionals start talking about Janka hardness or the modulus of expansion? That’s okay. Unless you are a hardwood professional yourself you probably don’t know the technical jargon. Well, here are a few key technical terms and what they mean. Enjoy!

Hardness: This specification measures how resistant a wood species is to indentation. The higher then number, the harder the wood.

Modulus of Rupture: This is a measure of the wood’s “strength”. In other words, the MOR measures how much force is required to break the wood. This measurement will tell you how much weight the wood can carry.

Modulus of Expansion: Also called “stiffness”, the MOE is a measure of the wood’s resistance to bending. A high MOE means the wood is less likely to buckle or bend over time.

Density: Measured in KG per cubic meter, a wood’s density tells you how much weight and damage a hardwood floor can take before breaking or bending. A very dense wood will also be less likely to experience rot or insect infestations.

If you’d like more detailed information on hardwood mechanical properties, check out this useful article: “Hardwood Mechanical Properties – What Do They Really Mean?”

Online Flooring Tools – What They Are and How to Use Them

It’s a great age we live in! Advances in technology have made almost every part of life easier, and picking new hardwood floors is no exception. There are many useful virtual tools online that can help you decide on a specific type of hardwood floor, match it to your house’s current color scheme, and determine how much flooring you will need.

Room Design Tools
Room design tools allow you to choose from a number of different room features and mix-and-match them until you come across a combination you like. The latest and most advanced room design tools feature 3D technology and allow you to take a virtual tool through your newly designed room. Choose from features such as hardwood flooring, counter tile, furnishings and appliances. Most virtual room designers also allow you to save your designs and compare different feature combinations.

A well-designed room featuring engineered Bacana-Copaiba floors
A well-designed room featuring engineered Bacana-Copaiba floors

Color Design Tools
A virtual color design tool is a simpler version of the room design tools. If you aren’t designing a whole room and only want to match wood floor types to paint colors or molding types, color design tools are the way to go. Most effective color design tools feature specific panels representing different parts of a room, such as flooring, molding, cabinets and wall paint. Simply pick the color and style of the room features you want to match and then compare and choose a complementary flooring type.

Materials Calculator
A good online materials calculator can be an invaluable tool for any hardwood flooring project. Flooring calculators help you determine the square footage of the area you are working on so you know exactly how much materials you will need. It’s important to remember that exact square footage isn’t always available at hardwood flooring retail outlets. Some retailers sell by the bundle, so make sure to purchase more square footage than you actually need. It’s always better to have materials left over than to not have enough to finish the project.