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The Pros and Cons of Oak Wood Flooring


Hardwood flooring adds beauty and character to your home. It is also durable and long lasting. Properly maintained, hardwood floors can last for generations.

Oak is one of the most common types of hardwood flooring. There are more than 60 varieties, but the most popular are red oak and white oak. Red oak, the more common of the two, has a warm, reddish hue and is softer. White oak has golden hue, and it is harder and more durable.

As with all flooring materials, there are some pros and cons to oak floors. Read on to find out more about oak’s strengths and weaknesses.

Cost of Oak Wood Flooring

The price of oak is heavily impacted by the quality and consistency of the grain pattern. The more consistent the grain, the pricier the floor. On average, oak floors cost about $8 to $10 per square foot, including installation. Materials usually cost about $4 to $6 per square foot, with installation accounting for the rest. Keep in mind, however, that white oak is more expensive than red oak.

Oak Wood Flooring Pros

  • Durable - Oak flooring is durable and long lasting. It resists dents and scratches, which is particularly important for high-traffic areas, or if you’re not planning to use area rugs.
  • Adds value - Oak floors add significant value to your home, particularly if you’re replacing cheaper flooring like carpet or linoleum. A portion of your investment will be recouped when you sell the home.
  • Lots of character - The distinctive wood grains and warm tones give oak lots of character. The unique grain patternss stand out even more when the floors are stained.
  • Takes well to stain - Unlike some other types of hardwoods, oak floors are easy to stain. They take well to both light and dark stains.

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Oak Wood Flooring Cons

  • Busy grain pattern - Oak has a distinct and pronounced grain pattern that some people consider too busy. If you’re not a fan of distinct grain patterns, oak flooring is not a good choice.
  • Expensive - Hardwood flooring is more expensive than flooring options such as carpet and linoleum. And oak tends to be more expensive than hardwoods such as maple and pine.
  • Fades over time - Oak tends to fade or discolor when exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods of time. Closing the blinds during the day or applying a UV coating will help, but nothing will prevent fading entirely.
  • Damaged by moisture - As with all hardwood, oak does not perform well in moisture-prone areas. It should not be used in basements or bathrooms. It can be used in kitchens, but you run the risk of damaging the floors with spills, leaky appliances and the like.

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