Oak is one of the most popular hardwood flooring options in New York City. At Hardwood Perfect Flooring, we often install two varieties: red oak and white oak. If you’re considering replacing your carpet with hardwood flooring, oak is a great choice, but what are the differences in characteristics between red and white oak?


Red oak has a natural pink tint and is often lighter in color when compared to white oak. Once stained, the red oak often has a red undertone, but this tone will diminish with darker stains. White oak is often yellow-brown in color and maintains this color with lighter stains.

Water Resistance

White oak is a closed grain wood, making it more suitable for wetter rooms. It won’t absorb water as easily. Red oak is slightly more porous, meaning it absorbs water more easily. If you’re looking to redo the flooring in your kitchen or bathroom, stick with white oak for more water resistance and less potential warping.

Wood Grain

White oak has smoother wood grain and is often used in more contemporary areas. However, the smoother wood grain makes scratches and dents more visible. Red oak has a more visible wood grain pattern, making it the perfect choice for high traffic areas or rooms where furniture can scratch the finish.


Luckily, the price of the two woods is usually similar. However, due to constantly changing demands for the material, the price can vary from week to week. Additionally, wider planks will typically cost more than smaller sizes.

Contact Hardwood Perfect Flooring to discuss your options. We’re your local wood flooring experts!