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Thread: Red and White Oak Flooring Identification

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
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    Portland, OR
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    Red and White Oak Flooring Identification

    Bought a 1959 home and am wondering about the flooring. It's in rough shape, will be an interesting and time consuming project to rehab I'm sure. That being said, I'm still developing in my ability to identify wood types. I attached two pictures. One, the boards are running horizontally. Another, the boards are running vertically. The central board in the horizontal picture looks to be clearly red oak to me, due to the short rays. In the vertical picture, the central board has a little longer rays, but I haven't worked with a ton of white oak, so I'm wondering if those are still considered short?

    Thanks for the insight.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    It looks like Red, but if you are going to stain it that color, it won't matter; they will both look more or less the same. Actually, Red and White were not always separated historically; it could even be a mix of both.

    The below desk is a mix of Red and White Oak. Can you tell which is which

    Desk.jpg

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    So Cal
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    I also think it looks like red oak.
    I have the same looking flooring made by Bruce. If your floor has enough thickness to refinish consider using Rubio monocoat. Itís a little bit pricey but has zero Vocs and looks great. The color has held up great on my floor we used Mahogany.
    Aj

  4. #4
    depends where the trees grow

  5. #5
    Red oak. Old test is ,look at ends. No open places means white oak.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Exeter, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Fulks View Post
    Red oak. Old test is ,look at ends. No open places means white oak.

    Which is white oak is good for outdoor furniture. No openings for water to wick into. Or something like that (no wood expert). Randy
    Randy Cox
    Lt Colonel, USAF (ret.)

  7. #7
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    All board in both photos look like red oak to me. Plain sawed red oak often looks exactly like that.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  8. #8
    With peaks and cathedral grain, it's the common grade of red oak.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    New Hill, NC
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    It appears to be red oak, due to the open pores in the late wood as well as the rays not being longer than 3/4”.

    There is at least one species of white oak that is open pored, and that is chestnut white oak. However it’s ray’s will still be longer than 3/4” and they are open pored too, catching stain and creating a unique look.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    Thanks for the education gents. I always thought it was red oak, but was starting to wonder about a few boards. Sounds like red is most likely.

    We'll see if I can convince myself to refinish the whole house with rubio. I'll have to decide on doing it room by room, or moving everything out for a week and just getting it done in one big push.

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