Red Oak Wide Plank Flooring
Durable & Tightly-Grained
Oak trees are ubiquitous. In fact, more than half of all hardwood-producing trees in the United States are oaks. With such a plentiful supply, it is no wonder that red oak, along with its sibling white oak, are the most prevalent domestic hardwood flooring choices.
But there’s more to that popularity than simple abundance. Red oak is laden with appealing qualities—including its strong aesthetic character, its durability, and its chameleon-like adaptability to virtually any décor. If you are looking for something unique and unusual, look elsewhere. But if you seek a timeless classic, red oak may be just the ticket.
What Size Planks are Available?
At Vermont Plank Flooring, we carefully select and harvest the healthiest, fully mature red oaks that have been grown sustainably in FSC-certified woodlots. By doing so, we are able to mill the widest, longest planks in the business—up to an astounding 19 inches in width, and up to 16 feet in length. Boards that long and wide mean fewer seams to distract the eye, which results in a wide-open feel that makes small rooms seem larger and large rooms look luxurious.
What about Red Oak’s Durability?
Red oak is considered the industry standard when discussing hardness, meaning that the hardness of other hardwoods is generally referenced in comparison to red oak. Although there are a few species higher on the hardness scale, including maple and white oak, most other domestic hardwoods used for flooring, including walnut and cherry, are softer. It has medium bending strength and stiffness making it flexible enough to not crack and split under pressure.
In addition to the visual appeal of red oak’s striking grain pattern (read more about this below), it also provides camouflage for scratches and dents. Additionally, red oak effortlessly accepts stains and finishes, which provides a crucial additional layer of protection.
In general, red oak is a durable and tightly grained wood that holds up well in high-traffic areas.
How Will Red Oak Look in My Home?
Red oak’s universal appeal is driven by three factors; color, grain, and the resulting versatility those aesthetic characteristics provide. The wood’s natural color tends to range from creamy reddish pinks to gentle shades of brown, with occasional white to light brown sapwood. Red oak is most noted for its strong grain characteristics, which tend to be coarsely patterned with pronounced cathedrals and occasional small knots.
Vermont Plank Flooring offers red oak in both select and character grades. Select provides more consistent color and grain patterns, while character grade offers greater variation. We also mill red oak in rift sawn and quarter sawn options, in addition to standard plain sawn. These highlight red oak’s warm reddish hues while dialing back the grain characteristics for a straighter, cleaner look.
Because of red oak’s natural attractiveness, many people opt for a clear or lightly tinted water-based or tung oil finish. But because it takes finishes so well, you also have the option to work with our custom finish shop to create different looks. With red oak’s lovely grain and ease of staining, it is an incredibly versatile flooring option that works with almost any décor. It adds authenticity to older or period homes but provides character and comfort to newer or more contemporary designs.
Where in My Home is Red Oak Best Suited?
Red oak is comfortable aesthetically in any room in the house. Its inviting reddish hue and delightful grain patterns will add a timeless beauty to the living room, dining room, family room, or bedroom. It is also durable enough to withstand even the busiest of foot traffic, making it ideal for kitchens, hallways, stairways and entryways.
Unlike its sibling white oak, which has a reputation for moisture and rot resistance, red oak is more porous and does not do well with standing water or enduring moisture. Although protective finishes will offer a level of protection, if your project includes bathrooms, basement rooms, or any application directly on concrete, Vermont Plank Flooring offers a complete line of engineered wide plank flooring, including red oak.
How Does Engineered Red Oak Differ from Solid Hardwood?
Our engineered wide plank red oak provides the same beauty and character of our solid hardwood red oak planks, but adds structural stability and rot- and moisture-resistance that will ease your mind when the bathroom plumbing springs a leak.