Red oak is one of the most popular hardwood species, and for good reason. It provides the warmth and comfort you need, while being durable enough to stand up against busy household traffic. It is practical, beautiful, and affordable. Read on to learn more about this iconic hardwood.


Red Oak Hardwood East BayColor

Red oak is a popular wood because it offers the traditional look of hardwood we all love. With a creamy tan to golden brown profile, red oak easily complements any existing features of your home. Depending on which part of the tree the planks are milled from, you may get more of the light pink or rusty red hues the wood is named after. The bright shades found in red oak planks warm up spaces lacking color but aren’t too intense that they overpower the room. That being said, red oak has a grain variation that makes it exciting and unique.

Red oak is an especially porous wood, which means it accepts stain easily. For those wanting a specific color profile or aesthetic, speak with your local flooring team at Floor Coverings International East Bay about your staining options. However, because of the color variation in red oak planks, the stain will not be as even as it would be with its tight-grained counterpart, white oak. We recommend sticking with the authentic look of the wood to avoid any patchy discoloration.



Red oak is known for having irregular grain patterns. The markings normally appear in darker brown shades and create waves and ripples across the planks. These grain and color variations give red oak a beautifully rustic and natural quality that you can’t find with every hardwood. We love red oak because the markings are prominent enough to make the floor look unique without becoming too busy. To highlight its personality, consider planks that are wider or longer than the standard size.



According to the Janka hardness scale, red oak has a durability score of 1290. This means that red oak will be resistant to superficial damage from everyday wear and tear. This is a great hardwood for rooms that experience frequent foot traffic, but be mindful of dragging heavy furniture or dropping hard objects on the floor. To protect your red oak, consider using rugs to cover up areas that are prone to accidents or scratches.

As with any hardwood, it is important to apply a protective finish or sealant to your wood. This will prevent scratches from actually reaching the surface as well as keep any moisture from being absorbed by the wood. When well maintained, red oak can last the lifetime of your home. We recommend reapplying the sealant every few years to keep the floors looking like new. Otherwise, just add regular maintenance to your normal cleaning routine. Contact Floor Coverings International East Bay to talk about specific maintenance recommendations based on your home and where you want to install red oak.


Red oak has been a popular wood for decades, and we don’t predict it leaving any time soon. For a free in-home consultation, call us today!


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Photo credit: © Lippert Photography