Oak hardwood flooring is a best seller at our hardwood flooring store in Bellingham and throughout the Pacific Northwest.  There are many benefits to installing oak flooring and the value for your money is great. Oak is versitile, durable and beautiful, and currently we have a low cost supply of oak flooring to install in Whatcom and Skagit homes and businesses.

The Versatility of Oak Flooring

select grade oak flooring supplier

Notice the uniformity in the grain of Clear and Select Oak Floor Boards.

We install two types of hardwood oak flooring.  Pre-finished oak boards are treated with aluminum oxide and are a good choice for low traffic areas.  Because this kind of pre-finish is more difficult to match at a later date, if you have pets or kids or expect high traffic, on site finished oak is probably a better choice as the stains are easier to match.  On the other hand, if you regularly remove shoes at the door and don’t have dogs and kids running hither and thither, pre-finished floors should last a very long time.  You will avoid the process of sanding and finishing inside your home, saving on lots of mess and fumes from stains and finishes while they dry.  Further, pre-finished oak is treated up to 7 times with a high-performance aluminum oxide urethane coating for long lasting shine and durability.  If you want to install DIY oak flooring, pre-finished boards will cut down on your installation and clean up time.  Pre-finished oak boards come in 5 stain tones to match the existing woodwork in your home.

For higher traffic areas and more active homes, we recommend unfinished oak flooring.  The professional flooring team at Robinson Hardwood and Homes will install, sand, stain and finish your floors on site with multiple passes of a polyurethane protective coating.  The stain options are endless as we can custom hand mix wood stains. Protective coating is available in matte, satin, semi-gloss and gloss to accommodate your personal taste.

Janka Hardness Rating of Oak Flooring

One of the primary reasons oak is such a popular hardwood for floors is that it has a good hardness rating for the money, with red oak having a Janka rating of 1290.  The janka rating for white oak is 1360.   Oak is very strong structurally, and the dense, sturdy grain makes it an excellent shock absorber. Though not as dense as some of the exotic hardwoods, oak boards resist splitting and loosening and can take a lot of wear and tear without damage.

Because it is sourced from sustainable North American forests, oak is more economical than most exotic wood species imported from South America, Australia and Asia. Plus you can rest easy knowing it is an eco-friendly wood and renewable resource that supports jobs right here in the U.S.A.  Less energy is required to manufacture oak flooring than for synthetic flooring and demand for lumber keeps forested land from being rezoned and deforested, keeping trees soaking up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

oak floor with darker stains

The natural texture of the wood is accentuated with a dark stain, creating a unique and interesting appearance.

Red Oak vs. White Oak

White oak is a great choice for rooms where more water is more likely come into contact with the floor.  The pores in the grain of white oak are filled with a natural substance called tyloses which makes the wood watertight.  In fact, it is a popular choice of wood in the ship and boat building industries.  Its watertight properties make it resistant to fungus, moisture, insect activity and standing water.  White oak refers to the waterproof grain of the oak rather than the color, with several species falling into this designation. It tends to be a little darker than red oak, with more yellow and brown tones.

Red oak hardwood typically has more graining than white oak.  Again, red oak refers to several species of oak that have air filled rather than tyloses filled pores.  It usually has a slight red tone, but when you stain any oak, the difference in color between red and white decreases, becoming indiscernible in darker stains.  The strong graining of red oak helps hide dents and scratches and adds more patterning to your floor.  Some people really like the uniqueness of a heavy grain whereas others like the more uniform patterns of a smooth grain. The Flooring Girl of Westchester, NY has a good article on the differences between red and white oaks.

Oak Makes Beautiful Floors!

oak flooring grade common one

The small spots are the scars from worm holes and add to the beauty of the natural patterning of oak flooring.

Oak is available in a variety of grades with Clear and Select having a more uniform appearance and fewer irregularities.  The color variations that make oak such a beautiful hardwood are still there, but the patterning of the grain is usually milder, and there are fewer knots, wormhole marks and mineral streaks.   Sometimes a home or business looks even better with these natural features in the wood, as they create unique and interesting contrasts and patterns. For more variations, choose Common Oak #1 or #2. Oak takes stains really well, offering a wide variety of tones. The darker the stain, the more contrast you will find in the grain patterns of your floor. We can custom mix the stain for your oak floor to match your furniture, walls and your aesthetic preference.

The Cost of Oak Flooring is Down!

Robinson Hardwood and Homes has found a very good, low cost supplier of quality oak hardwood flooring, and we are passing this savings onto our customers.  Currently, using Common Oak #1 unfinished flooring, we can install, sand, stain and finish your floors for only $9.70 a sq. ft., the lowest price we’ve been able to offer for a long time.  Common Oak #2 is even more affordable at only $9.25/sq. ft. fully installed and finished.  Oak is a commodity and the prices do fluctuate, so if you’ve been considering new floors, now is a great time to take that step.  We are 2-3 weeks out for new floors, which means there is still time to have new floors installed before December holidays, but we do recommend calling and setting up a free flooring consultation as soon as possible.  Robby will answer all your questions and give you an estimate so you can make a well informed choice for your hardwood floors.