Home & Garden Home Design & Decorating

White Oak, Red Oak, And Circle Sawn Antique Wood Flooring: A Comparison Of The American Classics

Oak has always been a popular flooring timber, since it's strong and gorgeous. White, red, and circle sawn antique wood flooring are "American classics" because they have been installed in American homes for over a century.

These days, reclaimed oak flooring is available in addition to virgin oak flooring. Reclaimed oak flooring is salvaged from older buildings that are slated to be demolished. Surface patinas and distinguishing marks are often left in place when reclaimed oak flooring is processed, since consumers love to see these clues pointing to the wood's past life.

Several varieties of reclaimed oak flooring are available. This article covers three of them: red oak flooring, circle sawn antique oak flooring, and white oak flooring. Read on to learn where reclaimed wood manufacturers often salvage these types of reclaimed oak flooring. We also suggest where each variety of reclaimed oak flooring can be installed in a home or business.

Introducing White Oak Flooring

White oak flooring is often salvaged from overseas shipping containers. It features a smooth surface with toasty brown tones, graphite knots and darker heartwood. This type of reclaimed oak flooring is extremely hard - 1360 on the Janka hardness scale - so it performs well in high-traffic zones.

Introducing Red Oak Flooring

Shipping crates are also the most common source for reclaimed red oak flooring. Prior to the advent of reclaimed oak flooring, these shipping containers were discarded or burned. Choosing reclaimed wood flooring reduces deforestation by repurposing perfectly strong oak that would otherwise be wasting away in a landfill.

The overall color of red oak flooring is brown, with red-pink highlights. A smooth surface distinguishes red oak flooring from circle sawn antique oak flooring. Some red oak flooring also features nail marks and other interesting signs of the wood's past purpose.

Red oak flooring is also quite hard (1290 on the Janka scale), so it also performs well in areas that see heavy foot traffic. If you can, install red oak flooring in a naturally lit area, where its red undertones will have a chance to shine. Many varieties of red oak flooring shift to an amber color over time.

Introducing Circle Sawn Antique Oak Flooring

Old American barns inspire Circle sawn antique Oak Flooring. Traditionally, an American barn would be protected with oak siding. Reclaimed circle sawn antique oak flooring features a charming circle saw texture that is created through a brushing process. Nail marks, patinas, and other unusual surface features are often left in place, to impart a quirky, historical quality to this type of reclaimed oak flooring. Circle sawn antique oak flooring is just as hard as red and white oak, so it shines in frequently used spaces. Restaurants may choose to install this type of reclaimed oak flooring in entryways, where its texture can prevent slips. Most circle sawn antique oak flooring boasts rich chocolate-brown hues.

While considering where to place reclaimed oak flooring in your home or business, remember that oak (and indeed almost all wood flooring) will grow and shrink with surrounding moisture levels and temperature. Also keep in mind the fact that water damages wood flooring, so it's smart to place reclaimed oak flooring in dining rooms, living rooms, and other places that don't see lingering moisture. It's unwise to place reclaimed oak flooring a bathroom or basement, where water damage would be highly likely to occur.

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