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-   -   White Oak or Red Oak? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f5/white-oak-red-oak-159443/)

Squished 10-08-2012 06:45 PM

White Oak or Red Oak?
 
Probably comes up a million times, but I figured this needed a new thread. Had 4 hardwood floors guys come out to look at my 90 year old living room floor that needs to be refinished, then look at the kitchen floor that needs to be installed next to it. The two rooms touch so the wood in each needs to be the same.

Here's my problem, 2 hardwood guys said my existing floor is red oak, 2 hardwood guys say the existing floor is white oak. Obviously, if I buy the wrong wood, the two floors won't match. I took a picture of the end grain and top grain, can anyone here help me distinguish? I tried to google it, I'm leaning towards white oak from my research based on the top look, but the end grain is screaming red oak. I'm stumped.

http://i222.photobucket.com/albums/d...008_193919.jpg

http://i222.photobucket.com/albums/d...008_193931.jpg

http://i222.photobucket.com/albums/d...008_193939.jpg

http://i222.photobucket.com/albums/d...008_193950.jpg

http://i222.photobucket.com/albums/d...008_194006.jpg

Thanks in advance. I'm supplying the wood so I don't want to buy wrong.

BigJim 10-08-2012 07:07 PM

Sure looks like White Oak to me. Here is a wood ID site you can check your wood against.
http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/

Squished 10-08-2012 07:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squished (Post 1026806)

This was from the white pictures that you linked:

http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/person...0q60%20plh.jpg

BigJim 10-08-2012 07:21 PM

Red Oak has small pin holes in the end grain, White Oak has very few if any small holes in the end grain. White Oak has brownish color to it where Red Oak has a pinkish slight redish color, also White Oak is heavier.

rusty baker 10-08-2012 09:09 PM

Looks like white oak to me, too.

joecaption 10-08-2012 09:30 PM

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...F9FE83&first=1

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...+oak+end+grain

If you have a sample of the flooring you have now one test is to try blowing smoke through the end of the piece, not a smoker then just put one end in some water and blow on the other. If air passes through it, it's red oak.
One of the many reasons wooden buckets, barrels anything made to hold liquid should not be red oak.

Squished 10-08-2012 10:00 PM

I'll put the piece i have in water tomorrow and test it. Thanks.

joecaption 10-08-2012 10:03 PM

Just try to blow on it as if it was a straw. Should see bubbles.

epson 10-08-2012 10:25 PM

you can also go to this site and read # 3
http://www.wood-database.com/wood-ar...rom-white-oak/

Squished 10-09-2012 04:38 AM

No bubbles. Looks like it's white oak.

Squished 10-10-2012 04:17 AM

Unbelievable, even after the bubble test had one more 40+ year general contractor swear it's red oak. I can't seem to find the sodium nitrite to do the scientific test on it either.

Jim Decker 10-17-2012 04:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squished (Post 1027126)
No bubbles. Looks like it's white oak.


Ok positive ID available:

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/research/ce...dfactsheet.php

additionally go to this website and it will tell you how to send in a sample to the US Forestry Service and they will id it for you.

Jim Decker NWFA Certified Hardwood Inspector

Typically Red Oak looks reddish White Oak looks kind of grayish

Squished 10-17-2012 08:30 PM

I actually had it chemically tested a flooring supply place. Turns out it was white oak! Good call everyone.

oh'mike 10-17-2012 08:39 PM

White oak is harder than red--and is much more resistant to water damage---a better wood for floors that take a beating---

Squished 10-17-2012 08:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oh'mike (Post 1032970)
White oak is harder than red--and is much more resistant to water damage---a better wood for floors that take a beating---

you have that right! I've been sanding down the edges of my existing floor in preparation for sanding it and I'm chewing through sandpaper like crazy. Can't wait to rent the machine from Home Depot on Sunday and do the middle of the floor. If the edges are any indication of how the middle will look, it's going to come out great. I received quotes of $1500 and up to refinish this floor and finish the new floor im putting down (600 sq feet), so far I'm in it for $125 in gloss Poly, $50 in sandpaper and poly applicators, and $75 when I rent the machine. $250 versus $1500, nice savings!


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