Due to its timeless elegance and long-lasting durability, oak flooring is one of the most popular hardwood flooring options on the market. Used in homes for centuries, oak flooring adds distinctive character to any home and is extremely popular in both historic home renovations as well as new builds. If you are considering installing oak hardwood flooring in your home, read on to learn more about the pros and cons of oak flooring as well as what you can expect to pay, and some of the best manufacturers on the market.
Benefits of Oak Hardwood Flooring
What is it about oak hardwood flooring that has contributed to its ongoing popularity over the years? Here are a few pros of oak flooring that continue to keep this beloved flooring option at the top of homebuyer’s must-have lists.
1. A long-lasting flooring option
One reason that oak hardwood flooring has been a staple of well-built homes for centuries is its durable nature. When purchasing oak wood flooring, you are purchasing a hardwood floor that will last a lifetime. Even better, oak hardwood flooring actually improves with age becoming even more attractive as richer color emerges over time.
2. Easy to clean and maintain
Another factor contributing to the ongoing popularity of oak hardwood flooring is that it is extremely easy to clean and maintain. Light sweeping or vacuuming along with spot treating any stains with a damp cloth is all you need to keep your floors in tip-top shape for years to come.
3. Resistant to fungus + insects
Unlike certain flooring options, oak hardwood floors are naturally resistant to fungus as well as insect infestations. These floors do not require any special treatments to prevent fungus and insects, which saves money when it comes to installation. Since oak flooring resists fungus and insects, you will also save money (and stress) in the long run since you will not need to worry about costly damage and repairs.
Compared to other popular hardwood flooring options like maple and hickory, oak hardwood flooring is also cheaper, making it a wonderful option for homeowners that want to install hardwood floors on a budget.
5. Available in a variety of styles
Thanks to its popularity over the centuries, oak hardwood flooring is available in a wide variety of styles and sizes, which gives buyers the option to choose exactly what they are looking for when purchasing. Additionally, oak flooring reacts well to staining making for a diverse offering of color options ranging from lighter natural colors to darker hues.
Drawbacks of Oak Hardwood Flooring
As with all flooring options, there are some cons to take into consideration before jumping on the oak flooring bandwagon. By considering these downsides of oak flooring, you can decide it will work well for your lifestyle.
1. Extremely common
Due to its many benefits, oak flooring is the most popular hardwood flooring option on the market, which also means it is very common and a bit generic from an interior design standpoint. Therefore, if you are looking for a one-of-a-kind floor that none of your neighbors will have, oak flooring may not be for you.
Although oak hardwoods are one of the most affordable hardwood flooring options on the market, they are still quite costly compared to alternative flooring options such as carpet or laminate. If budget is an issue, oak flooring may not be the best option for your home.
Another con of oak flooring (as well as other hardwood flooring options) is that it can be quite noisy as it does not absorb sound like carpet. If you live in an apartment building with downstairs neighbors or have children, this is an important factor to take into consideration. However, adding an area rug to muffle noise and soften the flooring is an easy solution to this downside of oak flooring.
4. Grainy pattern
No matter what finish or style you opt for, oak flooring will always have a grainy pattern. Although beloved by many, this grainy pattern is not for every design style. Because of this, it is important to consider whether or not this element of oak flooring will work with your home style before deciding to go with oak.
What will oak hardwood flooring cost?
The cost of installing oak hardwood flooring varies, depending on a variety of factors including the type and quality of oak that you choose as well as the installation method that you prefer.
Cost of white oak versus red oak
The two most common types of oak used in flooring are white oak and red oak. When you picture a classic oak floor, you are most likely picturing the more traditional red oak known for its grainy texture and red/yellow hue. Meanwhile, white oak has a less grainy appearance and golden brown tones. Although the pricing of both types of oak is pretty similar, the type of oak you choose will influence the price, with red oak typically being less expensive than white oak.
Cost of DIY versus professional installation
Your installation method will also affect the cost of your oak hardwood flooring. Obviously installing the floor yourself will save money, while hiring professionals to do the job will increase the price. However, when it comes to installing hardwood flooring, it may be worth shelling out some extra money to ensure the job is done correctly. Below are price estimates for both red and white oak floors using professional installation and DIY installation.
What you can expect to pay for professional installation
White oak with a natural finish will typically cost anywhere from $12 to $14.50 per square foot or $1,200 to $1,450 for a 100 square foot space. Meanwhile red oak is slightly cheaper, ranging in price from $11 to $13.50 per square foot or $1,100 to $1,350 for a 100 square foot room.
What you can expect to pay without professional installation
If you choose to install your oak hardwood flooring on your own, you will save money up front, however, it is also important to consider additional costs you may incur for tools and supplies that you do not already own.
Installing white oak with a natural finish ranges from $8 to $12 per square foot and $800 to $1,200 per 100 square foot space. Red oak will range in price from $7.30 to $9.00 per square foot or $730 to $900 for a 100 square foot room.
Where to purchase oak hardwood flooring
If you are considering purchasing oak hardwood flooring for your home, it is important to find a trustworthy retailer that combines quality with fair pricing. Below are some of the best retailers and manufacturers to look into when shopping for oak flooring.
This retailer has been in the hardwood flooring industry since 1994, and after more than 20 years of experience in the industry, they offer one of the widest selections of hardwood flooring options on the market. Whether you are looking for finished or unfinished oak flooring, you will be able to find it here.
Available for purchase at both Lowes and Home Depot, this popular manufacturer (a division of Armstrong Flooring) is the one to stick with if you want a traditional oak hardwood floor with no bells and whistles. Thanks to their wide availability in stores across the nation, Bruce is also a great option for homeowners that don’t want to pay shipping costs and prefer to pick up in store. Another bonus? Their flooring is easy to return if you purchase too much or are not satisfied with the product.
Floor & Decor
If you are shopping on a budget, Floor & Decor is a great option since they have a “lowest price guarantee” and will match a lower price if you find it elsewhere. The retailer offers a wide selection both online and in-store and is known for their superior customer service.
The Woods Company
For those on the hunt for reclaimed wood floors, this trustworthy retailer is for you. Based in rural Pennsylvania, this reputable retailer offers a variety of reclaimed oak flooring options for the homeowners on the hunt for totally unique hardwood floors.
This New Hampshire-based manufacturer has been in the flooring industry for over 40 years and is known for providing a variety of plank sizes sourced from high-quality cuts of wood.
Somerset Hardwood Flooring
Specializing in oak hardwood flooring, this Kentucky-based manufacturer sources the majority of their wood from the neighboring Appalachian mountains. Focused on quality, this company offers a 50-year warranty on their floors wear and finish as well as a lifetime warranty on the structural integrity of the floor!
A few lesser-known brands with an excellent selection of oak hardwood flooring that you may also want to look into including Walking Horse Plank, Jasper, Mirage, and Mazama.