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Oak Flooring cost

It is every homeowner’s dream to upgrade their homes and make it safer and cozier to live in. And most of the time, the best way they can improve their residential spaces is by installing tiles or other flooring options. The same is true with commercial spaces. Since you can’t do anything about the size of the floor area, you make the most out of your flooring and decorating options. 

When it comes to flooring, it’s not all about aesthetics. Yes, your choice of tiles or vinyl planks can make or break your house’s aesthetic appeal, but you should look at the utility and safety side as well. And if there is a flooring option that can successfully strike a balance between beauty and usefulness, then that’s an enormous win for residential and commercial space owners. 

If the utility and aesthetics of the flooring option are being considered, oak flooring should be on top of everyone’s list. Oakwood flooring is one of the most widely used and most popular hardwood floorings not only in the USA but also in other parts of the world. It is most preferred because of its versatility, stability, and strength. Aside from these, it is also well-known for its character and easy to stain features. 

For decades, oakwood flooring remained to be best-sellers and are always considered for any home or office remodeling project. 

What is Oak Flooring

Before discussing what oak flooring, it’s best to explain what oak is. Oak, as most people know, is a popular and attractive timber that has its roots in Britain. Aside from being tall and durable, this impressive tree can go as high as 60 to 100 feet. 

Oak has hundreds of species, with 25 of these species being native to Europe, including the evergreen and deciduous varieties. Oak trees produce acorns, and these acorns take six to 18 months to fully mature. Oak trees can live for more than 100 years. 

Given its strength and excellent texture, oak wood is considered one of the most sought after and most highly attractive material that works excellently as flooring. Oak flooring comes in different natural shades – from natural, limed white to very dark. Regardless of the theme or style of your room, you can find a color theme that will complement your room well. There are even stain sets that are quick-dry and will be ready within hours. The flooring can then be coated with polyurethane immediately the next day. 

Benefits of Oak Flooring

To understand better why residential and commercial building owners prefer oakwood flooring over other flooring options, let’s take a look at its benefits and advantages:

Extensive Color and Design Options

Not all residential and commercial spaces are the same when it comes to their color and design choices. Also, some people like to experiment. To accommodate all these needs and preferences, manufacturers of oakwood flooring expanded their product line and included color stains, lamination, and other styles to satisfy the whim of their customers. If you want a thinner layer of oak on your floor, you can go for engineered hardwood. If you want solid oak on your floor, you can go for solid oak wood flooring.

And if you want just a replica of oakwood, you can go for laminated oak wood flooring. You see, whatever your preference is, there is one flooring option that will meet all your needs. Aside from color and style, oak also comes in different grades. Even if you want light, dark, prime, or rustic flooring, oak wood flooring got your back. 

Low Cost

Though solid oakwood might cost a lot, there are other less pricey options like engineered or laminated oakwood. With the cheaper options, you get to enjoy a million-dollar looking floor for a budget-friendly price. If you are on a tight budget, you can bag a real bargain with the right option.

Versatility

Oak will always have that timeless, very traditional look. Because of that, it can easily mesh well with different decoration styles — from classic to modern. It’s hard to find a decor pattern or combination that will not go well with oakwood. 

Can Hide and Mask Floor Abnormalities

Oakwood generally has a natural strong grain pattern. As such, it can seamlessly mask and hide abnormalities like nicks, dents, scratches, and other minor flooring mishaps way better compared to other flooring options. 

Pros and Cons of Oak Flooring

Pros and Cons of Oak Flooring

Aside from the benefits of oak mentioned in the preceding part of this guide, here are the pros and cons of oakwood flooring: 

Pros

Good Investment and Popularity

Because of its sturdiness, classic and timeless appeal and durability, oak flooring is easily one of the most popular choices for hardwood flooring. Since it can make the look and overall vibe of the property more chic and polished, it can also increase the value of your property. Taken all together, you can persuasively assert that oakwood flooring is an excellent investment. 

Timelessness

As mentioned above, it has a classic and timeless appeal, making it easy to mesh with any decor and furniture pieces. It also adds more authenticity to all the period properties you own and display in your home. For new contemporary buildings, it works its magic by giving it character and warmth. 

Character

The knot and grain patterns you can find in oak hardwood give the flooring so much character. There is something in these patterns that make it so pleasing to look at. It looks clean, polished, yet firm, and warm. For most homeowners using oak for their flooring, the character of the timber is part of its charm. 

Color

If you go for oakwood flooring, you also get to choose between white or red oak. Both of these options have a pleasing, natural glow. Both of these options can also be stained to achieve different looks, from traditional walnut, on-trend grays, to weathered whitewash stains. 

Availability and Options

Since oak flooring is immensely popular, it is available in various kinds, sizes, styles, and options. You can even choose from laminate, engineered, and solid hardwood. 

Cost

Though it looks expensive, you can find oak flooring that will fit your budget. In fact, some only cost $1 for every square foot of laminates. For top-tier solid oak, you can find as cheap as $20 per square foot. 

Environment-Friendly

Oakwood flooring is produced and farmed domestically in the US, so you can say that compared to exotic hardwoods, it has a lesser carbon footprint. To be sure, always look for the FSC certification to make sure that the one that you buy has been cultivated responsibly and sustainably. In fact, you can even go for reclaimed oakwood flooring for a greener option. 

Cons

Because oak wood flooring is too popular, it’s not a good choice for those who are trying to achieve a more unique signature interior design look. It’s also not a good option for those who want to create a space that people haven’t seen before. 

Too Traditional

Although this flooring goes well with any design choice, if you are looking for a more cutting-edge option or a style that will match your personality, this is not for you. Instead, you can explore tiles, terrazzo, or cement to complement your slick, new, and contemporary architecture. 

Noisy

This issue generally applies to most hardwoods, not only oak. If you are looking for flooring options that have soundproofing qualities, oakwood flooring is not for you. Go for corks or carpets instead. You can also try using underlayment as laminate underlayment reduces noise

Adverse Reaction to Humidity and Temperature

Again, this issue is true to all hardwood, not only oak. Oak planks, specifically the solid ones, are highly susceptible to contraction and expansion after a change in the levels of humidity and temperature. As a result, gaps between floorboards may appear, leaving your floor creaking from time to time. The creaking will also worsen at night as the temperature gets colder.

If you still insist on using oakwood despite this, go for engineered oakwood as this kind reacts less to temperature fluctuations. Also, to help you lessen the reaction to temperature and humidity, you can give your floorboards more time to acclimatize to the environment before you install it. Also, it won’t hurt to add more premium-quality underlayment. 

Types of Oak Flooring

Types of Oak Flooring

Solid Oak

Solid oak wood flooring is usually 19mm or ¾ inches thick, with planks that have widths that range from three inches to six inches. This type of flooring is available in a parquet flooring style, too.

Engineered Oak

This kind of oak wood flooring, on the other hand, has a thinner wear layer that is made from real oakwood. The said oak wood wear layer also adheres to a base made of plywood. As such, it is more stable compared to solid wood. Depending on its manufacturer, engineered hardwood comes in a variety of plank widths –from five inches to 7.5 or 8 inches. The planks can also be ½” or ⅜” thick. 

Oak Laminate

Oakwood laminate is generally made by adhering to the 3D photo image of oak into a composite wooden base. The planks usually come in 8mm to 12mm thick. And depending on the manufacturer, its width can be as short as 3 inches or as full as 8 inches. 

Red Oak

This is one of two types of colored oak that thas a pinkish flooring undertone. The colors of red oak planks can vary from deep amber to light cream. Compared to white oak, red oak has lesser varied colors. Red oaks have denser structures compared to white oak, that’s why this oak type accepts stain more evenly. 

The grains of red oak are shorter compared to white oaks. It also has a broader grain formation that shows a wavy pattern. In terms of hardness, red oak has a 1290 Janka rating. This means that it is less durable compared to white oak and also less dent-prone. 

White Oak

White oak has a yellow-brownish undertone, with planks that have less varies but more even colors. Aside from this, compared to red oaks, white oaks accept the stains more evenly. When it comes to graining, white oak has a tightly packed, straighter, and longer grains. It also has lesser swirly patterns compared to red oaks.

These patterns make white oak an excellent option for those who want a less busy and more unified floor. And when it comes to hardness, white oak gained a 1360 Janka hardness rating, which means that it is more durable and less dent-prone compared to red oaks. 

Pre-Finished Oak

Pre-finished oak is one that is factory-finished. As such, each board has also been individually finished with sprayed-on polyurethane coats. Take note that coats of polyurethane make the floor shining. The boards were then oven-baked using aluminum oxide to achieve a hard acrylic finish.

And because each of the boards was individually finished, a beveled edge can be seen along the sides of the boards. When installed, you’ll see a groove or micro-bevel in between the boards. This leaves the floor not perfectly flat, with visible lines seen on each board. 

Unfinished Oak

Unfinished oak usually looks like real oak wood on the floor. Compared to pre-finished ones, unfinished flooring look less plastic-y and more natural, with less visible grain patterns. This type of oakwood flooring is usually finished on-site by an oakwood flooring expert. Most homeowners prefer this because of the beauty and natural warmth of a hardwood flooring that has been treated and sanded by a craftsman. 

Materials of Oak Flooring

Materials of Oak Flooring

3/4-inch Solid Hardwood Planks

¾ inch solid hardwood planks usually have a 5/16 thick wear layer. This top wear layer can be refinished and sanded new again up to more than seven times. This type can also last for more than 100 years. And because of its interlocking tongue and groove mill that comes along with its ¾ inch thickness, solid hardwood oak flooring has more structural strength. Experts recommend ¾-inch solid hardwood planks for those who want a wooden subfloor. 

5/16-inch Solid Hardwood Planks

When people think of solid hardwood flooring, what comes to their minds are standard strips red oak flooring with ¾-inch thickness and two ¼-inch width. Then again, there are also solid hardwoods that are available in different sizes ranging from three to six or more inches. These are called plank floors. Pre-finished kinds of solid oak wood flooring are typically available in 5/16-inch thick, with random lengths that can range from 12 to 84 inches long. 

Tongue and Groove Oak Flooring

Tongue and groove are often used along with wainscot, sheet paneling, wood floorboards, and other materials necessary to link separate pieces together. This also means that each part of the floorboard has a corresponding protruding receiving groove and tongue side. This mechanism runs through the entire permitter of the plank.

A single tongue can fit perfectly into the adjoining board’s grove. The primary purpose of this mechanism is to control the adjoining boards’ vertical movements effectively. The boards’ horizontal movement is still permitted to a certain extent since it’s natural for wood flooring to contract and expand. 

Oak Flooring Installation Costs

Oak Flooring Installation Costs

If you are confident in your installation skills, you can always launch a DIY project. However, if you don’t have the skills, tools, and time, better leave the job to the experts. Then again, regardless of your choice, here are the price estimates for a DIY and professional oak flooring installation. 

DIY Oak Flooring Installation Cost

Since luxury vinyl planks and fold-and-lock laminated were introduced, DIY floor installation became rarer. Still, if you want, it is highly possible to rent tools like a miter saw, compressor, and floor stapler to start your DIY project. These three tools are the essential elements of any kind of solid flooring installation. Those who have taken the DIY route said that you might need to outfit your miter saw by combining an 80, 90, or 100 teeth blade. This combination will give make your cuts more precise. 

This is the price estimate for a DIY oak flooring installation depending on the wood and room size. 

Oakwood SpeciesPrice for every 100 square feet spacePrice of Oakwood per foot 
White Oak with a natural finish$900 to $1,500$9 to $15
Red Oak with a natural finish$830 to $1,000$8.30 to $10

 

Engineered wood is not included in the estimate given since this is a different product compared to solid hardwood. Engineered oak wood can cost ten to 15% more compared to solid hardwood. 

Professional Oak Flooring Installation Cost

When you opt for professional oak flooring installation, you need to consider the fact that, on average, workers can only install one floor a day. 

This is the price estimate for a professional oak flooring installation depending on the wood and room size. 

Oakwood SpeciesPrice for every 100 square feet spacePrice of Oakwood per foot 
White Oak with a natural finish$1,300 to $1,550$13 to $15.50
Red Oak with a natural finish$1,200 to $1,450$12 to $14.50

 

How to Install Oak Flooring

Step 1 – Wood expansion preparation

Before you start installing, you have to prepare for the wood expansion first. To do this, you have to remove all floor coverings and underlay to make sure that the floor base is leveled and strong enough for the installation. Since the wood expansion is necessary for solid oak wood flooring, keep a gap around the perimeter. The right expansion gap is ten to 12mm. Make sure to observe this gap around the floor perimeter. This means that the edges will not touch each other. 

Step 2 – Installation process

Once the first step is done, you are now ready to install the solid wood onto concrete. For this, you need to use a flexible wood with concrete-specific adhesives like Soudal Polymer or Laybound. Start in one corner of the room, then spread two board widths of these concrete adhesives on the subfloor with a 3mm trowel. 

Step 3 – Lay the flooring with adhesives

Lay the flooring into the area with adhesives, with its tongue against the wall. You can use a 10mm spacer here to make sure that the right expansion gap is consistently observed. 

As you lay the second flooring row, make sure that the floor joints are 150mm apart from your first flooring row. Continue until you’ve installed all the materials. For more information, you can also check the review of Shaw hardwood

 

How to Clean and Maintain Oak Flooring

To help you keep your flooring shiny and clean at all times, follow these simple cleaning and maintenance tips. 

Step 1 – Take off your shoes every time you enter the house

Wooden floors can quickly get dirty. Also, the abrasive particles you carry with your muddy shoes can easily ruin your wood floors. Make sure that a mat is ready inside or outside exterior doors to eliminate tracked-in dirt. In rainy or snowy weather, remember always to spare a space where you or your visitor can remove their boots. Through this, you can stop de-icers and water from damaging your floor. 

Step 2 – Dust or vacuum grime and dirt

Dust mop or vacuum grime and dirt before you thoroughly clean it. As you already know, rubbing dirt on the floor is a bad idea. With the use of a dusting agent-treated mop, dust your floor to pick up pet hair and dirt. You can also improve your cleaning performance with hardwood mop.

For laminate oak flooring, use laminate mops. The great thing about this is that laminate mop removes all stainsIf you want to deep clean your floor to get rid of grime, oil, and dirt build-up, use a wooden floor cleaner. Immerse your mop into the cleaner and mop your heart away. Make sure that you wipe your floor coherent to the floorboard’s direction. 

Wipe your mopped floor with a dry towel or just leave it to dry naturally. You can also use spray mops. As you know, spray mop is very efficient in cleaning stubborn dirt. 

Step 3 – Take care of the scratches

If you find scratches on the floor, you can take a crayon out and rub the same to the scratch. Fill the gap and get a blow dryer to heat the area. Set the blow dryer to high and point it to the area where you applied crayons. 

Step 4 – Buff the blow-dried surface with a soft towel

Take note that when you are installing other types of this flooring, you’ll find laminate flooring easy to install. Thus, you won’t break too much sweat finishing the flooring of a room. 

How to Clean and Maintain Oak Flooring

Red Oak vs White Oak Flooring Cost

Here are the tables that will show the cost estimates for red oak and white oak flooring. 

For DIY installation projects, here are the cost estimates: 

Oakwood SpeciesPrice for every 100 square feet spacePrice of Oakwood per foot 
White Oak with a natural finish$900 to $1,500$9 to $15
Red Oak with a natural finish$830 to $1,000$8.30 to $10

 

For professional installation, here are the cost estimates: 

Oakwood SpeciesPrice for every 100 square feet spacePrice of Oakwood per foot 
White Oak with a natural finish$1,300 to $1,550$13 to $15.50
Red Oak with a natural finish$1,200 to $1,450$12 to $14.50

Pre-Finished vs Unfinished Oak Flooring Cost

Oak floorings are available in raw or stained formats. For stained ones, the price is at $2 or higher per square foot. This type is cheaper to install. Installation on-site can cost $4 or higher per square foot. The price will also vary depending on location. 

Unfinished oakwood, on the other hand, usually sells at $3 to $8 per square foot. The price can also vary depending on where you are located and what kind of stain you want for your raw wood. 

Do’s and Don’ts With Oak Flooring

Do’s

Don’ts

  • Let the water sit on your wooden hardwood floor for too long. 
  • Clean your floor with hot water. 
  • Use citrus-based, wax, or oil as floor cleaners. 
  • Use a plain sheet or steel wool to clean stubborn dirt on your floor. 
  • Leave damp towels and rugs on your wooden floor. 
  • Use ammonia or vinegar to clean your floor. 
  • Wear heels or shoes with hard spikes while stepping on your floor. 

FAQ About Oak Flooring

FAQ About Oak Flooring

How much is red oak flooring per square foot?

The range of oak wood price is between $8.30 to $10 per square foot. The cost will vary depending on your location, though. Meaning, this can be higher or lower. 

Is oak an expensive wood?

Despite its million-dollar look and feel, oak is not an expensive wood. Especially if you will use it for flooring, various options will surely fit your budget. 

Which is better oak or beech?

For various reasons like strength, sturdiness, timelessness, versatility, and overall appeal, oak is better than beech. Though oak is not as hard as beech, the former is still considered a durable wood. 

What is the most expensive oak?

White oak is considered the most expensive and most valuable type of oak. The reason for its price is its sturdiness, and it’s ability to resist deep scratches and dents. It can also last for more than a hundred years.

What is the strongest oak wood?

With a 1360 Janka hardness rating, white oak is stronger, more durable, and less dent-prone compared to red oaks.

What is oak wood good for?

Oak is a very popular wood, and its popularity can be attributed to its variety of uses like the following: 

  • Flooring
  • Furniture
  • Homewares
  • Firewood
  • Wine barrels
  • Treating ailments 
  • Food for animals
  • Animal sanctuary

How long does white oak last?

White oak can last for 200 to 300 years. 

Is oak stronger than pine?

While oak belongs to the hardwood variety, pine, on the other hand, belongs to softwood. This only means that oak is more wear-resistant and heavier. Pine is lighter compared to oak, but it has excellent stiffness that allows it to resist shock. 

Conclusion

Knowing the differences and similarities of the materials we consider to choose for our construction projects can help us appreciate the process even more. Not only do we know the qualities of these materials, but we also get to know how much these materials would cost. And by understanding the pros and cons, we get to balance our expectations and knowingly decide. Without an iota of doubt, knowledge and understanding will always be our power. 

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