Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Characteristics of European White Oak Flooring

European white oak is a highly sought-after flooring choice. It has a Janka hardness rating of 1360, which makes it incredibly robust.

It has a tighter grain pattern and smaller growth rings than American oak, generally displaying a more uniform color tone across planks.


White oak is one of the most common species of wood used for flooring and furniture. It is a sturdy and durable hardwood.

It has a light brown heartwood and creamy white to yellowish sapwood. It is an excellent choice for traditional homes and can be stained in many colors.

European white oak flooring is usually less brittle than its American counterpart, making it more stable for installation. As a result, it makes it a better solution for spaces like bathrooms and kitchens that are likely to be exposed to dampness.

In contrast to American oak, which can exhibit more pronounced variances in brighter and darker colors, European oak has a more consistent color tone between boards in its natural form. It also has more character in its grain pattern.


European white oak is the most robust oak species, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas.

It also boasts a tighter grain, smaller growth rings, and more even color than American white oak. In addition, this wood can be stained and smoked to achieve a variety of caramel and dark brown hues that can make it stand out from other flooring options.

As a bonus, European oak possesses much more tannin content than either red or white oak, which is beneficial for ensuring that insects are kept away from it. Tannin is an astringent that can also bind to the organic compounds in the wood.

The tannins in European oak can be more easily altered via several processes, including fuming and smoking. Fuming is a chemical process in which ammonia is used to darken the tannins within the wood. Smoking is a more natural process and can create a wider range of caramel tones in the wood.


European oak flooring is often fumed, which darkens it and reveals its grain pattern. Fuming is a chemical process that uses a strong aqueous ammonia hydroxide solution to expose the wood to fumes.

The ammonia hydroxide reacts with tannins, the natural pigments that give wood its distinctive color and texture. The resulting darkening of the oak brings out its natural grain and creates more contrast.

American oak can also be smoked or fumed, although the outcomes could be more reliable.

In general, European oak has a darker tone than American species. It is due to the high tannin content and is why it is so famous for fuming.

European white oak is live-sawn, giving it a unique character and texture you won't find in other types of flooring. It is also a more durable wood, allowing it to withstand heavy traffic and wear.


European white oak is one of the most adaptable and durable hardwoods available, whether you want to install new hardwood flooring or give your existing floors more personality.  

European oak is also more complex and dense than American white oak, which helps it retain its strength and bending properties over time. The hardness of the wood also allows it to be sawn rather than hand split, which helps keep a floor from shifting and developing cracks or splits over time.

The unique cutting method of European oak allows different cuts of tree wood to be showcased on each plank. In addition, it creates grain patterns that result in no two boards looking the same, which is especially appealing when used in a design-driven space. The wavy patterning of this wood type also adds color and interest, making it the perfect complement to a contemporary design.

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