When repairing or installing hardwoods, the variety of available wood kinds is bewildering. From engineering to be spoke site finish, numerous types of wood, stains on white Oak, and treatments exist.
I hope that by sharing my experience selecting our white oak flooring and the color we chose for our hardwoods, you will get clarity and be able to limit your options.
White Oak Floors: Why Is It Better Than Other Types Of Hardwoods?
Other forms of flooring, such as LVP and engineered, have their place and time. However, nothing compares to the natural beauty of wood, in my opinion.
White Oak is currently highly fashionable since it is easier to absorb suitable white oak flooring stains without revealing pink or orange overtones, unlike red Oak pulls. This is one of the primary reasons why it is used so frequently!
It is also among the most resilient hardwoods, being harder than species such as pine (harder, meaning more resilient to dents). Because of reason, it has been highly popular in new construction in recent years.
Also Read: Choosing The Best Stain Color For Wood Floors
How To Keep White Oak Flooring From Yellowing
We employed an oil-based polyurethane to protect the floors in our new construction. However, after a few years, I swear I noticed the floors were browning. My spouse could not tell the change, but I was certain it was occurring!
Using an oil-based polyurethane might cause your hardwoods to turn yellow or orange over time. As the wood is exposed to sunlight, the UV rays from the sun make it worse.
This holds for all species of wood, not just white Oak. I’m not a scientist (shocking, I know), but I assume the yellowing of the floors was caused by the abundance of windows and lovely sunlight in every area of our home.
When we installed white Oak in our home, I researched and discovered a simple remedy. On these white oak floors, we applied Bona Traffic HD, a water-based polyurethane finish.
This is a water-based protective finish, so it will not discolor your floors like an oil-based finish would. You should be aware that exposure to UV rays causes all wood to oxidize over time, although a good-grade water-based poly will oxidize substantially less.
Bona has extremely low VOC levels (the lowest or one of the lowest) and an odor that quickly dissipates. It also has the quickest cure time on the market.
The Traffic HD indicates that it can withstand high traffic, pets, and real life! You will spend extra for this, but it was a drop in the bucket for a water-based polyurethane that would not yellow as the oil-based poly did while still preserving my floors from scuffs.
On our flooring, a satin finish was applied. Why did I choose satin when matte is currently hot and trendy? I’ve heard from numerous owners that cleaning matte is difficult. The smooth finish is nicely balanced and does not appear excessively shiny.
White Oak Flooring: How To Clean?
Typically, we clean the floors as needed (extremely cautious, no beater bar!) and occasionally spot-treat them with a dry microfiber mop. Our cleaners sweep the floors every other week using a moist Swiffer mop.
They were leaving the house smelling incredible, so I inquired as to the source of the odor. Our hardwood floors use Bona Hardwood Floor Polish, which is wonderful! The polish permeates the entire house with its wonderful aroma and does not leave the floors slippery. I found white oak floors to be rather simple to maintain.
Does White Oak Need To Be Stained?
No, white Oak does not require staining. The sole aim of the stain is to give color; it does nothing to protect the flooring. Sealants are responsible for protecting floors from spills and traffic.
Staining White Oak is a matter of personal preference and subjectivity. Do you prefer the appearance of white Oak without stain?
Even a transparent sealer may slightly discolor the floors, but not significantly. It should only subtly intensify the color.
Drying time is another benefit of not using a stain. If you stain your hardwoods, you must wait longer to utilize them! High humidity, low temperatures, many layers of stain, and insufficient wiping will all extend drying and waiting times.
The wood’s natural beauty is seen if you select white oak floors with no stain.
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Does White Oak Need To Be Sealed?
White Oak requires a sealer if a natural liquid finish is applied. The sealant protects against tannin pull (yellows and some light white oak stain colors greens shifting to the surface of the wood).
As long as the sealer is applied, the appearance of a clear coat will be identical to that of wet wood.
Why Does White Oak Look Yellow?
The light brown to darker brown tones of White Oak experience a moderate amount of color shift with a faint ambering as time passes.
According to common belief, oil-based polyurethane, Watco, Tung oil, and other oil-based coatings cause white Oak to be yellow.
In many instances, exposure to sunshine also accelerates the process. However, there are subtle variances between brands concerning how they discolor wood.
What Color Does White Oak Age To?
They are incredibly durable but not immortal; your white Oak will gradually change color over time.
Please note that your white oak flooring will not mature to the point where they resemble a different species of wood. However, it will discolor sufficiently to mar the floor’s beauty.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) What stain is best on white Oak?
Lighter and grayer stains enhance white Oak. Both White Oak and Oak accept stains well. However, softer white and gray stains are currently fairly popular, and White Oak is more suited to these colors.
2) Is there a white oak stain?
On pine, a white oak stain can be applied. In reality, white wood stains work very well on pine and can be applied with a cloth, a brush, or a roller, depending on your inclination.
3) What is the natural color of white Oak?
Although it is known as white Oak, it is extremely rare to locate a specimen with white bark; the typical color is light grey.
4) What is the best stain color for oak floors?
Brown hues with medium tones would be a better choice. Rich crimson tones would not be appropriate for a modern, daring, sleek, contemporary design style.
Read More: How To Match Wall Color With Wood Floor?