Most people are not sure of the difference between red oak and white oak and many just think of them together as ‘oak hardwood’ but there is a distinct difference. White oak heartwood has a more tan or brown color often times with a slight olive coloring. White oak stains very well and is used by most hardwood flooring manufacturers for their stained hardwood products.
In terms of hardness, white oak is slightly harder than red oak. White oak is more commonly offered in Quarter or Rift Sawn (vertical grain cut) than red oak but is also available in plain sawn (flat or cathedral grain). Many people prefer the olive brown color of white oak over that of red oak especially for oak floors that will be finished natural.