The American Classics: A Comparison of Circle Sawn Antique, White and Red Oak Flooring
Oak is one of the most popular wood species for flooring, and it’s no wonder. Oak is beautiful and strong – not to mention durable. Oak floors can last for a century or more with the proper maintenance. Generations of homeowners have enjoyed virgin oak flooring, but now there’s a new kid on the block: reclaimed oak flooring.
Reclaimed oak flooring is culled from older buildings and other applications, and then refinished. Nail marks, finishing textures and other clues to reclaimed oak flooring’s past are often left in place, since many consumers like to see these visual reminders of where their flooring came from. Beyond the rich, warm look of this reclaimed flooring, many consumers love the fact that it’s reused. “Recycling” wood floors in this way helps minimize deforestation by repurposing wood that would otherwise go to waste.
In case your head isn’t swimming enough with oak flooring options, we’ll throw a couple other choices out there: Circle sawn antique oak flooring, red oak flooring and white oak flooring are also available. This article aims to describe each of these oak flooring varieties, particularly in their reclaimed form. We’ll discuss where each of these three types of oak flooring is typically salvaged from, and we’ll also provide suggestions on where to best incorporate each type of flooring in a home or restaurant. Read on to learn more about reclaimed oak flooring varieties.
Circle Sawn Antique Oak Flooring
Circle Sawn Antique Oak Flooring is inspired by of old American barns, which used to be protected with oak siding. Today, reclaimed flooring manufacturers source circle sawn antique flooring through dismantling barns and buildings as well as diverting hardwood shipping crates that carry heavy cargoes throughout the U.S.
These heavy cargo containers would be wasted, save for reclaimed oak flooring specialists who begin by using a microbevel to precision mill the wood. Next, a brushing process creates the eye-catching circle sawn texture consumers find so charming. Circle saw marks, nail holes and patinas may be left in place throughout this process.
With a Janka scale hardness of 1290-1360, circle sawn antique oak flooring is perfect for high-traffic areas in restaurants and homes. Its rich chocolate-brown hues and fascinating texture add interest to any space.
Red Oak Flooring
Like circle sawn oak flooring, red oak flooring is most commonly sourced from shipping crates. Before the reclaiming experts arrived on the scene, these oak crates were either thrown away or burned. Today, it’s possible to salvage and repurpose the high-quality parts of the shipping containers as reclaimed oak flooring.
Although circle sawn and red oak flooring are both sourced from shipping containers, they look different in application. Red oak has a warm brown tone with reddish-pink accents. If it is reclaimed, it may also display occasional checks and nail marks. Red oak flooring usually has a smoother texture than circle sawn.
Red oak flooring is also durable enough for high-traffic zones, since it scores a 1290 on the Janka hardness scale. It really stands out in naturally lit areas, where its unique red undertones can shine through. Over time, red oak flooring often mellows to more of an amber tone.
White Oak Flooring
White oak flooring is also salvaged from shipping containers, but its color is slightly different than red oak. White oak boasts a light brown color with darker heartwood and graphite knots. It is also slightly harder than red oak, at 1360 on the Janka scale – perfect for spaces that see plenty of foot traffic. A smooth surface distinguishes white oak flooring from circle sawn oak.
All of these flooring types are “American classics” in that they have been known to make great floors for hundreds of years. Yet you can enjoy a classic wood floor look with a modern twist on sustainability by choosing reclaimed oak flooring. While daydreaming about where to feature reclaimed oak flooring in your business or home, consider that (like all natural woods) oak will shrink and expand with ambient moisture levels. Moreover, wood flooring can easily be damaged by water, so it’s best to place it in living rooms, dining rooms and other spaces that won’t see a lot of moisture. It would be unwise to place reclaimed oak flooring in a basement or bathroom, where it would be highly likely to be harmed by water.