American Oak VS European Oak: 5 Important Differences 2021

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american oak vs european oak - hardwood area

European Oak and its differences with American Oak

European oak is the most well-liked flooring option in the United States. It is sufficiently available, long-lasting, and simple to work with. It is also pretty common among constructors as lumber. American Oak is divided into 2 main sections: White Oak and Red Oak. Both are so popular hardwood flooring options in the US. Both of them are very strong and permanent, take paint beautifully, and are comparatively simple to work with, it means that their oil content doesn’t normally prevent finishing this wood and they do great with various finishing techniques such as poly or oiled.

White Oak hardwood is a bit thicker and more solid than Red Oak with a Janka rate of 1360 and Red Oak with a Janka rate of 1290.
Both Red oak and White oak trees grow in many areas across the United States and South-central of Canada. You can discover both trees from Texas and Louisiana to the north like Nova Scotia and Maine and to the west like Minnesota and so many states in between.
These are old-growth trees and will be as old-aged as a couple of 100 years. When placed as floors, Red and White Oak hardwood can remain for more than a lifetime.

White Oak and Red Oak vary in color paint and texture. White oak hardwood has a stronger texture pattern and is a little bit darker than red oak. While white oak hardwood can have some reddish shades, its tones are more brown or grayish. Red Oak texture is a little bit more noticeable, wide, and less linear than white oak hardwood. Red Oak does have brown shades but its most well-known color is pinkish and red.
Now that we have reviewed the distinction between the American Oak sections, let’s see another Oak that has been popular recently, The European Oak.

An introduction to European oak

It is definitely beautiful hardwood introduced from different countries in Europe. The most regularly used European Oaks come from countries like France, Germany, and England. You will usually hear replaceable expressions for European oak for, example, French Oak or English Oak.
European Oak has an equal Janka rate of 1360 like American White Oak.

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How to Finish

European Oak woods are finished utilizing an Oil which is consumed into the wood itself. You should not confuse this with an Oil Based Poly. Speaking from a Technical point of view, an oil-based or water-based polyurethane is a URETHANE coating.american oak vs european oak - hardwood area

The oil that is used for European Finished floors is stuck deep into the wood and block by filling the holes of the hardwood. When the oil comes in touch with the hardwood, the seal is more or less instant. An oil surface has a more uniform look than finishing with an oil or water polyurethane. An oil finish enters the wood as objected to remaining on top of the hardwood.

The texture is felt and you can walk and utilize the original hardwood. Implement a water or oil poly, on the other hand, does not receive into the wood but rather works as a protecting sealant. When utilizing the flooring with an oil or water-based polyurethane, you are stepping on the finish instead of the hardwood itself.

Oil-based or water-based poly finishes, which are the most common finishing ways in America, will not absorb into the wood in an equal way as an oil finish. It is implemented using various layers to maintain the floor to build a barrier-like facade.

Oil finishes are growing much more in popularity in the United States and many companies are building wonderful products to finish your flooring.
You are able to finish an American Oak floor utilizing oil. An experienced finisher should be obtained in doing this. The applying way is diverse than applying a urethane (does not matter if it’s oil or water) base finish.
Like anything else, there are advantages and disadvantages to think about when deciding between an oil finish vs. a urethane one.


European Oak is recognized and asked for its longer lengths and broader widths. Because of how the tree grows, the sapwood of European Oak is more extensive and more solid than its heartwood in contrary to American Oaks. The sapwood of the tree is more apparent with fewer flaws than the heartwood of a tree. The heartwood of the tree is the area where you will notice knots, darker wood, and wormholes. Since the sapwood is more solid in European Oak, you will notice more obvious and more select parts in a wider width.

Plus, the process the hardwood is milled is pretty different than how the American Oak is milled. Numerous American mills have become interested in the way European Oaks are milled and they have begun milling the hardwood in the same way.

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European Oak hardwood is Live-Sawn. Live-sawn is the time when the length of the tree is ripped directly through from the face to the back. The attraction of live sawn wood is that all the various cuts of wooden flooring are combined into this special kind of cut. This provides the floors an elegant appearance with the natural texture showing through from the whole log. This cut of flooring produces a very durable hardwood floor.
American Oak is normally formed utilizing 3 main sawing ways, rift, plain, or quartered.

The main differences between European Oak and American Oak?

Apart from its terrestrial contrast, which automatically makes the hardwood seem different, the color shade, tones, and texture are various from American Oaks. European Oak hardwoods will have a smoother and more curved texture pattern than American oaks which have quite a clear texture.

Oak is an especially most-wanted kind of wood that has been used in most of the installations, flooring, and furniture designs for so many years. If you want to buy flooring that will remain for more than a life, it’s important to recognize which oak completely satisfies your lifestyle and design purposes.american oak vs european oak - hardwood area

Both European oak and American oak floors are generally employed in interior designs. Because of this, architects and designers who define wood flooring, surfaces, or cabinetry on plans are personally familiar with oak.
When investigating opportunities for a new hardwood floor that is long-lasting, simple to work with, and of course has a stunning look, you will require to choose between American oaks and European oaks.

Each of them has different features that set them apart and still have an influence on how an area of flooring seems in a freshly renovated place. Keep reading to find out the main differentiation between 2 royal oak species.

Color shades:

Although both of these woods come from an equal kind of tree, European oak usually presents a darker color with a typically strong and warm golden-brown color. Naturally, American oak has a pinkish shade with some brown hues to it.
The decision between the 2 will be based on the wanted beauty you are looking to obtain.

Sorts and source:

European oak is a local wood of many European countries, most regularly from durably controlled forests in France, Germany, and England.
American oak is a kind of hardwood that’s mostly located in Eastern North America. Both kinds are supposed ‘white’ oaks, although American oak also appears in ‘red’ oak.

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Planks’ Power and movement

European oak is rated strong, heavy, and tough amongst qualified floor panels, this means that it is less expected to develop and contract to a remarkable range when mixed with a tough, engineered center contrary to its American equivalent.
This ensures insignificant types of action, cuts, and breaks once the floor is fixed.

Because of this toughness and endurance, it makes European oak a better option for flooring, which is completely suited for places where there is expected to be more mist, such as bathrooms or kitchens hardwood flooring.

Planks’ Measurements

Since the tree becomes taller and the sapwood is more extensive and thicker than its heartwood as opposed to the normal American oak kinds, European oak is usually utilized for its more extended length and wider floorboards.
If you want rich beauty in a big room, you may need to pick out long and broader boards to obtain the most suitable structural settings.

american oak vs european oak - hardwood area


American oak wood floor is recognized for its clean, smooth look and more accurate, detailed texture patterns.
Because of this reason, the planks work especially great if you want to build a uniform appearance with no extra character.
European one presents a unique variety that provides to its uniqueness and beauty, showcasing different wavy texture patterns and a sample of unusual ribbon-shaped marks over the texture identified as ‘medullary rays’.


Both oak floors have unique characteristics that make them exceptional in their own position. Actually, an oak tree will remain for 100 years, standing strongly against everything the environment throws at it.
While both can forever be an excellent choice for flooring, European oak planks suggest an additional charm and uniqueness that is expected to remain more than a lifetime.

Its toughness, endurance, color, and texture pattern make it much more popular. And at the end, the sort of hardwood flooring you pick will be based on individual taste, design type, and plan goals. You can also read our other articles on our blog.

Hardwood Area provides services and flooring installation in Thousand Oaks, Malibu, Calabasas, Camarillo, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Oxnard, and Ventura in a professional and quality manner.
Hardwood Area is located at The Oaks Mall, 2nd Floor, 474 West Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA, 91360, United States
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further information or free consultation (+1 805-338-6952)

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