White oak, along with its sibling red oak, are the most popular species for hardwood flooring in North America. White oak’s reputation, though, begins in forests and fields throughout the eastern third of the United States where the tree is highly esteemed for its beauty and stately eminence.
Officially deemed America’s national tree, as well as the state tree of Maryland, Illinois, and Connecticut, the white oak wears its honor well. It grows straight and tall within the forest canopy, and when out in the open, it spreads its limbs broadly, sometimes producing a crown that is wider than the tree is tall. When harvested, white oak becomes a beautiful, durable, and stable flooring material.
At Vermont Plank Flooring, we harvest white oak trees from sustainably managed woodlots and mill them into wide-board planks specifically for your project. The result is a floor of unparalleled quality and splendor.
Akin to a giant tortoise, white oak is a slow-growing and long-lived species—specimens have been documented at over 400 years old. It even takes its sweet time reproducing. Acorns are not produced in large quantities until the tree reaches at least 50. And those same acorns can spend an equal number of years resting dormant beneath fallen leaves on the forest floor, waiting patiently for sunlight to hit them. Unless a squirrel gets there first.
We’re equally patient at Vermont Plank Flooring where we persistently seek out only the healthiest fully mature white oaks. The result is boards up to fifteen inches in width, and up to fourteen feet long. You’d be hard-pressed to find similar dimensions elsewhere. Wide planks provide a spaciousness that will transform a room. And because white oak is highly stable dimensionally, the seams between those wide boards remain tight.
White oak is one of the more durable domestic hardwoods available. On the Janka scale, which measures the relative hardness of woods, white oak is rated behind only hickory and maple. But durability is more than just hardness. White oak accepts finishes and stains quite well, which further protect it. And its tight, patterned grain hides wear and tear without appearing worn, making it ideal for high-traffic areas.
At Vermont Plank Flooring, we mill our white oak wide plank flooring for a variety of customer preferences. You can choose from three different styles of white oak boards, plain/flat sawn (on which we’ll focus here), and rift sawn and quarter sawn.
White oak’s durability makes it ideally suited for high-traffic areas, including living rooms, family rooms, stairways, and hallways. Its rot resistance also makes it a great candidate for rooms that might attract occasional water or moisture, such as spills in a kitchen, or wet boots in the mud room (also known as foyers outside of Vermont). For bathrooms, basements, and areas with more severe moisture potential, we recommend our moisture-resistant engineered flooring.
If your flooring will be laid on concrete, below grade, or in a location where more than occasional moisture is likely, our engineered wide plank flooring is your answer.
Vermont Plank Flooring can supply your custom-milled White Oak floor unfinished, to be finished onsite after installation - or we can prefinish it for you.