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What are the Differences Between European Oak and American Oak Floors? The 5 Key Differences

Clients choosing solid oak hardwood flooring are often intrigued as to the difference between French Oak and American Oak Flooring. What are the differences between French Oak and American Oak Floors? So here are the 5 Key Differences:

1. Species and origin – French Oak (Quercus Robur) is a temperate hardwood native to most of Europe and is, in fact, the same species as English Oak. American Oak (Quercus Alba) is also a temperate hardwood predominantly found in Eastern North America. Both species are classed as “white” oaks and have been known to live for several hundred years. We source our French Oak from sustainably managed forests in France

2. Color tone – Although both oaks are similar in tone, French Oak generally tends to be a little darker than American Oak. French Oak is a warm golden, honey color whereas American Oak is subtly lighter with pinkish tones.

3. Variation in tone – As timber is a natural product the tone varies from board to board (this is the beauty of a natural solid oak floor). On the whole French Oak has a more even color tone from board to board than American Oak which can show greater differences between light and dark shades.

4. Grain pattern – French Oak tends to have a distinctive, wavy grain pattern with scatterings of pip and burr. American Oak tends to have a straighter, subtle grain pattern.

5. Fuming – Fuming is a chemical process in which we darken the lumber by applying ammonia, as a gas, in a sealed chamber. French Oak fumes very well, giving a lovely rich, dark, almost walnut color. We can fume American Oak but the results are less consistent.

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