Is My Floor Oak Or Pine? – What’s The Difference?

is my floor oak or pine

There are different types of wood floors and they all have their different features. However, oak and pine are some of the most common floors, and it’s not surprising why most homeowners sought after them.

If you have any of this type of floor in your home, you may want to know if your floor is oak or pine. Although they are both wood floors, they have quite a number of distinguishing features that set them apart and that’s what will be discussed in this article.

Differences Between Oak And Pine Floors

There are a couple of differences and similarities between oak and pine floors, understanding these differences and similarities will enable you to make the right decision between the two floors



There are over 600 different wood species that fall under the ‘oak’ umbrella. Two of the most popular ones include European Oak (Quercus robur) and American White Oak (Quercus alba).

Oak is one of the oldest, most popularly-used timber species and the reason isn’t far-fetched. They have a timeless and beautiful appeal, they are classy, stylish, and versatile timber for any home.

Oak has a gorgeous color hue that ranges from light-to-tan-brown through to golden-medium brown. Oak Species are usually characterized by a straight grain and a medium-coarse texture.


There are at least 126 different species of pine throughout the world and with so many different species come different shades and colors. Pine tree timber tends to have light color shades which make it more accepting of finishes, and allows it to be customized to fit a certain style or color scheme.

Pine species are characterized by a reddish-yellow heartwood with yellow-white sapwood, this darkens to a reddish-brown over time. They usually have a striped or wavy grain, with a texture that varies from specie to specie ranging from fairly rough to fine.

Pine is a softwood as it is a coniferous tree. A common example of a pine species is Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris), which is a tree native to central, eastern, and northern Europe. Pine and oak are both native to the UK.

Qualities & Properties

The way Hardwoods and softwoods reproduce and grow is very different. Their covering and system for taking up water both differs between Hardwood and softwood trees and this give their wood a different structure.

Although this is not always the case hardwoods tend to have greater strength, hardness, and durability compared to their softwood counterparts. Pine species are softwood while oak species are hardwoods.

Due to the fact that it takes oak trees well over one hundred years to grow and they live for more than 300 years, this makes their timbers way stronger, heavier, and denser than that of pine trees. This makes Oak much less prone to scratching or denting.

However, Pine is a softwood that is very lightweight due to their short growing time and is softer due to their overall less robustness.


It shouldn’t come as any surprise that oak commands a higher price compared to pine. They have greater strength and higher durability and they also have a slower growth rate. The price of A standard oak home furniture project can come in at over twice the price of a pine equivalent.

Patterns and Colors

Oak has different grain figures that range from tight and closely spaced lines to broad and curly flame patterns. Assembling oak flooring planks randomly evokes texture and depth. Pine on the other hand has fewer distinct grain patterns compared to oak.

It has broad areas that are streaked with swaths of brown, pine also lacks the consistency of oak.

Pine usually has a knot but it depends on the grade, while oak has only a few knots if any; color variations on oak are also fewer and less distinct on oak than pine. 

If finished naturally without stain The hues of Oak ranges from light brown to gray to pinkish while a naturally finished Pine is usually amber in color. If you like consistency and uniformity then Oak is the better choice, but if you are more into random patterns then pine is for you.

Common Uses

Due to its beauty and strength, oak is more sought after for projects that are meant to last a long time with a lot of use, including designer projects. Here are Some common uses for oak:

  • Furniture
  • Flooring
  • Decking
  • Cladding
  • Doors
  • Skirting and architrave
  • Oak-framed outbuilding structures like garages, pergolas, and porches

Although Pine is more prone to damage, it can be still be used for many projects but for those with a shorter life expectancy and less use, like a child’s bedroom furniture, or a piece of furniture that is more for decor than for use. Here are the most popular uses for pine:

  • Children’s furniture
  • Furniture but those built for short-term use or painting like desks, tables, beds, chairs and more.

Dents and Dings

Because Pine is softer than oak they acquire dents and scuffs more easily. But that doesn’t make pine any less desirable than oak. The natural accumulation of dents, dings, or small holes on pine gives it a distressed look. 

Distressed wood tends to be greatly sought after by some homeowners, and designers even go to great lengths to achieve a distressed wood look by beating wood with chains or other small tools.

If the softness of pine is giving you a cause for concern you can wait a few years because with time Pine fibers compress and yield a harder and more dense surface, especially in areas that receive high traffic. 

Even though Pine changes its character as it ages it tends to also last as long as oak. In fact, some pine floors that were installed over 300 years ago are still intact and fully functional, yet reflect the naturally distressed look that most contemporary home designers are beginning to imitate.


Finding out is my floor oak or pine” – what’s the difference will enable you to make the right decision when you are planning to install any of the wood floors. 

Oak and pine floors may have a couple of differences but they make a fine addition to any room. The best type of wood floor totally depends on your personal preference and needs.

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