Top 12 Hardwood Trends for 2016: (#10)
Shift Towards White Oak (rather than red oak)
Oak accounts for approximately 80% of hardwood flooring in the US. While red oak comprises the majority of this wood (as red oak is more abundant than white oak), more and more consumers are preferring the smoother graining and more contemporary look of white oak. The linear mineral streaks add to this more modern look compared to the strong graining of traditional red oak.
For a higher end look (and more expensive), some are even choosing rifted white oak (this is a special cut that is more smoother and more linear (and has less expansion/contraction). On the flip side, some are choosing character grade white oak for a more vintage look.
Importantly, white oak tends to work best with some of the latest stain color trends (dark, gray and white). White oak is a bit darker, so it helps give a darker color with ebony, espresso and jacobean; white oak works better with grays and white washes (red oak tends to have underlying pink tones) and it looks more modern with a clean water borne poly (such as Bona Traffic). White oak is also more impervious to water than red oak.