Mahogany vs. Oak Flooring

Oak and mahogany are two most popular hardwood species.

Flooring made using these two kinds of wood is durable and beautiful. Both are suitable for residential properties, with each offering unique characteristics that make them sought-after flooring options. Keep reading to understand their characteristics and ensure you make the correct choice for your home.

Colour and Texture

Colour and Texture
Primarily available in deep red and reddish-brown hues, mahogany offers a formal and traditional appeal. Its graining is straight and closely spaced, providing a consistent appearance throughout the space. And with exposure to natural sunlight, the colours get richer as they darken.
Oak comes in an assortment of earthy tones such as brown and tan with faded undertones of light grey. It can also be stained to mimic the same colours as mahogany. The grain lines present in oak are typically black and offer a rustic appearance.

Hardness

Hardness
Mahogany offers superior durability, depending on the species. One of the widely preferred options is Santos mahogany which has a rating of 2,200 on the Janka hardness scale, making it one of the hardest mahoganies. However, being high on the Janka scale they are usually difficult to work with.
Oak is available in two varieties – red and white – that offer varying levels of hardness. Red oak has a hardness rating of 1,290 while white oak is rated 1,360. This more pliable material is easier to work with than mahogany flooring. However, the difference in hardness makes varieties of oak more likely to splinter and shatter.

Durability

Mahogany’s hardness means it’s more durable than oak, ensuring that this type of flooring can last more than a century when looked after well. It also resists scratches and dents.
Oak is also durable, and with proper maintenance can last up to 90 years. However, it isn’t resistant to bugs and its relative softness compared to mahogany makes it more prone to dents and splinters.

Stripes and Pores

Stripes and Pores
Mahogany planks typically have wavy striped grains that run their length and look distinct and uniform. This helps installers match planks to create a cohesive layout.
Both varieties of oak have open pores that add texture to flooring. The staining that deposits in these spaces appears more pronounced.

Cost

Mahogany cannot be found in a typical home improvement store. As an endangered species and exotic wood variety, it needs to be specially exported from lumberyards. This means you can only purchase mahogany from certified buyers, making it one of the most expensive types of hardwood flooring.
Oak isn’t endangered so is relatively cheaper. Almost 90% of the world’s oak is grown in the United States with North America offering the widest range of oak species on the planet. Being domestically available, there’s no need to pay extra to have it imported from a different country.

Oak and mahogany are different in terms of various characteristics such as hardness, texture and durability. This infographic by Amazon Hardwood Center compares mahogany and oak, so you can choose the better option for your home.

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