European vs American Oak

european oak vs american oak

Not all oaks are the same.

Obviously, not all oaks are the same. I’m writing up this post because The Extendable Collection we started using European oak instead of American oak that we always use. Thus this is a topic that I want to educate myself anyways. Therefore I thought why not just share and do a quick sum-up of what I founded. Sourced from Forté Flooring

To the untrained eye, European and American Oak may appear very similar, but both of these species have distinct characteristics that set them apart from each other, such as natural colour, tone variation, plank length, and distinctive grain patterns.

Species and origin: 

European Oak (Quercus Robur) is native to Europe. It is a temperate wood that grows taller than the average American oak species and is often used for speciality longer length planks. American Oak (Quercus Alba) is predominantly found in the eastern parts of North America and tend to grow shorter and thicker. Both species are known as 'White' Oaks and are durable and strong, with a longstanding reputation of longevity.


European Oak is darker with a naturally rich golden honey hue, while American Oak is lighter and more yellow with the occasional pinkish hue. (but still not the same as red oak)

Colour variation:

European Oak has a more even colour tone from board to board than American Oak, which can show greater contrasts between lighter and darker shades, especially in the grain pattern.

Grain pattern:

European Oak tends to have a more wavy and attractive grain pattern, while American Oak tends to have a large and predominantly straight grain pattern.


European Oak has a higher tannin content and less sapwood, which enables it to absorb stains much more consistently than American Oak. As well as this it reacts very well when subjected to reactive stains, fuming and ageing processes.