Red Oak is one of the most popular woods in the US. You will find it in many homes either via floors, trim or furniture. It is the go to wood for many woodworkers as it is moderately priced and domestically grown.
Red Oak Characteristics: Either hand or machine tools will produce desired results. Note Oak is not dimensional stable and can have medium high shrinkage. Like many hardwoods, Oak can react with iron causing staining and discoloration. Glues, stains, and finishes well.
Red Oak uses: Cabinetry, furniture, interior trim, flooring, and veneer.
Red Oak Color: Light to medium brown heartwood. It will have a slight reddish cast. Sapwood (white to light brown) is not always sharply demarcated from the heartwood. Quartersawn red oak will display ray fleck patterns. White Oak tends to be slightly more olive-colored.
Red Oak Hardness: It has a Janka or hardness of 1120lbs.
Red Oak Durability: Not very durable with poor insect resistance. Will stain in contact with water. Not for used in
outdoor applications unless protected.
Red Oak Sustainability: It is not listed in CITES and is abundant.
White Oak vs Red Oak
- White oak more resistant to rot than red and can more readily be used outdoors.
- Red oak should be used interior applications.
- White oak tends to be more dense than red oak
- White oak tends to be more expensive than red