red oak specializing in quarter-sawn and rift-sawn red oak

All wood is custom cut and supplies might be limited

Found in Northeastern US and Southeastern Canada, red oak wood (Quercus rubra) is a hardwood used in the pre-colonial period but remains a prominent fixture in modern homes and architectural and industrial applications. Trivia: It was even mentioned in the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith!


Red Oak Appearance

Red oak has a distinctive appearance that is characterized by its reddish-brown color and prominent grain pattern. The grain is straight and porous, with rays that are visible when the wood is quarter-sawn. The pores are large and open, which can give the wood a slightly rough texture.

One of the unique features of red oak is its strong contrast between the light and dark areas of the grain. This creates a bold and eye-catching appearance, making it a popular choice for furniture and cabinetry. Red oak can be finished with a variety of stains and finishes to enhance its natural color and grain pattern, or to create a different look.

In addition to its reddish-brown color, red oak also has a light sapwood that contrasts with the heartwood. The sapwood is light yellow or white in color and is less durable than the heartwood, which is a darker reddish-brown color.

In conclusion, red oak's appearance makes it a popular choice for woodworkers who want to create projects with a bold, natural look. Its straight grain, contrasting light and dark areas, and visible rays all contribute to its distinctive and attractive appearance.


Red Oak Workability

Red oak responds well to machining and steam-bending. It also takes in nails and screws well but to avoid splitting, pre-boring is ideal. Galvanized nails are advised for use since red oak can react with iron which can lead to wood discoloration.


Avoid placing red oak wood in moist conditions where the wood has a tendency to move, especially the flatsawn boards.

Don’t keep in contact with water to prevent discoloration. Before staining or applying finishes, use pore fillers on the wood. Due to red oak’s porosity, it accepts preservative treatments relatively well and it’s easier to stain than white oak.

White Oak Wood Working

Red Oak Strength

Red oak wood has a Janka hardness of 1290 which falls in the medium-strength range for flooring options. This wood is susceptible to scratches and dents but with its pronounced grain pattern, scratches will not be noticeable.


It has medium bending strength of 14,380 lbf/in2 and a stiffness of 1,761,000 lbf/in2. It has a crushing strength that typically averages 6,780 lbf/in2.
Red oak wood is prone to decay and insects but can be treated with anti-rot and anti-pest application.

The heartwood of hickory is prone to decay and insect infestation but can be treated with preservatives.


Red Oak Applications

Abundant in number, red oak wood is popular in the US and a common choice for cabinets, doors, wall panels, furniture, interior trims, flooring, moldings, and veneers. It is also used for boxes, crates, caskets, railroad ties, and more.


Red oak is a valuable hardwood. It is incredibly workable, stains well, and can be easily sourced. Get a quote now!