Rift & Quartered White Oak
White oak flooring is characterized by a white, cream, or light brown color. As with all oak species, it features an open yet somewhat coarse grain, along with higher shock and wear resistance, and has a Janka scale rating of 1360. Unlike its red counterpart, white oak is slightly more durable and better for machining and additionally features a higher concentration of tannic acid, making it more resistant to fungi and insects.
For adding the product to your home, the hardwood is available in Select & Better, #1 Common, Character, #2 Common, and #3 Common grades. However, white oak is frequently given more than a plain sawn cut, and aside from the character attributes, a rift or quarter sawn cut further changes the appearance of the hardwood.
Visually, a plain sawn cut gives white oak a plumed appearance. Rift sawn, on the other hand, tends to have a tighter grain. Quarter sawn is more striking, with a tiger stripe or flake pattern.
Out of these three, plain sawn is the most common and, grading aside, has the lowest cost. All cuts made to the log are strictly parallel, while rift and quartered white oak tend to feature radial arrangements. Quarter sawn, on the other hand, has the growth rings at a 45 to 90 degree angle with the board's surface, while rift sawn's annual rings are positioned 30 to 60 degrees.
Appearance aside, the cut gives solid white oak an added benefit: how much the hardwood expands. Although solid hardwood should never be installed below grade, on top of radiant heat, or on a concrete subfloor, quarter sawn tends to have the least amount of warping, as it only expands vertically. Rift sawn, on the other hand, expands both vertically and horizontally. Plain sawn has the greatest movement and, therefore, the largest chance of warping.
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