Red Oak

Quartersawn Red Oak Lumber

Red oak exhibits a slightly less pronounced medullary ray or ray fleck than white oak. The supply of red oak is also good year-round.

Specifying Quartersawn Red Oak

One of the most important things to remember when specifying quartersawn lumber is that there are limitations to the width of the boards that you can specify. Because the log is quartered before boards are cut from it, quartered boards are narrower, given the same size tree.

The following are basic guidelines to follow when specifying quartersawn red oak lumber and flooring:

  • The medullary or “ray fleck” in quartered red oak, while more subtle than that of white oak, becomes more pronounced when the wood is finished.
  • Its straight grain will restrict its shrinkage to the thickness of the board as opposed to width. This also minimizes warping and cupping, making it an ideal flooring and furniture product.
  • Quartersawn red oak flooring and lumber is separated by visual characteristics into either “quartered” which exhibits flake in 80% of the board, and “rift,” which are the boards that show less than 80% flake. “Rift” is simply less figured “quartered,” while maintaining the same straight grain appearance as quartered.
  • Quartered and rift red oak are used in flooring, cabinetry, millwork or furniture, but rift is used where a more subtle appearance is desired.

Red oak is more porous than white oak, therefore lending itself to staining more easily. Lengths are typically between 4 ft and 12 ft (depending on grade), and widths are between 4 in. and 8 in. on average.

If you have questions, contact one of our expert sales consultants.