Color: Heartwood and sapwood are similar, with sapwood lighter in color; most pieces have a reddish tone. Slightly redder than white oak.
Grain: Open, slightly coarser (more porous) than white oak. Plainsawn boards have a plumed or flared grain appearance; riftsawn has a tighter grain pattern, low figuring; quartersawn has a flake pattern, sometimes called tiger rays or butterflies.
Variations: Over 200 subspecies in North America; great variation in color and grain, depending on the origin of the wood and differences in growing seasons. Northern, Southern and Appalachian red oak can all be divided into upland and lowland species.
Sawing/Machining: Above average in all machining operations.
Sanding: Sands satisfactorily if the correct sanding sequence is followed.
Nailing: No known problems.
Finishing: Stains well & demonstrates strong stain contrast. Red oak generally works better than white for bleached floors because it is more porous, and because tannins in white oak can discolor the floor.
Comments Origin: North America
Hardness/Janka: 1290 Northern (benchmark). Southern: 1060; 18% softer than Northern red oak.
Dimensional Stability: Northern: average (8.6). Southern: below average (11.3; 31% less stable than Northern red oak.
Availability: Easily available.