White Oak VS. Red Oak Differences
By Jim Hill June 1, 2017
If you are searching for "white oak vs. red oak" while trying to find out the difference between each type this post should help!
This post will examine some of the differences in the properties of these Oak species, and the common uses of both Oak types.
On This Page:
- Unstained White Oak VS. Red Oak
- White Oak VS. Red Oak Endgrain
- Red Oak Differences & Applications
- White Oak Differences & Applications
- White Oak VS Red Oak Staining and Finishing
Unstained White Oak VS. Red Oak
The pictures above show the typical coloring of unfinished Red and White Oak. Color variations between the growing regions can be significant in both Red and White Oaks. When used for furniture applications color sorting and color matching are necessary.
White Oak VS. Red Oak Endgrain
The above endgrin pictures show the pores that extend through the wood. In Red Oaks these pores are open while in White Oaks these pores are filled, contributing to the White Oaks moisture resistance. As a visible demonstration a short length of Red Oak can be stood in a can of water and bubbles can be blown through the wood sample. This cannot be done with White Oak.
Red Oak Differences & Applications (Furniture, Flooring, Cabinets etc)
The usual purposes for red oak are often quite different than those for white oak. Red oak is well suited for furniture, flooring, cabinets, cabinet doors and paneling, and is available at most home centers.
Red oak is porous and has open grains. It’s more prone to shrink than white oak. Compared to birch or maple, red oak finishes and stains easily and doesn’t have blotching problems. Because the open pores in red oak absorb stain, the grain patterns become very evident when a dark stain is used as a finish.
White Oak Differences & Applications (Boats, Outdoor Furniture, Barrels etc)
White Oak is particularly suited for use in the boat industry. Because of its resistance to moisture, white oak is also widely used to construct outdoor furniture, whisky barrels, and cargo truck flooring.
White oak is fairly straight-grained and is a favorite material that is usually available quarter sawn. The grain in quarter sawn white oak has a striking ray flake pattern.
The coloring in white oak is varied. Separate boards of white oak lumber may be dark brown, light brown, or brown with yellow tones. Stain and wood sealer tend to enhance the appearance of white oak.
A closed-grain hardwood, white oak is almost impervious to water. The pores of the heartwood of white oaks are typically plugged with tyloses, which is a membranous growth. The USS Constitution (Old Ironsides), launched in 1797, was built of White Oak.
White Oak VS Red Oak Staining and Finishing
Red Oak, being a porous wood tends to take stain evenly without blotching. White Oak being closed grained tends to be more challenging to stain evenly.
Northern Red Oak, especially Glacial Northern Red Oak, is a very uniform "Wheat color" and will stain evenly without significant color variation. Southern and Appalachian Red Oaks will have much more color variation than northern grown red oaks.
White Oak colors tend to range from light brown through dark brown and even into the dark yellows. Most applications that use White Oaks are less critical of color variations that applications using Red Oaks, as the whiskey barrel and cargo-truck flooring applications don't consider color inconsistency to be objectionable.
We've Been Manufacturing Unfinished Custom Cabinet Doors Since 1980.
We are not one of the dozens of websites that simply take your order for kitchen cabinet doors and place it with a manufacturer... WE ARE THE MANUFACTURER, and we supply replacement cabinet doors to several national hardware chains, dozens of home builders, and hundreds of Custom Cabinet Makers nationwide.
We offer the Industry-Leading Soft Closing hinge from Blum. This is it! Click here...For more about our Hinges.
Just finished hanging my new Shaker Doors and I had to let you know that you have done an excellent job. Really, really beautiful work. Kirk A.
I could not be more impressed with the cabinet doors I just received. My only regret is that it took me so long to pull the trigger and place the order. Charles J.
You made some replacement doors for a rental I own. Problem is...the doors I didn't replace look awful. Seriously, you make a very high quality cabinet door and I guess I'll be ordering the rest of the kitchen soon. Kay B.
I wish I would have found you years ago. I flip houses and usually remodel the kitchens, so I have some experience with cabinet doors. Yours are the best I've ever used. The sizes are right-on and the sanding was perfect. Todd J.
Your Youtube videos are outstanding. You made measuring and hanging my new doors a snap. Thank you. Jen A.
I ordered new cabinet doors for my upper cabinets in my kitchen. They needed to match the bottom doors. Thanks to your very knowledgeable staff, I got perfect doors--the grain matched, the trim matched, and the hardware is outstanding. I am delighted and would recommend this company without reservation. Thank you for an outstanding product. Madge S.
My order of cabinet doors was delivered today, and I could not be more pleased. They are BEAUTIFUL. Thank you so much for making a great product.Stacy K.
I'm a home re-modeling handyman and I just finished a kitchen remodel using your Shaker Doors. This was my first order from you and the sizes and overall quality are much better than my prior supplier. You helped my make my customer very happy.Mike B.
This was my 4th kitchen re-model with your cabinet doors and, just like before, the doors were perfect. The workmanship is top notch and the sanding was exceptional. My 5th kitchen job is scheduled for August and I'll be ordering from you again. You make a great door.Kent's Kitchens
We ordered replacement doors for our 60-year-old home and were very pleased with the product. The milling was of the highest quality. The joinery was very well done, and the wood selection was obviously done by a professional who cares what the finished product looks like. It is one thing to assemble a project with technical skill, and another thing entirely to accomplish the assembly with an eye toward bringing the best out of the wood being used. Both aspects were accomplished, and at a very high level! The dimensions were absolutely perfect. Each door was correctly dimensioned to within less than 1/16 of an inch. It was very pleasing to see this attention to detail, especially since I took the time to measure my cabinets twice, making sure I had done my part. I had never worked with white birch before, and when I saw the issues with staining the wood (soft grain with blotchy absorption of the stain) I was a bit worried. I had no problems at all because the wood was of a higher quality white birch that had been properly handled at the mill and sanded to a stain-ready finish. A good sanding sealer was applied, and then the stain. The results were EXCELLENT! All-in-all, we received a great product, great advice and excellent customer service from CabinetDoors.com. We would certainly recommend them to anyone looking for cabinet doors. Nice job, everyone! Michael R.
The doors arrived today and fit perfectly. Thank you very much. I will be ordering the remaining 18 doors and 6 drawer fronts in the next couple of months. Walter W.
I remodel kitchens for a living and I can only say...I wish I had found you sooner. These are the overall BEST cabinet Doors I have ever installed. Excellent quality and workmanship. Jake A.
Your cabinet doors are much higher quality than the doors that were installed by our home builder. There is really no comparison, you make a GREAT product. Al N.
The contractor remodeling our kitchen was so impressed with the doors we ordered from your website that he is going to use your doors for all his future jobs. Marcia N.
Your cabinet doors, and the finishing tips in your blog, made my kitchen remodel look GREAT. I recommend your doors to everyone. Kay H.
Hi, I have received my 1 door, and I feel like I received the same quality service and product as if it were 50 doors. I am very pleased with a beautiful door delivered as promised. Thanks, David H.
Although I haven't bought the cabinet doors for my kitchen remodeling project yet, I will be making my purchase from cabinetdoors.com. Your site, and especially your Blog, has more useful information than I've found anywhere else on the internet. The information you provide is exceptional and you have helped to give me the confidence to take-on this project. Nancie D.
We took your advice and ordered the smallest door in our kitchen to see your quality...which is absolutely great...Now we are ordering the rest of the kitchen and bath doors. Don & Barb B.
These cabinet doors are PERFECT! Super high quality and right-on size. Harry D.
So glad we remodeled our kitchen with your doors, instead of doors from the hardware chain. You saved us over 35%. The doors arrived in 12 days, (including 4 Fedex shipping days). The hardware chain quoted 28 days, and your quality is far better than their samples. Mark H.
These doors are EXCELLENT! In quality and workmanship and value. Very glad we found you. James L.
A friend put me onto your website and I can't thank her enough. You make an excellent product and I'm completely happy with everything about my purchase. Paula B.
I am very satisfied with these doors. The quality is GREAT!. Alex D.
Very nice cabinet doors, the color matching and the sizes are right-on. Paul L.
Your customer service is fantastic. Somehow you spotted an error I made on my order (I reversed width and height on one door) and called me to ask if the size was correct. Your attention to detail prevented me from ordering one of my doors wrong. Thank you so much. Bryan E.
Fedex or UPS Shipping time from our factory to you.
Our production time is 7-10 business days. Just add shipping to your state for your expected delivery date.
We only ship within the U.S.