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Species >> Red Oak

Red Oak

Red Oak
Red Oak

Other Names:

Red Oak
Northern Red Oak
Gray oak
American red oak
Canadian red oak

Janka Hardness:

Red Oak
Red Oak is used as a base for the Janka comparison

Color Range:

Red Oak is graded according to the color variation and visible knot holes. Mineral streaks in the wood would cause a higher color variation but since we only use FAS grade lumber we have limited this score to the select grade Red Oak. In general, Red Oak is very consistent in coloring with the grain being slightly darker than the heartwood.

Region: Nearctic
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The Tree: Red Oak is one of the most common hardwoods in North America. The tree matures at about 70 feet in height and a trunk of 36'". The tree generally grown tall and straight with stout branches growing at right angles to the stem, forming a narrow round-topped head. It grows rapidly and is tolerant of many soils and varied situations, although it prefers the glacial drift and well-drained borders of streams. Red Oak is fast growing and trees may live up to 500 years. A 10-year-old tree will be 15-20 ft tall. Northern red oak is easy to recognize by its bark, which feature bark ridges that appear to have shiny stripes down the center. A few other oaks have bark with this kind of appearance in the upper tree, but the northern red oak is the only tree with the striping all the way down the trunk. Red Oak trees produce acorns and generally have five or nine-pointed leaves.

Principal Uses: Red Oak is typically used in furniture, cabinets, floors and accessories, shop jigs, utility projects, interior millwork, molding, mantles, chairs, trim and other construction related materials. Red Oak has been used for centuries in construction and it is not uncommon to find homes with the original Red Oak flooring that is over one hundred years old.

Appearance: Red Oak has straight grain with a coarse texture. It generally works and finishes well but timbers from the Northern growing region will be more consistent in color and have a finer texture. Red Oak has large open pores that produce a distinctive grain. In some particular boards, the wood grain is so open that smoke can be blown through it from end-grain to end-grain on a flatsawn board.

Properties: Red Oak stains well and has a very distinctive gran pattern that becomes apparent one a finish is applied to it. Different wood densities can change the amount of stain that the wood accepts and can thus change the stain color. Red Oak can be steam-bent with plastic presses.

Other Interesting Information: Red Oak contains tannins that react heavily with iron ferrite in iron, steel, and even blood that causes an ebonizing stain. When iron contacts Red Oak, black spots and blotches will form.

Quick Fact:All of our standard stain colors are offered on Red Oak, the most common stained flooring found in the marketplace.