Rift & Quarter Sawn White Oak Wide Plank Flooring
Produced from the Highest Quality Lumber
White oak’s characteristics and capabilities are legendary. This slow-growing, broadly spreading, majestic tree demands attention both for its physical stature and for the wood it produces. The inherent beauty imparted by the wood’s color and grain patterns have made it a long-time favorite for the interior finishing of houses, including flooring.
At Vermont Plank Flooring, we foster that beauty by milling visually dramatic quarter sawn and rift sawn white oak options in addition to plain sawn. And we’ll produce it to your specifications, for your project, and at an affordable price.
America’s official national tree has been harvested for millennia, first by the native tribes, who used the wood for awls, tools, and baskets, and then by the European settlers who landed on the shores of the new world.
They uncovered a hard, rot-resistant wood beneath those sturdy limbs that quickly found use for ship repair and shipbuilding (including the famed frigate, the USS Constitution), construction, and wine and whiskey barrels.
They also realized white oak expressed different aesthetic aspects depending on how it was milled.
While plain sawn white oak is milled parallel to the tree’s growth rings, quarter sawn is produced when a log is sawn perpendicular to the growth rings. Planks are cut that radiate out from the center of the log after it is quartered. The result is a straighter grain and striking, iridescent medullary rays known as flecking.
Rift sawn planks are also quarter sawn but are cut from the outer third of the log exclusively. They are noted for a contemporary feel derived from their very straight grain, with little to no flecking.
Does Rift Sawn or Quarter Sawn Affect Plank Size?
Because quarter sawn and rift sawn planks are cut from one-quarter of the log’s girth, they can only be produced from the largest and highest quality timber.
Rift sawn is even more limited; the wider the rift, the lower the desirable rift characteristics that will likely be exhibited. So, by their nature, rift boards are more limited in their width than quarter or plain sawn.
Despite those limitations, because Vermont Plank Flooring maintains relationships with owners of only the finest woodlots and harvests only fully mature white oaks, we are still able to produce quarter sawn and rift sawn planks up to 12 inches wide and 16 feet in length.
How Durable Is Quarter Sawn and Rift Sawn White Oak?
White oak maintains its relative durability regardless of whether it is milled flat, quarter, or rift sawn. It is among the hardest of hardwoods, ranking above cherry, birch, and ash on the Janka scale of hardness.
Additionally, white oak’s slow growth promotes a closed cellular structure, which provides a natural wear and water resistance.
And its propensity to accept most stains and finishes with open arms adds another layer of protection. As a bonus, quarter sawn and rift sawn have far greater dimensional stability that does flat sawn.
What Will It Look Like in My Home?
Oak is the most popular flooring choice in the United States for two reasons; beauty and versatility. White oak’s light brown hue and rich gray and gold tones are comfortable in any environment, from traditional to contemporary.
Its color is more uniform and its grain pattern less pronounced than its cousin red oak, so its presence is slightly less front and center.
If you’ve settled on white oak, selecting quarter sawn or rift sawn for your home over plain sawn white oak is akin to choosing a Monet over a Manet; it’s a matter of taste, but you are going to have a beautiful floor regardless.
With quarter sawn, the annual growth rings intersect the face of the board at a 60- to 90-degree angle, resulting in a fairly straight grain pattern and dramatic flecking.
In rift sawn, the annual growth rings typically lie at a 30- 60-degree angle on the face of the board, which produces a clean and subtle linear grain with no flecking. Both options are striking.
Add one of our popular finish options, such as English Chestnut or Farmhouse Grey, or work with our custom finish shop to create your own, and the result will be a dynamic floor that adds luxuriousness and value to your home.
Where in My Home Is White Oak Best Suited?
White oak’s hardness and durability makes it a great choice for the busiest location in your home, including the living room, family room, stairways, and hallways. And for rooms that might attract some water spills or wet boots, such as kitchens and entryways, white oak’s rot resistance can help ward off the impacts. For bathrooms, basements, and areas with more persistent moisture potential, moisture-resistant engineered flooring is the clear choice.
Tell Me More About Engineered Quarter and Rift Sawn White Oak
If your flooring will be laid below grade, on concrete, or in a location where wetness is likely to be a factor, our engineered wide plank flooring provides a stable, moisture-resistant option.
Do You Offer Quarter Sawn and Rift Sawn in Other Wood Species?
Yes. While white oak and red oak are the most popular options, we can also mill quarter sawn and rift sawn in walnut, cherry, ash, and sapele, a tropical African species. You’ll likely receive planks in varying widths with these options, however, whereas white and red oak can be milled at a consistent width of your choosing.