Rift and Quartersawn White Oak: It’s a Grain Thing
White oak is a very unique wood since its grain lends itself to a variety of different looks, depending on how it is sawn.
Normally, a log is “plain sawn,” that is, it is first cut into a rough square by taking off four sections of the outer bark and sapwood and then sawn with a series of parallel cuts — as if a loaf of bread were cut lengthwise to yield long slices. Grain-wise, this typically gives a floor a little bit of everything: straight lines as well as a variety of swirls and “cathedral patterns” — several swirls inside one another. This is the way most floors are cut.
Quartersawn and rift-sawn cuts generally only apply to oak and a few other hardwoods. They are made by first cutting the log into four pie-shaped wedges and then making a series of cuts that are more or less perpendicular to the tree rings, which produces straighter grain. Without getting too technical, let’s just say that quarter sawn White Oak produces more “rays” or “flecks” in the grain pattern, which is the hallmark look of mission furniture/cabinetry. Rift-sawn, on the other hand, produces few flecks but rather an amazingly straight grain pattern that has a beauty all its own radiating elegance and traditional beauty.
Both of these grain patterns produce extremely stable boards. Various stains can then be used to further enhance the grain or make it more subtle as seen in these two Long Island NY projects.
Notice how the wide boards and long lengths in these two Rift & Quartersawn White Oak hardwood floors minimize the number of butt joints and seams elevating the luxurious feel of the home. In fact, a Carlisle wide plank floor can reduce the number of seams by 80% compared to a standard wood floor.
Still not what you are looking for? Call us and talk with our experienced specialists. They have the expertise to customize this much sought after hardwood in more ways than we can count.