White Oak. Quercus Alba.
- White Oak floors have excellent impact resistance. White Oak is a 1360 on the Janka hardness scale, making it among the hardest of all the North American hardwoods.
- Oak is more open to receiving stains and finishes than many other woods. Because Oak pores absorb stain so well, a wide variety of finish tones from light to dark can be achieved.
- Quarter and rift sawn White Oak was the signature wood used in the Mission style popularized by Gustav Stickley as part of the Arts and Crafts movement.
- Traditionally used in ship building and timber framing, White Oak has a natural ability to resist rot and insect damage. The hull of the U.S.S. Constitution--the ship that helped the United States earn its first naval victory--was made of Oak and famously repelled cannonballs during the War of 1812. The British coined her nickname "Old Ironsides" when their cannonballs appeared to bounce off her hull. Incidentally, the captain of the Constitution during this naval battle was none other than Isaac Hull. Launched in 1798, the U.S.S. Constitution is now the oldest commissioned ship afloat in the world.
- White Oak barrels are used in wine and whiskey making because they are waterproof and because the tannins in tightly grained White Oak impart subtle flavors of vanilla, butter, and spice.