Quartersawn White Oak vs. Rift White Oak: Unveiling the Distinctions

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White oak, a versatile and highly sought-after hardwood, has long been celebrated for its durability, appealing grain patterns, and versatility in various woodworking applications.

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Its popularity in crafting furniture, flooring, and cabinetry stems from its ability to exude both modern elegance and timeless charm.

Recognizing the distinct characteristics within white oak, Showplace offers this hardwood in two beautiful options:

  • Quartersawn White Oak
  • Rift White Oak
Quartersawn White Oak Natural Swatch

Quartersawn White Oak

Quartersawn White Oak offers its own captivating ray fleck patterns and color variations when adorned with lighter stains, delivering a distinct appearance compared to Rift White Oak.

Rift White Oak Natural Swatch

Rift White Oak

Rift White Oak is renowned for its captivating linear appearance and color variations when stained with lighter shades.

The differentiation lies in how the logs are cut, presenting customers with the choice between Quartersawn White Oak and Rift White Oak, each offering its own set of captivating features and visual appeal.

When you are selecting cabinetry for your living space, the wood you choose can significantly impact the final design’s look and feel. Quartersawn White Oak and Rift White Oak are two popular wood options, each offering unique qualities, including stunning ray fleck patterns and variances in color. These distinctive features are particularly pronounced when using our lighter stains like Natural, Buff, Sable, Sparrow, and others. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between quarter and rift sawn white oak.

But first, what is ray flecking?

The term is used to describe the appearance of medullary ray cells in wood. The medullary rays are lines of cells that radiate outward.

Because ray fleck is a common and visible component of white oak, it will be visible in both Quartersawn and Rift White Oak.  In Quartersawn White Oak, you can expect to see the ray fleck run both parallel to the grain and perpendicular to the grain.  In Rift White Oak, the ray fleck will run primarily with the grain, and up to 30 degrees off the direction of the grain.

So, what are the differences between Quartersawn and Rift White Oak?

Quartersawn White Oak, which refers to the type of cut used, offers its own captivating ray fleck patterns and color variations when adorned with lighter stains, delivering a distinct appearance compared to Rift White Oak. The wood’s unique grain pattern and other features come to life when lighter stains are applied:

    1. Emphasis on Ray Fleck: Light stains, such as sable or sparrow, on Quartersawn White Oak accentuate the remarkable ray fleck, creating a striking and captivating visual display.
    2. Rich Color Palette: When lighter stains are applied, Quartersawn White Oak exhibits an appealing range of colors, from creamy tans to medium brown, with some light brown to nearly white sapwood possible. These color variations add richness and depth to the wood’s overall appearance.

Classic Timelessness: Quartersawn White Oak, with its ray fleck and varied colors, imparts a timeless and traditional feel. This makes it an excellent choice for projects where a classic, enduring aesthetic is desired.

Rift White Oak is renowned for its captivating linear appearance and color variations when stained with the lighter shades in the Showplace finish lineup. The term “rift” refers to the way the wood is cut from the log, resulting in the following remarkable characteristics:

    1. Ray Fleck: Unlike the Quartersawn cut, the ray fleck will be less prominent in Rift and will not run perpendicular to the grain. (Consistent with other cabinetry manufacturers, Showplace Cabinetry does allow for 20% non-riftsawn (flatsawn or quartersawn) White Oak to be present on Rift White Oak orders.)
    2. Subtle Color Variation: Light stains on Rift White Oak bring out the wood’s natural, understated beauty. The subtle variation in color, often ranging from creamy tans to medium brown, with some light brown to nearly white sapwood possible, adds depth and dimension to the wood’s appearance.

Modern Aesthetics: Rift White Oak’s straight and consistent grain, combined with some ray fleck and light stain options, makes it an ideal choice for modern and minimalist designs, where clean lines and a touch of visual intrigue are highly prized.

Rift White Oak

Rift White Oak Natural Swatch View View
Natural
Rift White Oak Buff Swatch View View
Buff
Rift White Oak Truffle Swatch View View
Truffle
Rift White Oak Autumn Swatch View View
Autumn
Rift White Oak Cashew Swatch View View
Cashew
Rift White Oak Tawny Swatch View View
Tawny
Rift White Oak Montana Swatch View View
Montana
Rift White Oak Pampas Swatch View View
Pampas
Rift White Oak Sable Swatch View View
Sable
Rift White Oak Sparrow Swatch View View
Sparrow
Rift White Oak Midnight Swatch View View
Midnight
Rift White Oak Flagstone Swatch View View
Flagstone

Quartersawn White Oak

Quartersawn White Oak Natural Swatch View View
Natural
Quartersawn White Oak Buff Swatch View View
Buff
Quartersawn White Oak Truffle Swatch View View
Truffle
Quartersawn White Oak Autumn Swatch View View
Autumn
Quartersawn White Oak Cashew View View
Cashew
Quartersawn White Oak Tawny Swatch View View
Tawny
Quartersawn White Oak Montanan Swatch View View
Montana
Quartersawn White Oak Pampas Swatch View View
Pampas
Quartersawn White Oak Sable Swatch View View
Sable
Quartersawn White Oak Sparrow Swatch View View
Sparrow
Quartersawn White Oak Midnight Swatch View View
Midnight
Quartersawn White Oak Flagstone Swatch View View
Flagstone

Key Takeaways:

  • Ray Fleck Patterns: Both Rift White Oak and Quartersawn White Oak offer mesmerizing ray fleck patterns, but the impact and prominence of these patterns vary with the type of wood and the choice of stain.
  • Varied Colors: Lighter stains, like natural, buff, sable, sparrow, and others, bring out unique color variations in both woods, enhancing the visual appeal of your woodworking projects.
  • Design Aesthetics: Consider the style and atmosphere you want to create in your projects. Rift White Oak tends to favor modern, minimalist designs, while Quartersawn White Oak exudes a classic, timeless charm.

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