White Oak Wood – Things to Know Before Using

White oak wood is a hard, durable, and moisture-resistant hardwood native to eastern North America. It is a popular wood for furniture, flooring, and boatbuilding. Oak wood has an attractive appearance and a straight grain that gives excellent results after the finish. 

There are many oak species, but only a few species are famous for furniture. One of them is the White oak wood species. In this blog, we will know everything about white oak wood.

#White oak Wood
Scientific nameQuercus alba
Tree Size60-90 ft (19-28 m) tall, 3-4 ft (1-1.2 m) trunk diameter
Average Weight47.0 lbs/ft3 (755 kg/m3)
Janka Hardness1,350 lbf (5,990 N)
Crushing Strength7,370 lbf/in2 (50.8 MPa)

Uses of White Oak Wood

White oak is a versatile hardwood that can be used in various applications, due to its strength, durability, and attractive appearance. It is commonly used for chairs, tables, cabinets, and other types of furniture.

White oak wood is one of the most popular choices for outdoor furniture and structures. It is also used to produce whiskey barrels due to its ability to impart flavor to the aging spirit.

Wood is widely used for floors and boatbuilding due to its durability and natural resistance to moisture and decay. It can be used in a wide variety of residential and commercial applications.

White Oak Advantages and Disadvantages

White Oak is a popular type of wood, but it has advantages and disadvantages that should be known before using it.


  1. Durability: White oak is known for its strength and durability, which makes it a popular choice for making high-quality floors, stairs, and furniture.
  2. Moisture and rot resistance: White oak is highly resistant to water and rot, which makes it a good choice for outdoor applications such as decks and boats.
  3. Stability: White oak is relatively stable, making it less likely to warp or twist over time.
  4. Affordable: White oak is easily available at affordable prices.


  1. Hardness: White oak wood has an average dry weight of 47.0 lbs/ft3 (755 kg/m3), making it challenging to work with and transport from one place to another. Wood can also be difficult to cut and shape, which requires sharp tools and experience.

Wood Appearance

White oak wood is light to medium brown, typically ranging from pale yellow-brown to slightly darker. 

Wood has a relatively uniform color and grain pattern, straight and uneven texture. Like other woods, white oak is also slightly darkened over time. 


White Oak is easy to work with hand and machine tools. But its hardness can be challenging for beginners. Wood bends well as compared to the other hardwoods.

Here are some tips when you are working with white oak wood.

  1. Wear safety glasses: When working with any wood, it is important to wear safety glasses and a dust mask to protect yourself from wood dust.
  2. Use sharp tools: White oak can be tough to work with, so it requires sharp tools. Dull tools can cause the wood to tear.
  3. Sand carefully: White oak has been reported as a sanitizer. Therefore, there may be a problem of irritation in the eyes and skin.
  4. Finish properly: When finishing white oak, it is important to use a sealer or stain to protect the wood and bring out its natural beauty. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

How Hard is White Oak ?

White oak has a Janka hardness value of 1,350 lbs (5,990 N), higher than many hardwoods.

Here are other popular wood Janka hardness values to give you an idea of how hard White Oak wood is.

Wood SpeciesJanka Hardness
Pecan Wood1,820 lbf (8,100 N)
Honey Locust1,580 lbf (7,030 N)
Sweet Birch1,470 lbf (6,540 N)
Hard maple1,450 lbf (6,450 N)
Sapele1,410 lbf (6,280 N)
White oak1,350 lbf (5,990 N)
Red oak1,220 lbf (5,430 N)
Redheart1,210 lbf (5,380 N)
Koa1,170 lbf (5,180 N)
Teak1,070 lbf (4,740 N)
Peruvian Walnut960 lbf (4,250 N)

Is White Oak Good for Cutting Boards?

White oak can be a good choice for cutting boards because of its hardness and natural resistance to moisture and decay. White oak is a dense hardwood that has closed pores that helps prevent bacteria from penetrating the surface.

Due to White oak wood’s hardness, it is less prone to knife marks, dents, and scratches, making it a good surface for cutting and chopping. It is also warp and crack resistant.

One thing to keep in mind if you are planning to use a white oak cutting board, choose the wood that is free from defects, such as knots and cracks,

Properly maintain the cutting board by cleaning and oiling it regularly to help prevent bacterial growth and extend its life.

Is White wood water resistant?

White oak has excellent moisture resistance properties. Its tight grain does not absorb moisture and makes it moisture resistant. Therefore it is a popular wood species for making outdoor furniture.

Is White Oak Wood Good for Decking and Flooring? 

White Oak wood is an excellent option for Decking and Flooring because it is affordable, durable, and stable hardwood. Due to its good density, it is less prone to scratches and dents.

What is the difference between White Oak vs Red Oak?

White oak is generally considered harder, more durable, and more rot-resistant than Red Oak. Red oak is highly prone to insect attack and not recommended for ground contact applications like flooring and decking. On the other hand, white oak can be used for outdoor purposes.

There are also some similarities between the White and Red Oak, such as their color, grain pattern, and indoor uses. There is not much difference in price, but white oak is more expensive than red oak.

Overall, both white oak and red oak have their strengths and weaknesses. Which one you should choose may depend on factors such as your usage and availability.