February 15, 2013 2 min read
Compared to Red Oak, White Oak has a lot more figure, meaning it features more subtle striping with a coarser grain. When stained, this hardwood has a pleasing look that is less pink than Red Oak, although its tonality is equally as rich.
In general, stair builders prefer this material for a number of reasons, ace among them being the fact that White Oak is abundant throughout the eastern United States. Because of this, lumber yards have no problem acquiring vast quantities in a speedy and cost-effective manner. Most importantly, since this wood doesn't require excessive transportation to reach craftsmen (how come?), it is considered a relatively greener product than woods imported from overseas. Contributing to this is the fact that White Oak grows extremely fast in certain regions, especially the southeastern U.S., making it a more renewable option than species found in different parts of the Globe.
Stair builders prefer this wood because it is easy to work with, allowing them to explore sculptural designs when it comes to turned newels and balusters. The longer veining results in stair parts that have an elegance that can't be found using lesser materials.
Staircases made from White Oak also connote earlier home construction in more traditional residences on the East Coast. Colonial estates that feature statement making wooden staircases made from this hardwood, for example, are still abundant in some of the more historically significant parts of the country. Modern residences today can evoke this aesthetic if they incorporate stair parts made from White Oak in their newer homes that source design elements from colonial stair builders. This is why Stair Parts USA offers a wide array of products that are constructed from White Oak and other woods indigenous to the U.S.
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