Heartwood is a light to medium brown, commonly with a reddish cast. Nearly white to light brown sapwood is not always sharply demarcated from the heartwood. Quarter sawn sections display prominent ray fleck patterns.
Produces good results with hand and machine tools. Has moderately high shrinkage values, resulting in mediocre dimensional stability, especially in flatsawn boards. Can react with iron (particularly when wet) and cause staining and discoloration. Responds well to steam-bending. Glues, stains, and finishes well.
Cabinetry, furniture, interior trim, flooring, and veneer.
Arguably the most popular hardwood in North America, Red Oak is a ubiquitous sight in many homes. Even many vinyl/imitation wood surfaces are printed to look like Red Oak. Hard, strong, and moderately priced, Red Oak presents an exceptional value to woodworkers—which explains why it is so widely used in cabinet and furniture making.