Color: Heartwood is light to dark reddish brown, lustrous; sapwood is light brown to pale with a light pinkish tone. Some flooring manufacturers steam lumber to bleed the darker heartwood color into the sapwood, resulting in a more uniform color.
Grain: Fine, frequently wavy, uniform texture. Distinctive flake pattern on true quartersawn surfaces. Texture is satiny, with some gum pockets.
Species & Grade Variations: Significant color variation between boards.
Hardness (Janka): 950; 26% softer than Northern Red Oak.
Dimensional Stability: Above average (change coefficient .00248, 33% more stable than Red Oak).
Durability: Strong, moderately hard; excellent shock resistance. Usually considered too soft for an entire floor – mostly used for borders and accents.
Sawing / Machining: Good machining qualities.
Sanding: Sands satisfactorily.
Nailing: Good holding ability.
Finishing: No known problems.
Comments: High in bending strength. Light-sensitive; strong color change upon exposure to light.
(Relative to plainsawn select Red Oak.)