Rift White Oak: Form and Function for the Modern Luxury Home

January 19, 2018
Amanda Zimmerman
Rift White Oak: Form and Function for the Modern Luxury Home

In the world of premium wood, rift white oak holds a unique appeal for luxury homeowners, architects, contractors and designers alike. Renowned for its premium cut, color range, consistency, straight-grain,  clean and modern look, rift white oak is often the wood of choice for high-end construction and millwork.

Rift White Oak’s Distinguishing Features

Rift white oak’s stylish appeal begins with its straight, fleck-free grain. Its clean lines and superb coloring make rift white oak desirable for luxury homeowners seeking exquisite, custom construction with a modern sensibility.  The wood is equally prized by architects, contractors, and designers for its stability and resistance to decay.

The complex and labor-intensive cutting process distinguishes rift white oak from that of other woods. While plain sawn and quarter sawn lumber are far more common and less costly, rift sawn wood is obtained by sawing a log into quarters, then cutting the quarters at specific angles. The angle of the cuts results in a smaller quantity of usable pieces, yet creates a higher quality of wood that highlights the straight grain and eliminates the flecks found in quarter sawn lumber.

Rift White Oak: Form and Function for the Modern Luxury Home(The wood is straight off of the 5 head moulder with shaped outer moldings for recessed flat panel doors.)

The Demand for Rift White Oak

Rift white oak has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years. Its sophisticated beauty, coupled with its strength and resilience, make the wood a favorite among homeowners and designers seeking high quality luxury. But as rift white oak’s aesthetic and structural appeal grows, demand comes closer to outstripping supply, and the already premium wood becomes even more exclusive.

In addition to increasing demand, the rarity of rift white oak is also driven by the degree of difficulty involved in obtaining it, the high expense of the cut, and the fact that the tree tends to grow with curvature, rendering the highly sought after straight grain even more scarce. Moreover, while rift white oak offers a wide array of colors, exact color matching requires the purchase of a greater supply of the high-end wood.

Rift White Oak and its Uses

The durability and versatility of rift white oak makes it suitable for a range of custom construction and millwork projects. You’ll find artisan-crafted rift white oak gracing the libraries, dressing rooms, and kitchens of luxury residences, while its dense heartwood is used for mouldings, stairs, and exteriors.

Rift white oak often appears with a clear or stained finish, sometimes it is wire brushed and cerused, and occasionally it is painted a solid color so that its trademark straight grain is visible through the color.

Rift White Oak: Form and Function for the Modern Luxury Home(Kenneth Wehr wire brushing the white oak surface in preparation for the cerused finish.)

Rift white oak combines the desirability of a highly durable and sophisticated wood along with a cut that accentuates its straight lines. Once the decision has been made to use rift white oak, luxury homeowners are presented with functionality that is both modern and elegant. For homes with a classic or modern design aesthetics, rift white oak’s increasing popularity as a luxury wood of choice, will continue to delight and inspire us for years to come.

Photo Gallery

Rift White Oak: Form and Function for the Modern Luxury Home(Crossed stile and rail union showing polished brass offset pivot hinges.)

Rift White Oak: Form and Function for the Modern Luxury Home(Large lower recessed flat panel closet door prior to hanging.)

Rift White Oak: Form and Function for the Modern Luxury Home(Lovely crossed stile and rail union with upper door ajar.)

Rift White Oak: Form and Function for the Modern Luxury Home(One of the tall closets with doors hung.)