oak flooring - quarter sawn? What have you done?

seosmpApril 23, 2013


I am currently planning on replacing my entire first floor flooring (along with the kitchen remodel).

I'm planning on white oak, with a relatively dark stain.

Is there any reason to go with the quarter sawn kind? I don't know much about it, but I know it's an upgrade (no knots, etc.).

What have people on here done? Mostly the normal sawn kind? Do you love it?

Demo starts in a matter of days, so need this sorted out!


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There are some stability reasons for using quartersawn/riftsawn wood: It is prone to less seasonal shifting. QS white oak also has beautiful ray patterns when finished right. Do a search for stickley furniture to see lots of quartersawn white oak, finished dark. The stickley stuff was originally fumed with ammonia to bring out the ray pattern.

As far as flooring, I would think the look of qs white oak will be more consistent grain lines, with no wide bands of darker and lighter wood, just thinner lines.

Here's a picture of a picture frame I made in QS white oak:

We have QS white oak in one small section of our (1910s) house, and flatsawn in the rest. The QS rays really stands out. I'm not sure I'd want it on the whole floor.

I would say, use QS for cabinets, trim, picture frames, and furniture, and flatsawn for floors.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 3:48PM
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Thanks for the input!!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 4:09PM
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I used 3 1/4" #1 common white oak. Here's how it looked raw with a couple QS oak antique pieces.

I wanted to stain it fairly dark, but I'm so glad it ended up lighter than I had originally wanted. I didn't want to match all my QS oak antiques that would love on the new floors so I had to go either lighter or much darker. The color now seems to be dark enough to be elegant, IMHO, but not so dark that every single cat hair and kid mess screams at me all day that I'm a messy housekeeper.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 4:17PM
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That picture is a good example. The flatsawn has wider, curvier dark bands, and the occasional circle, and "cathedral grain" where the dark band goes up and comes back down again. The QS has straight, even dark bands (plus light-colored rays). A good finisher could stain to minimize or maximize those rays and flecks. In my picture frame, above, I tried to maximize them. Looks like they were brought out more in the antique piece on the right, and minimized (or less present in the first place) in the drawer front on the left.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 4:33PM
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Great pictures and info! Thanks!

I think I like the look of the flat sawn....

So, I think it make sense to stick with that look. Since I'm doing my entire first floor, I don't want to make the wrong choice and regret it later!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 5:33PM
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Go with what YOU like. We are about two weeks out from installing 5" QS oak floors. My husband and I are not big fans of the wood grain look, so for us it is worth the extra $$ to have QS and be happy.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 5:45PM
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My floors are rift & quartersawn. Like 1pandora we were not found of the grain pattern in regular sawn oak, but wanted oak floors for the durability as well as a more neutral look since we were putting throughout the entire house. We've had them for over 5 years now and are very happy with them.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 7:41PM
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