COLOR: Heartwood ranges from a deep, rich dark brown to a purplish black.
Sapwood is nearly white to tan. Difference between heartwood and sapwood color is great;
some flooring manufacturers steam lumber to bleed the darker heartwood color into the
sapwood, resulting in a more uniform color.
GRAIN: Mostly straight and open, but some boards have burled or curly
grain. Arrangement of pores is similar to hickories and persimmon, but pores are smaller
VARIATIONS WITHIN SPECIES AND GRADES: Great variety of color and figure
within species, as well as variation in color among boards, especially in lower grades and
from material that isn't steamed prior to kiln-drying.
HARDNESS (JANKA): 1010; 22% softer than
Northern red oak.
DIMENSIONAL STABILITY: Excellent (change coefficient .00274; 26% more
stable than red oak).
DURABILITY: Moderately dense, very strong, good shock resistance. Not as
dent-resistant as oak.
SAWING/MACHINING: Easily worked with hand tools, and has excellent
SANDING: Sands satisfactorily.
NAILING: Fair resistance to splitting; good holding ability.
FINISHING: Finishes nicely, with a handsome grain pattern.
sweet aroma when worked. Frequently used as a highlight material for borders or other
(relative to plainsawn select red oak)
Moderately available, normally in unfinished parquet,
strip and in various plank widths as a special order. Available in fancy parquet patterns
as a special order or custom mill.