Oak is a great choice for a hardwood floor. It handles the busyness of life well, goes with a lot of different types of decor, is reasonably priced, and is domestically grown. The number one thing people that don’t like oak is the look of it. They don’t like the grain pattern.
This is where I like to suggest looking at a rift and quarter-sawn white oak. It is used in a lot of high end designer homes because going with a clear finish gives it a nice inviting warm amber glow. It has a very tight grain pattern which helps make the floor harder, makes it a good choice if you have kids, dogs, or you like to entertain.
The seasonal movement of a plain sawn floor is usually horizontal or across the width of the board. A rift and quartered milled floor changes that movement to vertical or through the thickness, so seasonal movement is not as noticeable. This makes it a very good option for places that go through dramatic seasonal changes and where the interior humidity and temperature isn’t constant.
Rift and Qtr is an excellent choice for radiant heat floors as its stability rivals that of an engineered floor.
The Quarter-sawn cut of the wood exposes the Medullary Rays which is sought after by fine woodworkers. In the Rift cut the rays aren’t quite as exposed. If you want to be more discerning in the look of the floor you can specify all quarter or all rift boards. Although the mix of the two is most common and comes at a lower price due to the milling process. Only a limited amount of quarter sawn boards can be gleaned from one log.
This Youtube video helps to explain the milling process to achieve a rift and quartered cut.
Plain Sawn Rift Sawn Quarter Sawn
Please leave a comment as to your favorite cut of wood and why.