Open, coarse grain with light tan color. White or creamy veins occasionally occur. Simultaneously elegant and rustic, the white oak suggests firmness and resilience. It will blend in quite nicely if other oak elements such as cabinetry or floorings exist but it will also go well along teak, chestnut or yellow pine. It makes especially a great presence within antique or heritage decorations.
Hard, dense and heavy, with great wear resistance. Despite being a rather stiff wood, it shows a very good shock absorbance. The high content of tannins makes its fiber exceptionally water resistant and grants good dimensional stability. It can impart taste to the foods it comes in extended contact with, which is not always an undesirable effect (think oak barrel-aged whisky).
Works well with machine tools and rather hard with hand tools. It exhibits a tendency to chip and splinter, so pre-drilling is mandatory. When in prolonged contact with metal, it stains dark in the contact spot. It also reacts promptly when in contact with bleach, by turning brown or dark green.
Exceptionally well-preserved after spending nine centuries or more buried underground, the Viking long ships excavated in various locations in Norway were found to be built mostly or entirely of white oak.