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Articles : Uses of American Oak

American Oak is similar in colour to European and can be used for similar internal joinery uses. The timber is also structurally sound and can be used for timber framing, however, the larger beams are rarely imported in Europe, so it’s mainly used structurally in America much like our own European Oak is used structurally throughout Europe.

In Europe American White Oak is used more readily for internal joinery and is used to make:

  • Kitchen units
  • Furniture
  • Tables
  • Tools
  • Shelving
  • Pews and Pulpits

American Oak can be treated and polished well to achieve a good finish which is what most products using American Oak require. The oak can be worked and shaped well, and the wood can be glued and fixed easily.

Using American Oak Externally

When used externally American Oak turns black and warps easily, so when deciding to use the timber, most American Oak applications are internal.

The reason for the excessive warping in American timber is because it has larger vessels than European Oak which makes it easier for water to get and make the timber expand. Then during the warmer months the timber starts to dry out again which makes it shrink and this is when splits and cupping occurs along the timber.

Grade of American Oak Available from iWood

Our American White oak is supplied in FAS quality which is the highest grade available. The grade will have some small knots but not many. There will also be more colour variation than in European Oak, with the timber ranging from pale yellow, through brown to light pinkish red.


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