How to choose the best white oak kitchen cabinets

White oak kitchen cabinets (types & finishes) In this project, we share the types of white oak kitchen cabinets, including what they are, variations of oak wood, and white oak cabinet designs.

It is beautiful; oak is versatile and can be a good choice for a modern kitchen where it can replace white-painted cabinets to add a little more warmth. White oak cabinets offer many practical benefits that match the natural characteristics of oak wood. It provides an aesthetic that is more than fashionable as it is attractive with its clean, modern look.

What are white oak kitchen cabinets?

The White oak is more durable than many other types of wood, which makes it an excellent choice for kitchens that we can use extensively. White oak can maintain a rough appearance without losing its strength.

White oak has a fine grain of flat cut grain that creates great cathedral grain. Today, new styles of white oak are becoming popular such as quarter sawn and rift cut milling that changes the board’s appearance from churches to straight grain.

The soft white tones of oak complement and contrast with dark shades of floors, countertops, and tiles to create a neutral kitchen setting. Combining contrasting elements brings balance to your kitchen.

Different colors of wood can be used to give white oak kitchen cabinets a style of appearance, and we can use them in two-tone kitchens.

Since the grain on white oak cabinets is visible through the stain, it is still better to go for natural, glazed, or varnished oak cabinets to better show off the natural look of the wood.

The north american white oak variety is in high demand, and the most popular is the white oak from appalachia. It has a difference in consistency, strength, and durability.

Is white oak kitchen cabinets?

With white oak cabinets, you can expect a clean, crisp, and wear-resistant appearance that prevents dents, chips, or scratches. Durability is one of the most desirable features of white oak cabinets.

Unlike other hardwoods, white oak does not absorb water. Instead, it repels water, making white oak cabinets soft and sharp. It also prevents decay as it contains tannic acid that repels insects.

The White oak has a variety of colors, including wheat to green and brownish tones, that make white oak cabinets fit well into the color scheme and add flair to the modern kitchen.

This oak cabinets balance countless other fixtures in your kitchen and interior spaces, including soft stone countertops, brass light fixtures, and matte black finishes.

White oak hardness (janka score)

The janka scale ranks hardwoods based on their strength and indicates the resistance to dents, scratches, water damage, insect infestation, and cracking of some hardwoods. The janka test measures the force required to drive a .444-inch steel ball into the wood and half its diameter.

It’s a good indication of how difficult the breed is to develop.

What’s the difference between oak and white oak?

Oak is one of the most popular woods used in furniture and flooring in the us because of its durability and ease of working with it. Oak is one of the most heat-efficient woods due to its high btu rating. The grain pattern of the oak wood makes it unique and, simultaneously, one of the most recognizable species.

A common and popular choice of species is red and white oak. To easily distinguish red oak from white oak logs, look at the ends of the oak logs.

Red oak will have open pores within the growth rings at the end of the board, while white oak will have pores blocked by tyloses or bubble-like swellings.

White oak has a clear advantage regarding durability due to its moisture and rot-resistant qualities. It makes white oak work for cabinets that may be subject to water or condensation.

White oak is slightly more complicated than red oak according to the janka hardness scale of red oak with a score of 1360, while red oak is at 1290. This oak and red oak’s hardness scores are pretty strong, making both kinds of wood a good choice for kitchen cabinets.

The White and Red Oak

Both red and white oak takes stains quickly when it comes to staining. White oak fits better with gray and lighter colors, while a medium to dark color suits red oak because of the pink undertone.

White oak also has a distinctive ray fleck pattern often called “tiger oak” when it is fully quartered, while red oak also has visible ray fleck patterns at its quarter point, but it is not the same size as white oak. Red oak has a much stronger grain than white oak, which gives it a softer appearance and helps hide scars and blemishes.

In modern home styles, white oak provides a certain softness, and the wood itself has a straight, even grain with clean lines that complement the neutral tone of modern design.

Are white oak kitchen cabinets expensive?

Several factors contribute to the cost of white oak kitchen cabinets, including the type of cabinets purchased, the size of the kitchen, local labor, materials, and hardware costs.

Standard oak kitchen cabinets cost $4,000 to $5,000 while semi-stock or semi-custom cabinets cost $5,000 to $12,000.

Traditional oak cabinets can cost anywhere from $8 to $20. The average installation cost is probably around 15 to 25 percent of the total cost of the cabinet.

It will cost about $1,500 to $2,500 to install if your oak cabinets cost $10,000. Some installers may charge $50 to $100 per council, $50 to $100 per foot, or hourly.

Types of white oak kitchen cabinets

White oak is included in the group of oaks of the genus quercus in the beech family known as fagaceae. White oak has a long grain radius and is waterproof.

The types of oak wood

  • bur oak – found mainly in saskatchewan east to new brunswick, southwest to texas, and north to montana. Logging where commercial size is available; uses the same white oak kitchen cabinets for cabinetry and flooring.
  • bastard white oak – found in the southeastern usa from north carolina south to florida and west to mississippi. It is known as “bluff oak” and is used as white oak wood for cabinets.
  • chestnut oak – located in southern ontario, southern louisiana, eastern georgia, and northern maine. The timber is close-grained, heavy, complex, robust, and sturdy.
  • overcup oak – found particularly in delaware and new jersey south to florida, west to texas, and north thru the mississippi valley and watersheds to iowa, illinois, and indiana. This oak is often used as white lumber because of its hardness, weight, and durability. Overcup very well grows considerably in bertie county, north carolina.
  • swamp chestnut oak – found in illinois east to new jersey, south to florida, west to texas, and north to missouri.
  • swamp white oak – found mainly in minnesota south to nebraska, east to north carolina, and north to quebec and maine. Its scientific name, “quercus bicolor,” refers to the color difference between the leaf’s top and bottom.

This white oak produces hardwood for construction, cabinetry, boat building, railroad ties, fencing, and joinery.

Rift sawn white oak cabinets

The wood grain on the cabinets has a lot to do with the type of wood. However, it is also related to how the wood is first milled and the angle of the saw. Sometimes upgrading to different cuts can be more expensive than choosing the best type of wood.

Choosing a rift-sawn oak cabinet shows oak wood in a new light because it can imitate foreign types of wood such as bamboo and takes on a new modern look when made with a slab in front of the door. Remember that rift-sawn timber is the rarest and most expensive as it is chosen only for its unique quality.

This cutting method produces a noticeable amount of waste to achieve the precise, desired angles. However, high production costs may not be the best choice for sustainable building practices.

Quarter sawn white oak cabinets

Quarter-sawn white oak kitchen cabinets is preferred for its strength and durability. The unique sawn pattern used in mission style cabinetry is made famous by the craftsman style, combined with fine detailing, and provides a timeless, traditional look.

When milling quarter logs, the round log is first quartered, and then each quadrant is cut at a 45-degree angle to the ring radius. It creates a consistent, strong grain that increases the grain’s medullary or pith rays.

This radiation is also called flecking, which is unique to this type of oak. It can add a layer of detail to your oak wood surface while maintaining a uniform appearance. It is also a great choice if you don’t want the cathedral planting of plain sawn oak wood.

Keep in mind that this is a more labor-intensive job than precise sawing. And produces more waste as the final cut is too small to be used to make quartersawn oak lumber cheaper. However, quartersawn white oak is very stable. It is also less prone to warping and twisting. Which makes it perfect for cabinets that make your pieces last longer.


Quarter-sawn white oak has a wood look softened by sunlight, adding a light character, beachy feel, and softness to any room when combined with other woods or paint. This long, straight wood has a color ranging from light tan – gray to medium – gray. It takes colors well in various ways.

How to finish white oak kitchen cabinets

Oak is a hardwood and is considered a standard in the construction industry. It can finish light, dark, cherry, walnut, pecan, or other tints. White oak cabinets in their natural form give this type of cabinet a simple and minimalist look with natural wood.

White oak cabinets add full depth and dimension to any space and create a soft sense of luxury. They can go wherever you take them; unfortunately, any dye such as water, alcohol, or oil soluble will strengthen the ray flecks in quartersawn or riftsawn white oak kitchen cabinets.

To get an attractive color, try to increase the pigment color on top of the dye. And remove the extreme finish. Sealing the stained wood with a hardened shellac mixture. And adding a finishing coat of pigment or paint will give the wood depth. Oil or varnished mixture will penetrate well and add even color similar to dyed wood.

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