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White Oak - Is It Still in Style?

Getting into the nitty gritty details about rift white oak versus flat sawn and if it is the right choice for your next renovation.

We all know that rift white oak has been BIG for at least the past ten years. But has white oak ran its course? Are there other white oak options?

Floating contemporary vanity with matte black hardware
Rift white oak vanity

While rift white oak has been a key player in the interior design world for a decade-plus, we can tell you first-hand that is still a designer go-to. Rift white oak is here to stay in 2024, but we are seeing another form of white oak on the rise and loving everything about it! Flat-sawn white oak is having a come-back moment and we are here for it!

First, to get technical, let's explain the difference. Rift white oak and flat-sawn white oak are two distinct cuts of wood, each offering unique characteristics that cater to different aesthetic preferences and applications.

Vertical grain rift white oak

Rift white oak is obtained by cutting the log at a slight angle to the radial growth rings. This results in straight, parallel lines with a consistent grain pattern. The rift cut produces a more linear and uniform appearance, showcasing the wood's natural beauty without prominent figuring. This cut is often preferred for modern and contemporary designs due to its clean and sleek appearance.

On the other hand, flat-sawn white oak is cut parallel to the growth rings, creating a varied and distinctive grain pattern. The characteristic "cathedral" or arched grain figure is a hallmark of flat-sawn oak. This cut offers a more traditional and rustic aesthetic, making it a popular choice for furniture and interior elements where a more pronounced and visually interesting grain is desired.

Flat-Sawn White Oak. Image from

Ultimately, the choice between rift white oak and flat-sawn white oak depends on the design intent and the desired visual impact. Rift cut for a subtle, contemporary look, and flat-sawn for a more expressive and classic appeal.

Now you're ready to head to your local cabinet builder to let them know which white oak look you love!


The Ivory House Team


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