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 with teak, chestnut, or yellow pine. It especially makes a fabulous presence within antique or heritage decorations
Oak is hard, dense, and heavy, with excellent 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 excellent 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 whiskey).
Works well with machine tools and somewhat hard with hand tools. It tends 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 tan green.
Exceptionally well-preserved after spending nine centuries or more buried underground, the Viking longships excavated in various locations in Norway were found to be built mostly of white oak.