A little over 6 months ago I wrote a blog post about Oak cabinetry and its resurgence in the design world. Since then Oak (especially quarter-sawn) has only continued to grow in popularity, so we are excited to announce the addition of Quarter-Sawn White Oak to our wood offering at Dura Supreme! Quarter-Sawn White Oak can easily be used in any design, from traditional to contemporary, and several of our popular door styles can be designed with this unique wood species.

Quarter-Sawn Oak History 101

Quarter-Sawn Oak (QSO or QSWO for White Oak) has a history entwined with Craftsman-style homes popularized during the Arts and Crafts design period of the late 19th/early 20th century. This style of home is characterized by large wood casings around doors and windows, built-ins, and board and batten wainscoting. Quarter-Sawn Oak, desired for its strength and durability, is a staple when it comes to Mission style cabinetry and furniture, made popular by the Craftsman style. Quarter-Sawn Oak is often associated with fine craftsmanship and detailing and offers a timeless, classic look. Think Amish furniture…

A craftsman styled home exterior.

A Craftsman style home.

A craftsman styled home with a built-in cabinet space that highlights the door way into the adjacent room.

Photo courtesy of Zillow.

Quarter-Sawn vs. Plain-Sawn

In the comparison below take a look at how the grain differs between the plain-sawn and quarter-sawn cuts. Plain-sawn gives Oak its traditional cathedral (arch) effect: the prominent, open graining that is indicative of Oak. Quarter-sawn means that the log is cut at a 45 degree angle to the radius of the rings. This creates a more consistent, tighter grain instead of the cathedral graining and adds Medullary rays or “flecking,” a feature unique to this wood species. Quarter-Sawn Oak is also less likely to warp, which makes it perfect for cabinets and furniture.

Quarter-Sawn Oak verses Plain-Sawn Oak shown in two cabinet doors.
Plain-sawn verses quarter-sawn oak wood.
The Medullary rays that characterize Quarter-Sawn Oak boards are clearly visible on the right-hand board.

The Medullary rays that characterize Quarter-Sawn Oak boards are clearly visible on the right-hand board.

The photo below is a great example of both types of woodcuts; the doorframes are obviously plain-sawn Oak while the built-in desk is made of quarter-sawn Oak.

Quarter-sawn red oak in a built-in office desk of a craftsman styled home.

Wood cabinets are making a comeback on the kitchen design scene but in lighter and more natural colors and stains. Enter Quarter-Sawn White Oak Cabinetry!

Dura Supreme’s NEW Quarter-Sawn White Oak Wood Species

Quarter-sawn white oak kitchen cabinets from Dura Supreme Cabinetry.

With design trends moving in the direction of soft contemporary, we’re seeing more colors found in nature. The light color of White Oak lends itself to more natural tones and becomes a true brown when stained darker instead of the reddish brown that Red Oak takes on. Quarter-Sawn White Oak has the look of wood lightened by exposure to the sun or sea salt and adds subtle character and softness to any room when mixed with other woods or paints, such as Dove White. In fact, we introduced our Alabaster stain specifically for Quarter-Sawn White Oak to get that soft, beachy feel.

Soft brown hues and wood textures for cabinetry inspired by natural elements.

Our Parker door in Quarter-Sawn White Oak (QSWO) with the Alabaster stain.

The beautiful kitchen below is a great example of how softness can be added to a high contrast design. The kitchen island with Coriander-stained Quarter-Sawn White Oak Kitchen Cabinets in our Avery door style breaks up the black finish of the waterfall countertop and compliments the Dove white paint finish on the perimeter cabinets in our Reese door style.

Dura Supreme Quarter-Sawn White Oak Kitchen Cabinets with Reese door style in Dove white paint on the perimeter cabinets

This office space is in an old, converted warehouse, and the contemporary design offsets the brick wall and wood floors. The cabinets feature the softness of Quarter-Sawn White Oak with the Alabaster stain on our Camden door mixed with Allura high gloss acrylic door in Black. It is subtle yet stunning!

The below bath is a great example of transitional design. It features our new Parker door in Alabaster-stained on the Quarter-Sawn White Oak wood species on a floating vanity with linen cabinets. Another great example of balancing the black and gray finishes with a light, consistently grained wood.

A floating vanity in a contemporary bathroom with a shallow shaker door style in a light raw quarter-sawn white oak color. Two tall floating linen cabinets flank each side of the vanity.

Bathroom with our new Parker door in a light, Alabaster-stained Quarter-Sawn White Oak on the floating vanity with linen cabinets. 

A floating vanity in a contemporary bathroom with a shallow shaker door style in a light raw quarter-sawn white oak color.

Floating vanity and linen cabinets with our new Parker door in Alabaster-stained Quarter-Sawn White Oak.

Whether you are designing for a traditional, transitional, or contemporary project, consider Quarter-Sawn White Oak for its beauty and timeless look!

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Stacey Lindstrom is the National Training Manager for Dura Supreme Cabinetry.  Stacey has a degree in interior design and over 25 years in the kitchen and Bath industry.  She has worked in all kinds of business platforms, from small dealers to online design and sales, and has worked with 20.20 Design software since 1997.  Her first venture working with Dura Supreme Cabinets was way back in 1995, creating hand drawings for a dealer showroom. In the last 10 years, she has had her work showcased on episodes of Kitchen Crashers and Bath Crashers, as well as season 15 of Big Brother.  As much as she loves designing spaces for clients, Stacey enjoys training and educating on product and design as well, and draws from her own expertise as well us blunders over the years to help Dura Supreme and its dealers.

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