The difference between White Ash and White Oak
We work the most with two types of solid wood; White Ash and White Oak. Questions come in often asking to explain the difference between White Ash and White Oak. Most of the the inquiries are just requesting side by side photos but we thought it may be a good opportunity to discuss purchasing solid wood furniture from our company.
White Ash and White Oak have a lot of similar qualities and characteristics. They are both hardwoods that are strong, take finish well and are wonderful for making furniture with. White Ash (pictured on the left) is generally a much lighter wood species than White Oak (pictured on the right) but here is where it gets complicated.
Wood is a living organic material and no two trees are identical. There is variance from tree to tree - and even within the tree - with varying colors, grain patterns and sometimes inconsistencies.
Just look at this picture of a stack of our low shelving unit panels ready for finish. These Ash panels show the range of colors that come with just one species of wood. We know what we like in terms of color and grain but we can't throw away every piece that doesn't match up with those ideals so there is always going to be some variance when ordering solid wood furniture.
If you ever see furniture that has perfect and uniform color and grain it is likely veneered furniture and not solid wood. Some companies offer the option to pay more to select boards with certain color and graining. We don't offer that as a standard option, but if this is important to you, feel free to contact us for this upgrade.
In conclusion, both White Oak and White Ash are excellent wood species for furniture making. If you want to learn more, please contact us with your questions.