Oak species are found throughout the U.S. Commercial stands generally grow east of the Great Plains. Oaks are grouped as white oaks or red oaks.
Both red and white oak are used extensively for furniture and flooring. Oak is the most popular wood for kitchen cabinets and is widely used in architectural trim, paneling, and cabinetry.
Oak is hard, stiff, strong, and shock resistant. It’s above average in all machining properties except shaping. The wood undergoes large shrinkage while drying: seasoning must be done carefully to avoid checking and warping. Historically, oak lumber is air dried for 60-90 days, then dried in a kiln for 5-10 days. A more recent trend is to use predryers–large, low-temperature, warehouse-type dryers- todry from green to about 25 percent moisture content, then finish drying in a kiln for 7-14 days to a 6 percent moisture content.
(RS Boone, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry)
Below are examples of different finishes