How to Stop Oak Wood From Cracking

By Peter Anema ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Linseed oil
  • Dehumidifier
  • Power drill
  • Moisture meter

Oak is a hard, sturdy wood harvested from any of the trees in the oak family. If you want to make long-lasting furniture or flooring, oak is ideally suited for these purposes. Much like other woods used in construction, you can ensure the integrity of your oak by taking some precautionary steps to avoid cracking. Such damage is a result of too much moisture, not enough moisture in the wood or an uneven base surface. Depending on the cause and how the oak is used, there are ways to stop the damage.

Soak both sides of the oak with linseed oil to provide extra moisture and allow even drying.

Put a dehumidifier in the room where the oak is located to eliminate excess moisture. This method is especially useful for installed wood floors.

Cut the oak into smaller pieces when setting them to dry to allow for even evaporation of moisture. If moisture is more concentrated in one area than another, the disparity can result in cracking.

Check the moisture level of the foundation ground where the wood will be installed. Excess moisture below wood flooring induces cracking over time.

Direct heating ducts and vents away from the floor or furniture. Excess heat exposure will extract the needed moisture remaining in the wood.

Remove any remain spongy core, or pith, from drying oak logs using a power drill. Moving the pith out of the way allows for even drying.

Tip

Keep a moisture meter near your wood so you can keep track of the levels within the oak.

Warning

Do not use untreated or insufficiently dried wood for construction purposes as it will likely lead to rot and decay.

About the Author

Based in Pennsylvania, Peter Anema has been writing computer and technology articles since 1997. His work has appeared in “Mac World” magazine and “Extreme PC” magazine. Anema received the George M. Lilly Literary Award in 2001. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from Harding University.