Oak wood - highest quality for noble art objects
Oak is one of the most common woods used to make furniture and flooring. Commonly found in traditional, artisan, and missionary style furniture, it is the wood of choice for the Amish people and famous furniture designers Gustav Stickley and Frank Lloyd Wright. Oak wood is very durable, easy to work with and looks beautiful both stained and with a light, natural finish. It's also one of the most efficient woods to burn due to its high BTU content.
Oak comes in many shades, but its grain is unique, making it one of the most easily identified wood species. It has been used in homes since pre-colonial times and is just as popular today. While that makes it a pillar of traditional design, its versatility means it can also bring a contemporary space to life.
Properties of oak wood
Color White oak tends to be light beige to brown, while red oak tends towards pink and reddish tones.
Hardness White Oak 1360 on the Janka scale; Red oak 1290 on the Janka scale.
Common Uses: Furniture, Boats, Cabinets, Artwork, Trophy Signs, Wine Cases, Flooring, Cutting Boards , Barrels, Kitchen Utensils.
One of the reasons oak can take on so many different aspects is that there isn't just one species of oak. In fact, there are over 60 varieties. When it comes to making furniture and other uses around the home, the most common species are red oak and white oak. Both are wonderful choices and their durability makes them great for homes with high foot traffic.
Frequently asked questions about oak wood
If you're unsure whether oak is the right choice for your product, you can learn more about what makes it different from other choices and how to care for it here.
What color is oak wood?
A piece of natural oak wood can take on virtually any hue, from light beige to brown to red. Although white oak tends to be more beige to brown and red oak tends to be red, it is not always easy to tell the different oak species apart by color alone . Also, the same oak can have different colors overall, and red oak and white oak stain well, which means a room can look as dark as walnut or even light up an entire room when stained a rich color.
In most trees, there is a strong color change between the heartwood (the innermost part of the tree) and the sapwood (the layer closest to the bark that carries the tree's nutrients). This is also the case with oak, where the sapwood is usually a little lighter, but this is not always the case. Sometimes the heartwood and sapwood of an oak blend into one another.
You will also notice that the color of oak pieces will change somewhat over the years as white oak tends to take on an amber hue.
Why does oak wood change color over time?
Oak wood can darken slightly over time, taking on an amber hue. This occurs through exposure to oxygen and UV rays and is therefore a largely unavoidable process. When it comes to oak furniture, most people don't even notice the change as the color change is quite subtle. They might notice it as they buy pieces of art piece by piece, or years later try to add a new piece hoping it will fit. Because of this, it's usually better to buy everything at once.
What are the common uses of oak wood?
Oak wood is valued for its durability, portability, and natural beauty in the manufacture of art objects, trophy plaques, gun butts, furniture, hardwood floors, and cabinets. White oak has a certain resistance to water, which is why it has always been used to make boats and wine barrels. Barrel aged spirits are often aged in oak barrels.
What does the grain of oak look like?
Oak wood typically has a straight grain and an irregular texture. However, there are other aspects of the grain of oak that make it absolutely unique. For example, the water resistance of white oak is due to its pores. They are completely closed by tyloses. Red oak does not have the same cell growth and its pores are open. Another unique feature of oak is the rays that run along the grain. With Red Oak, it sometimes looks like someone took a dark pencil and drew dotted lines on a board. The same markings are also found on White Oak but they tend to be much longer.