Oak furniture is extremely popular today, although it has been the choice for quality furniture for centuries. You will discover a huge choice of furniture available online and in the high street. Without doubt, there is oak furniture for all occasions and all styles: From the traditional classic to ultra-modern minimalist designs. Regardless of whether you intend to buy online or in store knowing what makes a piece of oak furniture worth the price is important. Here’s a few of the finer points that will help you know what you are buying and so ensure you get value for money.
Oak is a hardwood but contrary to popular belief not all hardwoods are actually ‘hard’. Some hardwoods can be soft and visa-versa. The real difference is that softwood comes from evergreen trees such as pine and cedar. Hardwood is from deciduous trees with broad leaves. Light brown in colour, oak wood is very durable and strong which makes it perfect for furniture that you want to last. Indeed, it is so durable oak flooring is a popular choice because it is so tough and hard-wearing. White oak is also used for furniture and flooring, and is even more durable. However, it is more expensive.
Solid Wood and Veneers
Oak furniture has been around since the middle ages. Solid oak furniture is built to last for generations. Furniture made with oak veneer that incorporates cheaper wood types has a lower price tag. There is a lot of oak veneered furniture around which looks great. However, do not expect it to last a lifetime, let alone generations to come. There is nothing actually wrong with oak veneer furniture, if it matches your style preference or budget – so long as it has been made well that is.
What Defines Built Well?
A good solid structure that has been well constructed is the short answer. Check for telling gaps between joints and badly fastened pieces. Surfaces should be level and feel smooth. If the wood has been stained the grain should still be evident and uniformed.
Worried About the Environment?
English oak is not plentiful but in the United States it is grown, harvested and milled because it is one of the most abundant hardwoods in this country. Therefore U.S Oak is readily available.
White and Red Oak
White oak is more expensive but is waterproof which makes it a particularly good for outdoor furniture and floors. Even so, red oak was used to make wagon wheels so it is hardly vulnerable! This makes it the perfect choice for furniture that gets used a lot such as tables, chairs and bed frames.
If your oak furniture is sealed keeping it clean is easy. Simply wipe it down with a damp cloth. If the wood has been left in its natural state, use a mild oil or rich polish. Knowing what you are buying means you will spend your money wisely – Looking after it properly is another wise move!