Your Best Guide to Oak Wood: Properties, Qualities, Appearance, and More

Your Best Guide to Oak Wood | Your Best Guide to Oak Wood: Properties, Qualities, Appearance, and More  | Hardwoods come in many forms, but everyone will agree that one of the most popular is oak. Oak has been a consistently used material for centuries, and we see it everywhere – from furniture to support beams to flooring and rustic, decorative pieces that have a unique charm. Not only does oak look beautiful, especially as it ages – it is also hardy and durable and as strong as can be. But what else can you expect with oak and its uses and properties, and why does it make sense to choose it over other timber materials? Here’s your best guide to oak wood: properties, qualities, appearance, and more.

The basics of oak

You already know that oak is special, and you may even be seriously considering it as a material for your home. If you already have oak in your home in the form of furniture, support beams, and so on, then you are aware that it is a worthwhile investment. Oak beam renovation has always been in demand because oak is worth restoring due to its many positive qualities. 

But what exactly is this timber all about? Oak is a kind of hardwood that is derived from oak trees found in the northern hemisphere. You can find approximately 600 species of this hardwood all over the world, both evergreen and deciduous. North America has the greatest number of oak trees with about 90 oak tree species. Oak has long been utilised as a material for construction and other purposes, but it can take as much as a century and a half before the wood can be used. In modern times, oak is highly popular for flooring, homeware, firewood, and wine barrels. 

The qualities and properties of the timber

Oak is exceedingly durable and strong, and it is also heavy. You can easily distinguish it from other types of timber due to its light colouring and prominent graining. What makes it even more special is its resistance to insects and fungi, and it has this characteristic because the wood is dense and has a long lifespan. The wood can last for hundreds of years, and many historic homes and buildings feature oak wood as support beams or frames because they are immensely strong and attain a beautiful sheen as they age. 

The appearance 

Speaking of appearance, the shade of this timber can differ from one tree to another and even from one branch to another. When you apply a natural oil or finish to oak, the material can attain different contrasts and variations which makes it even more stunning. The appearance of oak is highly appreciated by those who prefer the natural look and theme, and it looks even more elegant when it has been exposed to the elements or it has been used for many years. When you touch it, oak feels smooth and hard, but this will also depend on the finish you choose for the wood. 

Taking care of oak 

If you have items made of oak such as chopping boards or kitchen utensils, you should hand wash them but avoid soaking them in water. It would also be good if you oil your oak wood items regularly. For old oak beams or furniture, restoration is key, and restorers can easily transform the look and integrity of oak beams and furniture with gentle yet precise methods and products.