Oak Wood Advantages and Disadvantages

Oak Wood is medium brown-colored, straight-grained hardwood. It is strong, hard, heavy, and dense-grained wood. Due to its natural properties, it is the best choice for making furniture, cabinetry, and flooring. 

Oak Wood is resistant to decay and moisture, So it is widely used for boatbuilding. Oaks is a versatile wood, it is used in many interior and exterior applications.

Species of Oak

There are about 500 species of oak. But not all species can be used for lumber. Some species are used only for medicinal purposes and as ornamental trees. 

The species that produce lumber are very close to each other and difficult to differentiate.

Oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus of the beech family. It is Grows in the Northern Hemisphere. Some species of Oak are deciduous and some are evergreen.

Some of the famous species of Oak are as follows.

  1. English Oak or European Oak( Quercus robur)
  2. White Oak (Quercus alba)
  3. Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
  4. Black Oak or Eastern Black Oak (Quercus velutina)
  5. Burr Oak or Mossycup Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
  6. Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea)
  7. Live Oak or Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)

Advantages of Oak Wood

1. Great Durable

Oak Wood is Extremely strong, durable, and heavy. Oak is perfect for furniture, joinery, flooring, paneling, decking, and veneers.

It can last more than 150 to 200 years with low maintenance. If it is in contact with the ground on moist soil, its life span is 50 to 60 years.

It’s close-grained impervious to water, making it an excellent choice for all types of outdoor projects.

2. Attractive appearance

Generally, the color of oak wood is light brown to reddish-brown. But the color depends on the species of oak.

Its light brown color with a prominent grain looks great and adds a smooth continuity of natural materials.

Generally, Oak has a straight grain with a coarse, uneven texture. There may be irregular or interlocked grain, depending on the growing conditions of the tree.

3. Water-Resistant

Oak Wood is dense and strong. It finishes extremely well and is used for all types of outdoor projects, such as decking, boat frames, and boat building. 

When exposed to moist conditions, Oak is very resistant to absorption and warping. Its dense grains do not absorb moisture

In terms of water resistance, we can compare oak to teak. These woods perform very well even in humidity with low maintenance.

4. Shrinking and Warping Resistant

Temperature and weather do not affect Oak Wood. It does not shrink and warps. A chemical (tannin) inside the wood, protects it against moisture infiltration and rot.

Well-dried wood should be used, as it is more stable. Wood becomes more stable by polishing and painting.

5. Easy to Work

As we all know, hardwoods are a bit difficult to work with, as they are heavy and hard. But when we compare oak wood to any other hardwood, We find that it is easier to work with oak wood. Oak Wood produces good results with hand and machine tools.

Even after being tough, Oak Responds well to steam-bending. It holds the nail and screws very well. 

6. Finish well

Although oak wood naturally looks beautiful, it finishes well. Wood accepts all types of stains.

Stain enhances this wood’s appearance and durability. Polish gives a rich appearance.

7. Resistant to Rot

The Oak belongs to the hardwood species. Generally, Hardwoods are naturally resistant to decay and fungal attack. 

Due to its compact structure and long-lived nature, it is not affected by external elements.

Oak Wood is a good choice for those who want to build a project that will be in contact with the ground on moist soil.

8. Availability

Oak is a famous wood species, Its demand is very high. Some species of Oak are widely grown and available in Europe.

Abundant availability in a good range of width and thickness at a moderate price.

Disadvantages of Oak Wood

Oak Wood has many advantages and it is great wood but it also has some disadvantages as well. Because no wood is 100% perfect.

1. Expensive

Oak Wood is expensive because of its high demand and slow growth rate(grows 1 to 3 feet per year throughout its lifetime). Generally, most hardwoods are expensive as compared to softwood. Because the growth rate of hardwood is slow.  

They are long-lived and can grow over 100 to 150 feet but most trees are harvested at between 30–50 years. So trees do not produce much lumber.

The physical properties of all species are different from each other. So that there is a difference in their price.

2. Dark over time

Like many other kinds of wood, oak wood also changes color over time. Oak Wood may darken slightly over time. This process is accelerated by exposure to oxygen and UV light.

In this way, the oak changes its color after the project is finished. This means that the color of the wood you are building the project with is not going to stay the same forever.

You can slow down the color change process by doing stains or polishes.

3. Hard to Identify True Oak

As we know, there are about 500 species of Oak. When we search for oak lumber for our furniture, It can be a bit difficult to identify true and right oak. Those people who have less knowledge about the species of wood have more problems identifying the true wood.

It is very important that you choose the right wood for your dream projects and you know which species of wood you are choosing. So always buy from a trusted shop only.

4. Heavy-weight

Oak Wood is very heavy because of its high density. So Oak lumber is not easy to transport. Due to the Heavy Weight, It’s also difficult to work with at height.

5. Tannic Acid 

Generally tannic acid is present in all wood such as walnut and mahogany. But Oak contains lots of tannic acids. Tannic Acid is a basic ingredient in the chemical staining of the wood. 

Due to tannic, metals such as nails and screws may rust and the wood may discolor. Tannic acid leaving a yellowish-brown stain on the surface, which looks very bad

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