25When you’re in the market for new furniture, there’s a host of factors you should take into consideration to ensure the highest bang for your bucky, one of which is life expectancy.
Generally speaking, furniture made entirely out of solid woods, like oak and pine, tend to be more durable and easier to maintain than wood veneer furniture, typically consisting of fiberboard panels covered by thin layers of wood.
Out of all solid woods, oak seems to stand out in terms of durability. It’s so sturdy that it’s utilized for house flooring! Oak is also one of the most expensive types of solid wood, mainly because it takes a long time for oak trees to grow.
If you’re wondering whether or not oak furniture is worth the steep price tag, this article is for you. We highlight how long oak furniture lasts along with all of its advantages and disadvantages so that it’s easier for you to make a sound purchase decision.
The Short Answer
Oak is a sturdy, class-two timber known for its outstanding durability, high fungal resistance, an indefinite lifespan. With proper care, oak furniture can last for a lifetime!
All About Oak Furniture
Having been utilized for centuries, oak is one of the oldest material choices in the furniture making racket. Ever since the British Tudor monarchs, oak has maintained its popularity and has undergone several style changes to appease different consumer types.
Oak furniture is pretty expensive, which may lead you to think that oak wood isn’t very widespread, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth. In fact, oak is the most abundant type of solid wood in the United States.
The reason behind oak furniture’s steep pricing is the time it takes an oak tree to fully develop, which is 30-40 years. Oak’s most notable alternative, pine, take 25-30 years to develop, hence the lower price.
You may be wondering, why not cut oak trees prematurely? Well, the slow growth of oak trees is what makes them so sturdy. The slower they grow, the denser and more durable the wood.
What we love the most about oak wood is that it’s super versatile. Even though it’s associated with more traditional furniture styles, it can be integrated perfectly into a modern layout. We also love that it comes in a range of natural colours, ranging from light to dark. This is why oak wood is divided into two different categories: white and red.
White oak is the lightest and most durable of the two categories. In addition, it flaunts remarkable waterproofing characteristics, which makes it perfect for outdoor use. In fact, white oak was historically used to make barrels and ships.
In contrast, red oak’s darker shade ranges from light cream to warm brown, with some varieties featuring streaks of reddish shades. Red oak is typically used for furniture, flooring, cabinets, and more.
Advantages of Oak Furniture
- Superior Durability – Furniture pieces made from oak are remarkably resilient and can handle severe damage without showing any signs of wear and tear. This makes oak wood perfect for furniture pieces that are used frequently, like dining room sets.
- Unique Grain – Most solid woods look alike, but not oak, thanks to its unique, wavy grain and clear coat, which grant a great deal of aesthetic appeal that suits both traditional and modern layouts.
- Low Maintenance – Thanks to its remarkable durability and resilient nature, oak doesn’t require as much maintenance as some of the other types of solid woods used to make furniture. You’ll need to clean and polish it every now and then, but nothing too serious.
- Versatile Use – While certain types of wood only work for certain furniture applications, oak wood is perfect for virtually all furniture applications. It can be hard to work with oak due to how dense and hard it is, but these very characteristics make it perfect for a wide range of applications, from beds and seating pieces to tables and counters.
- Readily Available – Oak furniture is super popular and readily available. You can shop for a wide range of oak furniture pieces online and have them delivered to your doorstep in no time.
- Timeless Look – Oak wood has been used in furniture making for many centuries, and to this day, it’s still as popular as ever, which is a testament to its timeless look.
- Warping Resistance – Oak is one of the few wood varieties resistant to warping, which basically means that it won’t deviate from its original shape over time as a result of uneven shrinkage or stresses.
Disadvantages of Oak Furniture
- Expensive – Oak trees take a long time to mature, which increases the cost of oak wood furniture. However, it’s worth noting that the life expectancy of oak furniture is indefinite with proper care, so it’s definitely worth the steep cost.
- Very Heavy- Oakwood is heavy compared to the likes of pine and cedar, so moving oak furniture can be quite challenging and arduous. Having to move or rearrange a lot of oak pieces will require you to hire professional movers.
The Bottom Line: Is Oak Furniture Worth It?
Even though oak wood has a few potential drawbacks, the positives greatly outweigh the negatives, which is why it remains one of the most popular material options for furniture.
Oak is remarkably durable and resistant to wear and tear. It also has a timeless look that fits perfectly with traditional and modern layouts alike. Oak is also resistant to fungi and boasts excellent waterproofing characteristics.
With proper care, oak furniture should last you a lifetime, which more than makes up for its steep price.