Choosing the right type of wood for your home or office furniture isn’t as straightforward as you might think. With so many wood species of wood used in making furniture, we can imagine how hard it is to distinguish between them.
After all, a set of furniture is a long-term investment. You’re probably not fond of the idea of buying low-quality furniture, only to find out that it needs to be replaced a couple of years later.
In this guide, we’ve picked oak and ash–two of the most popular furniture wood types and put them in a head-to-head comparison, so let’s find out how they stack up against each other!
Is Ash Better Than Oak?
Both ash and oak are from the hardwood family of trees, which are much heavier and have a higher density than softwoods. You just can’t go wrong with either of them. Ash is slightly harder than oak, though. Not to mention, it’s very sturdy compared to softwood, for example.
Ash wood is also used in a wide variety of products, thanks to its excellent machinability. Some of the items usually made using ash wood include tool handles and sports equipment (like baseball bats). It was even used in making weaponry in ancient times. In fact, the name “ash” means “spear”, and you can clearly tell where it got its name from.
On the other hand, oak wood features unmatchable resilience, making it the perfect choice for heavy-duty applications. For example, oak wood is one of the most commonly used to make floors, which gives you an idea about its strength.
Additionally, oak wood is very resistant to warping. On top of that, its grain patterns look very stylish, especially when coupled with a clear finish or design.
White ash is almost indistinguishable from red oak when painted. Ash wood is preferable for home furniture because it’s cheaper than red oak while also having nearly the same favourable characteristics.
How Can You Tell the Difference Between Oak Wood and Ash Wood?
How would someone tell the difference between oak wood and ash wood? Isn’t it all just wood? Wrong; each has its characteristics and benefits!
For one, each hardwood type has a unique texture, and its appearance makes it easily distinguishable from the other types, especially when you look at a piece of each put side by side. For example, ash is lighter in colour than oak. It’s also slightly more oval at the tips, while oak tends to be wavy. However, they share the same grain pattern, designs, and contrast.
It might take some practice for you to be able to differentiate between them, and the best way to do that is to simply put two sample pieces together right in front of your eyes. The pattern and design will set them apart!
The Difference Between Red and White Oak Wood
There are two variants of oak wood: red and white hardwoods. Red oak has a red-brown shade, while white oak is light brown. And while each has its own beauty, unique colour, and grain shape, they don’t differ much when they’re stained.
The Distinction Between White Ash and Black Ash Wood
Mother nature offers two variants of ash trees: black and white ash trees. Both grow predominantly in North America. The problem with the black variant is that it has minerals, pesticides, and nitrates, which negatively affect its properties.
On the other hand, white ash is purified from all of that, making it a much better option to go for when buying furnishings.
Which Is the Best Furniture Wood?
There isn’t a single hardwood type that can claim the crown as among the best wood furniture, but we can give you a list of some of the most popular types of wood that manufacturers use to make chairs, tables, and flooring. It includes:
Of course, other types of wood are used in furniture making, but we wouldn’t recommend them unless you want your piece of furniture to break in half after a while.
Is Ash Suitable as a Wood Furniture?
Definitely! Ash wood is among the best woods used in furniture’s manufacturing when it comes to durability, hardness, and versatility. It’s also reasonably priced.
Why Does the Colour of Ash Wood Change Over the Years?
As time passes, the colour of ash woods may alter due to exposure to sunlight and oxygen. Lighter shades will become darker, and vice versa.
However, this is quite natural for real wood, and it’s nothing to be worried about. It’s a prolonged process that takes years for any slight change in details. You can slow it down by reducing your furniture’s exposure to UV light, preserving its longevity.
Is Walnut More Expensive Than Oak?
Yes, it’s challenging to find compared to oak wood furniture, which explains why furnishings of its kind have higher price tags. However, we don’t think it’s worth it to pay a premium for a walnut wood furnishing set because it doesn’t differ much from oak when it comes to strength and hardness.
To recap, both oak and ash are excellent when used as wood furniture; whether you’re furnishing your living room, dining room, bedroom, or even your office, both of these hardwoods are unmatchable, and they’d definitely add to the overall style of your home.
They’re durable, hard, and odourless, which is precisely why furniture makers use them in their products. Plus, they fit any space, including a living room!
Many people opt for ash wood for their home furnishings because it’s more cost-effective, and it’s true. Why would you pay more for oak wood furniture when ash wood simply offers the same functionality?
We’re not saying that you shouldn’t consider buying oak wood furniture at all. At the end of the day, oak is one of the most robust hardwood materials out there, so you do get what you pay for.