Whether you’re planning to build a new home or are renovating an existing one, you may already have thought of oak as one of your building material. Oak is sturdy and hardy, and it can last for centuries – but it has other benefits, besides.
If you have existing oak beams in your property, it pays to have them fully restored because it adds intrinsic value to your property as well. But what makes this kind of timber so unique and special?
What distinguishes it from other timber types out there? Here are the top four properties of oak that make it a premium choice in building material.
1. The durability
The inherent strength of oak wood makes it a premium option when it comes to building materials. Many period properties feature oak beams and support elements, and if you have such beams in your home, you should take advantage of beam renovation so they can be brought back to their former glory and last for many more years.
Even if there are about 500 to 600 kinds of oak varieties around the globe, all these varieties have three main things in common: they are strong, durable, and moisture-resistant. There aren’t that many other hardwoods that can be compared to oak in terms of strength, and that’s why it’s a favourite of carpenters and builders for foundations and support beams.
2. The appearance
No doubt, compared to other types of timber, oak has quite a unique appearance and character. It can lend charm and elegance to any structure when it is used, and it has a distinctive look. This look changes as the wood ages, making it appear even richer and more attractive. The grain of the wood adds to its unique appeal, especially if the wood is quarter sawn. If you have exposed oak beams, this can give the space a rustic atmosphere and enhance the space’s character.
3. The versatility
You can use oak for a variety of applications and not just for support for your structure. Of course, oak furniture is pretty common, as is oak flooring and cabinetry. Oak is also widely used for boats due to its innate strength and its resistance to pests, rot, and decay – and this adds another advantage when you use oak because it is not difficult to maintain.
4. The sustainability and environmental-friendliness
In the UK, oak wood has been used for centuries, and this is due to its excellent qualities and its availability. But although most types of trees are easy to re-grow individually, we still have to remember that sustainability is important and that we cannot renewably harvest all kinds of timber.
Oak, however, is different, because the amount of oak that is made use of in building and construction is mostly dictated by the wood’s cost. Since oak is more expensive than other materials, it is mostly used only where people can see it and appreciate its value and beauty.
If you use green oak, it is also environmentally friendlier than most because it doesn’t require a large amount of fossil fuel for it to be produced. Additionally, it doesn’t require extensive processing or chemical treatment, unlike other types of wood and materials such as concrete or brick.