Oak is one of the most popular types of solid wood worktops in the United Kingdom. Oak is a light to medium colour with defined grains of differing width, shape and intensity depending on the part of the trunk that the timber is taken from, the species of oak, and the region and climate that the tree has grown in. Oak has a much wider grain than most timber from ash trees for example. Oak is a beautiful wood that can be stained with many different coloured treatment oils.
Why Oak Worktops Make the Perfect Choice for a Busy Kitchen
Kitchen worktops are made of different materials, from granite to glass and even solid surface composite. Each of these materials have their share of pros and cons.
But where wooden worktops are concerned, oak is a popular choice. After all, it is strong, durable, and naturally insect and fungal-resistant due to the tannins that are contained within the wood, as nature intended. This makes oak worktops one of your best options if you are aiming for durability, strength, and resistance to microbial attack.
What is Oak?
Part of the Fagaceae beech family in the genus Quercus, oak is either a tree or shrub that has around 600 extant species. Its density is about 0.75 g/cm3 (0.43 oz/cu in), which explains its hardness and strength.
What are the Uses of Oak Wood?
Before there were oak worktops, there were:
- Planking used by many Viking ships
- Interior panelling for buildings known for its prestige, as seen in the debating chamber of the House of Commons in London
- Fine furniture construction
- Wine barrels for brandy, scotch whiskey, and bourbon whiskey
Professional Yamaha drums, on the other hand, are made from Japanese oak.
What are the Positive and Remarkable Characteristics of Oak?
- Strong, hard and durable
- Has high tannin content, making resistant to fungal and insect attack.
- Shows appealing markings when quarter sawn
- When charred before use, it contributes to the aroma, colour, and taste of the content of an oak barrel
- Japanese oak has a higher density, creating a brighter and ‘louder’ tone.
- Red oak of North America is prized for its good lumber
What is even better is that different parts of oak have different uses. Leaves are used as bedding for livestock and as fodder. The bark is used to create wine stoppers, and dried and used in medical purposes. In Korea, it is even used to make some types of natural/herbal medicine.
The tannin in oak is used to tan leather, as well as flavour liquors and wines that are produced in barrels made from this type of wood.
Oak is very useful. Just imagine what you will get from oak worktops.
Why Choose Oak for your Kitchen Worktop?
- Strength and beauty rolled into one. It has incomparable beauty, durability, and strength that ensures a work surface that will last a long time. It is the material to go for if you aim for elegance and classic appeal. And, like many things old-world, oak will last a long time, especially with proper care.
- Its strong grain adds real character to the worktop. Remember grain markings? Oak has plenty of these, and you can put them on display in your kitchen.
- The wood will gradually mature and darken and deepen its natural charm. Just like aged wine, right? Not only does oak lasts a long time but ages beautifully too.
- The surfaces are built to stand the test of time and the busiest of households. If you think a worktop gets a good beating, what do you call the kind of abuse oak planks and lumber endure?
- Countertops made from staves of quality timbers can be more affordable than stone (quartz, marble or granite) kitchen worktops. This makes oak a worthy investment that you could recoup over time.
For any style, be it rustic, classic, traditional or contemporary, you can opt for oak worktops in your kitchen.