Posts Tagged ‘Oak Chairs’

Why is Oak Wood So Popular for Furniture?

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Northern Red Oak PodiumAt ABC Office, we offer a wide assortment of lecterns, pulpits, chairs and tables (found here), much of it being made from northern red oak from New York State. While oak does look nice, why is it so popular in furniture? I would like to cover several of the benefits of oak furniture and why oak is so popular for use in hardwood furniture today.

Oak is a type of wood with a rich history, having been used by several countries and cultures over the past several centuries. Even as far back as the Vikings, oak was used in their more prestigious Viking longships. Into the middle ages oak was used for building frames, as furniture and can even be found in the House of Commons in London in the interior paneling. It was especially popular during the 19th century for building construction and shipbuilding.

So why is oak so popular? For starters, it is readily available in many parts of the world. Of course availability isn’t the only reason. It is also extremely hard and durable, having a density of 0.75 g/cm3, which is extremely dense and strong for use in furniture. Hardwood has a tendency of being stronger and lasting longer. The density, along with high tannin content, makes oak more resistant to both insect and fungal attacks.

Historically both red and white oaks were two of the most common types used in the United States. White oak is lighter in color than red oak and white oak has longer grain rays. Because white oak is waterproof, it was the most common wood used in shipbuilding. Red oak on the other hand was very popular for hardwood floors, railroad ties and wagon wheels.

Today white and red oaks are still used, with red oak being especially popular for furniture. Other types of oak used include such varieties as natural oak, tiger oak, pippy oak, burr oak and more. The different varieties of oak have different densities and wood patterns. The type of oak used often depends on preference and regional availability.

Unfinished oak is second only to pine and when it comes to popularity and it is known for its ability to stain nicely. It is ideal for use in high-use environments due to its durability.

Much of our furniture at ABC Office is made using northern red oak from New York State. This is because northern red oak is very durable and has an absolutely beautiful wood grain pattern. One of our manufacturers, Woerner, uses this wood for their lecterns, pulpits, tables and chairs. Many of our other manufacturers, such as Wooden Mallet (found here) and Executive Wood, also use high quality oak wood in much of their furniture manufacturing.

When you buy a piece of furniture made using oak, you are almost guaranteed a longer-lasting piece of furniture. Not only does it look better, it is also holds up much better than cheaper particle board or MDF board.

If you need wood samples, or simply have questions about our oak furniture, please give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We would love to help answer your questions. You can find our entire selection of oak lecterns here, oak tables here and oak seating here.

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