Oak - Character Grade (Euro)
European Oak - Character Grade is a hardwood timber species native to Europe, with a scientific name of Quercus robur and Q. Petraea (Fagaceae). It is a popular and timeless timber, with a generally straight grain and coarse texture. The heartwood of Oak varies from light tan to a deep brown, with distinct bands of early wood and latewood, and when quarter sawn, it shows an attractive figure known as 'silver grain'.Character grade Oak displays knots, blemishes, and other natural character which makes it more suited to flooring, cladding and flat surfaces, rather than windows, doors and stairs. It is a versatile timber, suitable for a variety of applications, such as skirting board, architrave, cladding, flooring, and much more. Oak - Character Grade is commonly sourced from mainland Europe, however, English Oak is also available upon request.
English Oak, Pendunculate Oak, Common Oak, Sessile Oak, Durmast Oak
The heartwood of European oak is durable and highly resistant to preservatives. The sapwood, however is vulnerable to powder-post and common furniture beetles. European oak is a good alround performer.
The drying and seasoning of Oak - Character Grade (Euro) is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Oak - Character Grade (Euro) - Drying is slow, with a tendency to check, split, warp and honeycomb; shrinkage is high. Movement in service is medium. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.
Oak is fairly hard, heavy and dense, with high crushing and bending strength, low stiffness and resistance to shock loads. It is very good for steam-bending. It is fairly hard to work with hand tools, with a tolerable to severe blunting effect. Pre-drilling is advised for nailing and screwing. It turns adequately and is good for gluing. Oak is good for painting, staining, oiling, varnishing and will take a high polish. The tannin content may corrode ferrous metals, particularly when exposed externally - the tannin can also cause staining to adjacent surfaces.
Furniture, Flooring, Cabinets, Doors, Millwork, Staircases, Boatbuilding, Musical Instruments, Turnery, Veneer.
'Mighty oaks from little acorns grow' goes the quote. This tree inspires us to be strong in body, mind and spirit. It is a sacred and revered tree representing endurance, power, protection and authority.
Considered as of least concern by The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (last assessed in 2007)
Wood Worker's Thoughts:
Hard on tools, moves and splits and twists. Overall finish very good. We recommend you visit our Finishes area and Technical area for more info on how to care for and treat this wood.
Commonly asked questions about European Oak Wood
Is Oak a hardwood or a softwood? Oak is a hardwood. It is the same for; is European Oak hardwood or softwood? - European Oak is a hardwood.
Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Oak family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.
What colour is European Oak? European Oak can be described as brown, light brown, yellow/brown
Is European Oak good for outdoor use? or is European Oak good for exterior use? European Oak is most suited for exterior/external use. European Oak can be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).
Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood