Thursday, 25 August 2011

How To Tell Oak From Pine When Choosing Doors

Oak and pine are along with maple, three of the most commonly used woods in the production of household goods and furniture. Both oak and pine are sturdy materials that when treated properly, offer a fantastic finish.

However, the materials vary drastically with regards to their colour, weight, price and durability. This is why, if you’re seeking for instance, oak doors, you need to guarantee that what you’re buying is oak, rather than its less durable cousin, pine.

So how can I tell the difference between oak and pine?

• Knock on the wood – Oak is very hard, heavy and resistant to wear and tear. This makes oak doors an ideal choice; whether considering oak internal doors or external oak doors. This also means that oak has a solid and very dense sound when knocked on.

• Study the woods colour – Pine is much lighter in colour than oak, varying from creamy white to yellow. Oak is usually quite dark, with reddish tones. Due to the colours, you will usually find pine is used for rustic and traditional styled goods while oak is more commonly used for country designs and contemporary furniture.

• Compare the price – Oak will usually be much more expensive than pine. This is because oak trees take much longer to reach maturity than pine trees. Because of the extra expense, oak is better suited to goods that are expected to have a long shelf-life, such as oak doors or countertops.

Although I have suggested studying the colour of the wood in order to differentiate between oak and pine, it should be noted that this test is not 100% reliable. There are ways to bless cheaper wood with the appearance of higher quality and more expensive wood. Because of this you should remember to never entirely ‘judge wood by its cover’ and instead make use of the ‘knock test’ and ‘price test’ also.

Remember – you get what you pay for. If someone is offering you a set of oak doors for a staggeringly low price, be very sceptical.

Should I choose oak or pine for my home?

The choice is of course, down to your own preference, budget and style. However, oak is more suitable for some goods (such as oak doors) while pine is more suited to others.

• As pine is a relatively light material, it is highly suited to furniture that may be moved around regularly such as beds, chairs and tables.

• Oak therefore, is more suitable for goods that are likely to stay in one fixed location. It’s fantastic for countertops and both external and oak internal doors.

If you wish to adorn your home with oak furniture throughout, but either don’t have the resources or feel the material isn’t suitable for all your needs, it might be worth investigating ways to change the woods appearance. This is an easy way to enjoy the appearance of oak without the associated cost or inconvenience of unnecessarily heavy furniture.

This post was written by James Harper on behalf of UK Oak Doors. James is currently renovating his home and enjoys writing about home improvement an interior design.

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