Properties of Oak

Strength, Durability, Flexibility, and Aesthetic: All Incredible Properties of Oak 

European Oak has been used for a wide variety of purposes for thousands of years.


Mostly for purposes such as: furniture making, home decoration and structural or architectural joinery. Wars have even been fought to secure supplies from abroad for shipbuilding and other military purposes.


These days Oak is widely planted and farmed all over Europe. The supply is available for high-in-demand product. But what makes it so thoroughly sought after?

Physical Properties of Oak Wood

For construction purposes, the physical properties of the wood itself are crucial. European oak possesses a number of strengths that make it particularly desirable. These can be separated into two main categories, flexibility of use and physical durability.



The fact that Oak Trees grow to such a great size (from eighteen to thirty metres in height) means there is a particularly high yield of timber per tree. The length of the timber derived makes it perfect for jobs such as flooring or exterior cladding.


This also means work can be completed quickly as fewer individual pieces of timber will be required per job.


The uniformity of the oak wood colour and grain also guarantees a consistent finish for large scale jobs without the need for treatment or staining.


As a hardwood, Oak has a high level of water resistance because its dense, non-porous texture resists water absorption. This is ideal for exterior uses without the need for waterproofing. Oak barrels are still used today in alcohol ageing due to its natural water resistance.


Oak is also highly shrink resistant. Perfect for door and window frames as it will not easily warp.



Many Oak Framed buildings erected hundreds of years ago still stand all over Europe. A testament to their longevity. Oak beams from the Tudor era still support the upper floors of structures that are in use.


Oak wood naturally contains a high proportion of tannin which is highly resistant to attack by insects or fungi. This is part of the reason Oak trees are so long-lived. Combined with their natural water resistance, Oak wood is less prone to decay and rotting.


The resulting timber will be extremely weatherproof and require little or no chemical treatment.


This can be achieved by traditional air drying or kiln drying and results in an extremely hardwearing product.


Aesthetic Advantages of Oak Wood


Aside from its physical advantages, appearance is a vital property of Oak wood.


It naturally possesses a pleasing golden colour and eventually dries to a silvery tone over time.


Many property owners favour the appearance of natural Oak wood over duller man-made materials. Even its texture needs little or no decoration to look attractive.


Despite this, Oak wood that has been stained also possesses an aged effect that has been used in historic buildings. The interior panelling of the debating chamber in the House of Commons is a great example.



Any reputable timber supplier should be PEFC and FSC certified. The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is a global group that encourages sustainable forest management to reduce the environmental impact of the timber industry. They create and implement sustainable forest management systems tailored to specific environments.

This ensures forests are not overly depleted and illegal logging is prevented. As Oak forests provide a rich habitat that supports many other forms of life, guaranteeing their survival is paramount.


The Forest Stewardship Council is a non–profit multinational organisation that ensures that wood sources are renewable and responsibly managed and that wood is efficiently recycled as a renewable resource. Since wood production uses significantly less energy when compared to the resource recycling of steel or aluminium, it can benefit the environment.


Because Oak needs no chemical treatment or industrial reprocessing, its use already has less impact than other wood production.


Hardwoods Group are dedicated suppliers of European Oak Frames and Wholesale Oak Supply.


Whether it’s wholesale sections or Bespoke Oak Frames you’re after, get your project started today.