If you’re a fan of reclaimed wood, you may have noticed an abundance of reclaimed oak planks. Though white oak is one of the ten most common native trees in America, there’s more to this reclaimed wood’s popularity than just abundant supply.
Oak trees have a lifespan of several hundred years -- and up to 1,000 years in the U.K. Oak’s ability to survive for so long is largely thanks to their dense construction, which also makes it resistant to insect and fungal attack.
Dense wood makes an exceptionally strong building material, naturally well-suited for flooring, furniture, and wood wall planks. Products made from oak are durable, long-lasting, look good and hold up much better than modern wood substitutes like mdf.
Natural oak wood has a lovely color and prominent grain which reacts beautifully to many types of finishes. If you’re still holding on to a piece of oak furniture in high-gloss honey gold from the 1980s because it has “good bones”, you have the right instinct. That piece can be refinished and updated to match your current style, and even be handed down as an heirloom for several generations.
If you’re not a fan of the light high-gloss style that you’re used to seeing, you might opt for an option that has been stained or naturally colored. Barrel oak staves are commonly used in winemaking facilities to give the wine an oak flavor when foregoing fermentation in smaller oak barrels. The result is a beautiful naturally stained merlot-color that gives a new take on the traditional look.
Though oak trees are long-lived, it takes 150 years of growth before the wood can be used in construction. Cutting down live oaks isn’t considered a sustainable practice, especially when other species of tree, like pines, grow much faster.
But now that we know how durable and resilient it is, reclaimed oak can be a good investment. Choosing a peel and stick wood wall made of reclaimed oak or a look that is similar to reclaimed oak adds enduring beauty to your home while saving you time with its ease of installation.