If you’re looking furniture that is sturdy enough to last a lifetime and has a rich and stately feel, oak is a good choice. This dense hardwood, which doesn’t need as much care as other woods and is sturdier than teak or mahogany, maintains its shine and never goes out of style. Buying oak furniture can be a daunting task so here are some tips to get you started:
Given that you’ll be making a significant investment in your oak furniture pay particular attention to its construction. The joints should be fastened securely, with no gaps between parts. New oak furniture should have no dents, and you should check horizontal planes to be they are level (unless angles are an intended design choice).
Oak’s texture is naturally coarse, but for most furniture pieces, the surface should be smooth to the touch. Most oak furniture is coated with urethane or a stain that highlights the grain. Check that coats and stains have a uniform appearance and don’t completely hide the grain which is essential for bringing out that warm look.
Getting a Good Price
Solid hardwood furniture is inevitably more expensive, and oak is no exception. You may find bargains buying used oak furniture, then refinishing or repairing it. Buying oak furniture in unfinished form is another way to save money while giving you the chance to finish it in exactly the way you want – something that can be done in a weekend even by an amateur painter. Remember, well-constructed oak furniture can last generations, so it’s likely worth the investment.
Solid Oak Vs. Oak Veneer
If you’re really after that beautiful oak grain feels but lack the budget for solid oak, you may want to consider pine or even particleboard furniture that has been covered with oak veneer – a thin finishing layer made from wide sheets of real oak. Oak veneer furniture isn’t as long lasting as solid oak but provided it’s well constructed, it is still durable and can offer the same beauty as solid oak at a fraction of the cost.