Hardwood is gorgeous in the home and perfect for your furniture. It gives style and elegance and it comes from renewable sources. There are many different hardwoods to choose from but the most popular in the UK is oak which has been used for many years because of its beautiful looks, the wonderful properties it possesses to make it a good construction and craft wood, and the fact that it is sourced locally. It resists fungal and insect attack well, so it is obvious why oak furniture like that sold on kalustofurniture.co.uk is so popular.
So, what does ‘hardwood’ mean? The term ‘hardwood’ doesn’t necessarily mean that the wood is hard. Balsa is a hardwood but it is actually softer than the softwoods. There is great variance in the actual hardness of both hardwoods and softwoods. What the term means is that the wood comes from trees that reproduce in a certain way. Hardwoods come from angiosperm trees where the seeds have some sort of covering. Oak is a hardwood because the acorns are covered seeds.
The actual hardness of wood is measured on the Janka scale. At the top end of the scale are woods such as Patagonian Rosewood and Brazilian Ebony and at the bottom end you tend to find a lot of the softwoods such as Western Juniper and Eastern White Pine. The scale measures in pounds-force (lbf) and it records the force required to embed a 0.444 inch steel ball into wood to the point where it halves the ball’s diameter. Guayacan wood at the very top of the scale is rated at 4500 lbf, and Balsa at the bottom end is rated at 100 lbf.
Oak is available in several different types, each with distinct characteristics. The types are Natural, Tiger, Pippy and Bog. Natural is the most common and is pale brown with normal grain, Tiger is more stripy, Pippy has a cats-paw appearance, and Bog is dark because it has taken on colour from peat bogs. Bog oak is particularly rare, so you aren’t likely to find much furniture made from it, although it does exist.
When buying oak furniture, make sure that everything is made from solid oak including the bases and backs of drawers because it will last longer. Veneers look pretty good, but they don’t have the same strength and durability. Handles, knobs and other extras should reflect the quality of the wood and complement the piece. Look for great design and craftsmanship.
There are different styles of oak furniture available, both modern and traditional, but oak crafted to any design looks beautiful and will be a lovely addition to any home.