There are around 600 species of oak and a wide variety of finishes available, leaving you plenty of options to suit your every DIY need. Oak is usually an attractive light beige colour with a prominent grain, although due to the extensive number of species, oak varies from tree to tree and can also appear different depending on the finish.
You can opt for a satin, matt, ultra matt or coloured finish. Satin provides a warm, honey colour with a slight sheen, whereas a matt finish is more understated and is more suitable if you are opting for a more subtle aesthetic.
Ultra matt is also now available and leaves no sheen whatsoever, making it the most subdued and natural finish offered. Alternatively, if you’re looking to modernise your oak finish you can opt for a colour stain in colours such as white, metallic grey and wild cherry.
If you’re seeking sustainability in your home, you may want to consider oak as a building material. Oak offers a multitude of ecological benefits, making it one of the most environmentally friendly materials you can use in a build, renovation, extension or DIY project.
Materials such as steel and concrete cause substantial greenhouse gas emissions as they need to be mined, transported and processed. Oak is more environmentally friendly as it needs no industrial processing or chemical treatments. Moreover, timber actually absorbs CO2, and doesn’t release any chemicals itself, making it one of the most “green” building materials.
Oak wood also has natural insulation properties, so depending on your project, post-build you may need less heating and air conditioning, leading to a healthier environment and less energy used.
To ensure the oak you purchase is environmentally friendly, make sure you choose a sustainable provider where two or more trees are grown for each one felled.
Oak is a natural building material and it’s by products are used effectively, leading to very little waste product. Offcuts can be used for elements which support the jointing process, such as braces and pegs. Similarly, sawdust is often used as cattle bedding in farms, and smaller offcuts can be used in wood burners. In a time where more emphasis is placed on environmentally conscious buying, it makes sense to opt for a product that results in minimal waste.
Oak is renowned for its durability over time. It’s extremely strong, hard wearing, and resistant to moisture. It provides an extremely stable and supportive structure for any DIY project.
Aside from strength, oak also has a high tannin content, which protects trees from predation. Oak is particularly resistant to insects and fungal infections. Oak is water-resistant which also makes it unlikely to stain, crack or fade due to water damage.
Oak is easy to clean and maintain and lasts for centuries with very little upkeep. Sanding, varnishing and waxing is the most you will need to keep your oak DIY construction in good condition.