7 reasons why oak worktops are a great choice
“From the smallest acorn, grows the mightiest oak.”
A popular saying that shows how the oak tree is revered and respected in equal measure in, not just in British culture, but also cultures right around the Northern Hemisphere, where you’ll find the tree (known in Latin as “Quercus”) in abundance.
If you’re considering choosing oak worktops for your kitchen, you’ve certainly come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll discover just how oak became so popular, here in the UK and right around the world, and give you 7 reasons why oak worktops are a great choice. Read on…
Why is oak so popular?
The English oak is the most common tree species in the UK, according to the Woodland Trust, so it’s hardly surprising it figures so prominently in our national consciousness.
Whilst the oak remains a symbol of power, one tale in particular etched its name into history forever and spawned a whole host of pubs named The Royal Oak. During the English Civil War, the future King Charles II was forced to flee
from the advancing Parliamentarians, and ended up hiding in an oak tree. After the restoration of the monarchy, the story became the stuff of legend. An enduring tale of how the mighty oak saved the country from the tyranny of the republic, or how a privileged individual made a lucky escape, depending on whose version you want to hear!
Whilst the original Royal Oak didn’t quite make it (possibly due to tourists hacking off souvenirs during the 17th and 18th centuries), a descendant of the same oak, named “Son of Royal Oak” still stands in the grounds of Boscobel House, Shropshire. The legend of the Royal Oak is commemorated annually on Royal Oak Day, 29th May, with processions and events taking place in towns and villages up and down the country.
And it’s not just the UK where the oak is prized in history for its power. Along with the eagle, the oak is a national symbol of Germany, and you’ll find oak leaves adorning a number of German Euro coins. The oak was also named the national tree of America, amongst a whole host of nations which use it as a symbol of power, strength and defiance.
Oak furniture and oak worktops
Of course, as well as being a treasured tree species, oak is a prized material when it comes to crafting household furniture. Indeed, I’d be amazed if you didn’t have anything made, at least partially, out of oak in your own home. Tables, chairs, desks, and worktops are all items that are commonly made out of oak, or feature oak veneers.
When planning a new kitchen, many of us turn to more modern materials such as laminate worktops, for their low price, easy-clean properties and range of colours. However, oak worktops can often be overlooked as a viable option. Many people think a wooden worktop is simply too difficult to maintain, it’s too expensive or it simply doesn’t fit in with a contemporary kitchen design, despite the fact we use oak right around the rest of our home.
At HCSupplies, we want to show you that you can enjoy a kitchen with beautiful oak worktops, and here are 7 great reasons why oak is so popular:
1. It is really strong
If there’s one thing oak is famous for, it’s its strength. “Solid as oak” is an oft used simile and it is one of the first choices when creating anything that requires a good, solid foundation, built to take on the tests of time and everything the elements have to throw at it. That’s why it is such a good material for worktops. Imagine dropping a knife or mug onto a granite surface. A chip or crack is much harder to rectify, whereas with oak, you can simply fill or sand down your surface to keep it looking great.
2. A warm & welcoming wood
One great advantage that oak has over many other kitchen materials is the warm feeling it creates wherever it’s used. An oak worktop can help to break up the blank expanse of an all white kitchen, and produces an ultimately more agreeable and pleasant feel than the stark and lifeless appearance of some solid surface worktops, such as quartz or granite.
3. You’re in good company
During the Middle Ages, the use of oak in construction was seen as prestigious. One of the most famous and iconic buildings to contain an oak hammerbeam roof is the debating chamber of the House of Commons. So, by choosing oak worktops, you’re joining a whole host of hallowed institutions in your choice of material. Just the thing to mention when your neighbours pop round!
4. Perfect for wine buffs
Oak contains high levels of tannin, which is used in red wine ageing. Hence the fact oak barrels are the material of choice for wine barrels. The high concentration of tannin also means that it is highly resistant to attack from both fungus and insects, leaving the wood in great condition for use in furnitures. This means your worktop finish will be flawless. Just make sure you keep red wine away from it.
5. Ideal for rustic kitchens
Oak really does have the feel of quality, with a heavy density and thick feel that is perfect for creating rustic farmhouse kitchens. If you’re looking for a more natural element to incorporate into your kitchen design, oak can be easily shaped to provide the right size for your requirements.
6. Interesting grain
Going against the grain? Certainly not! Oak grain is an interesting one, producing a far more intriguing and aesthetically-pleasing worktop than a single-coloured surface. This variation provides a contrast between light and dark, which helps in different kitchen lighting settings, such as daylight and artificial lighting.
7. A great price
As oak is one of the more abundant wood types in the UK, with most sources these days supplied from sustainably-managed forests and certified by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), it means we needn’t pay over the odds for it. Indeed, compared to other, less common types of wood, like wenge or walnut, oak is available at a much cheaper price, so you can achieve that warm and inviting wooden worktop look without having to splash out too much of your hard-earned cash.
Shop oak worktops
If we haven’t convinced you of the historical significance of oak, which’ll come in handy when entertaining guests in your new kitchen, surely the prices of the oak worktops on offer at HCSupplies will do the trick? Browse the range today.