Differences between oak and pine furniture
Posted on April 18 2021
You are ready for new furniture, but what type of wood should you choose? Deciding between oak or pine furniture is a common dilemma for furniture buyers. These two common options are very different in their characteristics, so it is important to understand the difference between pine and oak wood before making a large investment in any type of furniture. Both options offer pros and cons. The decision often comes down to your priorities and preferences.
Pros and cons of oak furniture
Oak is a popular furniture option, but it is important to understand how it works within the home. By looking at the pros and cons of wood, you will have a better idea of whether it is the best option for your furniture needs.
Take a look at these advantages of oak wood furniture:
- Resistant. Oak furniture is very hard, which means that it is very strong and durable. Pieces made from oak are less likely to show signs of wear or damage. This is a great advantage for active families, especially for pieces that are used all the time, such as dining room sets.
- Versatile use. Oak wood works for almost any furniture application. While the hardness makes it a bit more difficult to work with than softer woods, oak has the strength to withstand use on seats, tables, beds, and other furniture. You can choose oak pieces for every room and purpose to create a coordinated look, knowing that wood is strong enough for all of that different furniture.
- Versatile appearance. Oak is used to make furniture in almost all styles. The color and grain make it a versatile wood that works in almost any setting, from modern to rustic.
- Timeless design. The use of oak in furniture is nothing new and the trend is not going to change. That means that choosing an oak furniture is something that grows with you as your style changes. The timeless look you get from oak makes it a solid choice for any furniture application.
- Investment piece. Furniture made from oak has the potential to last for decades. Many oak pieces are passed down from generation to generation because they are so strong and durable
- Different grain. Oak has a very distinctive wavy grain that gives it a unique look. Oak is considered a very beautiful wood for furniture. It looks great with a simple clear coat.
- Warping resistance. Oak furniture resists warping over time, increasing its longevity. Oak wood is cut to resist further warping.
- Low maintenance. Due to its sturdy nature and durability, oak furniture requires very little maintenance. It needs occasional cleaning and polishing, but it keeps looking good without much care on your part.
- Readily available. You don't have to look far to find oak furniture. Due to its popularity, furniture made of oak is easy to find for your home compared to more exotic or rare woods. That also means that you can easily add to your oak furniture collection over the years while still getting the same signature oak look.
Be sure to look at the possible drawbacks of a particular type of wood to make sure you can live with them. Consider the following disadvantages of oak furniture:
- Price. For some people, the cost of oak furniture is negative. Oak wood costs more than pine due to the longer growing time. However, an oak furniture will last indefinitely with proper care. When you spread the cost over the decades of use you get from the furniture, the cost is very reasonable.
- Weight. Oak is a heavy wood, which gives it a substantial, quality feel. However, that weight can be a problem when you want to move furniture. Consider the weight if you want to rearrange your furniture frequently or if you move around a lot. It is worth hiring movers to handle the lifting if you have a lot of oak furniture. If you don't plan to move the furniture, the weight really isn't an issue and you can be a pro due to the piece's greater stability and strength.
Is oak wood good for furniture?
The answer to this question is resoundingly yes. It has some potential drawbacks, but overall, oak is a very good choice for furniture. Oak is strong, durable, and withstands daily wear and tear while offering a natural beauty that fits in almost any style of home. Its timeless design means that you can keep your oak furniture in your décor for as long as you like.
Pine furniture comes with its own set of pros and cons, depending on your needs. Consider the following advantages of pine wood furniture:
- Price. Pine furniture is usually much cheaper than oak versions of the same pieces. The rapid growth of pine trees is the main reason for this price difference. The pines are less cared for and have a shorter time to market, allowing producers to sell the wood at a lower price. If you focus primarily on price, pine is an attractive option.
- Colour. Due to its light color, pine furniture fits well with other furniture in your home. It has a versatile look that also pairs well with various wall colors, patterns, and other details in your décor.
- Options to change the color. Pine is an easy wood to stain to achieve the desired color. This gives you a wide variety of finishing options, including stain and paint. You can also stick with the natural color by opting for a clear coat. Pine takes various finishes well, so you get quality results no matter what finishing option you choose.
- Rigidity. Pine is a very rigid wood. This makes it durable and sturdy when used on furniture. It is not as strong as oak, but it still offers durability.
- Lighter in weight. While furniture made from pine is still moderately heavy and sturdy, it is lighter than oak. That lighter weight is a pro when it comes to moving furniture. Rearranging your furniture is easier with the lower weight, so consider pine if you want to change the look of your room.
- Distinctive look. Pine looks very different with its dark knots and light wood color. If this style fits your preferences, that distinctive look is a benefit worth considering.
- Lower environmental impact. Because pine trees grow so fast, trees that are felled are soon replaced with new shoots. Pine trees do well in plantations or farms with little impact on natural habitats, while oak used in furniture generally comes from primary forests.
- Resistant to shrinkage and swelling. While any wood can shrink and swell due to differences in humidity and temperature, pine is resistant to damage. By minimizing that shrinkage and swelling, the pine retains its original shape.
There are also some downsides to consider with pine furniture. Some of those possible negatives include:
- Less style versatility. While pine can work for most styles, it tends to lean more towards a rustic or country style. If you prefer a more modern look, pine may not suit your taste.
- Increased signs of wear. Pine has a stiff quality, but the wood does not offer as much strength and wear resistance as oak. Pine can dent and scratch easily. If you plan to keep the piece indefinitely, oak is likely a better option.
- More maintenance. Due to its tendency to scratch, damage and acquire a patina over time, pine often requires more maintenance than oak. If you don't mind the aged look, you can get by with less maintenance. However, if you want to preserve the original condition of the pine furniture, you may need to repaint the piece and repair any damage that occurs.
- Potential for excessive knots. When choosing pine furniture, be careful about knots, especially if they form a hole in the furniture. Excessive knotting can cause furniture to weaken. Choose a reputable manufacturer to ensure you buy a part with quality construction.
Is pine wood good for furniture?
While pine is very different from oak, it is also a good choice for furniture, depending on its purpose. It may not last as long as oak, but pine is still a strong, shock-resistant material suitable for furniture, especially if you like rustic or country styles. Over time, the pine takes on a patina that gives it an antique look, which is attractive to some people. The dents and dings that are sure to show up on the wood only add to that aged look.
Deciding between oak furniture and pine furniture
Oak and pine are popular furniture choices today. Oak has always been a strong competitor in all areas of furniture manufacturing and continues to attract a wide range of consumers. Pine expands beyond its rustic origins with greater versatility in styles. Exploring the difference between pine and oak furniture helps you narrow down your selection.
If you are still unsure which wood option is best for you, consider the following factors:
- Your budget. The amount you have to spend is a factor when buying furniture. If you are on a small budget with no leeway, pine can be an affordable option. Oak furniture costs more than pine, but that doesn't always mean it's out of your price range, even if your budget is limited.
You might be surprised at what you can find in oak in your target price range. Also, consider oak to be more of an investment purchase because it lasts a long time. You pay more upfront for the furniture, but you get your money's worth due to the long life of the part.
- Expected life of the furniture. How long do you plan to keep the furniture? If you want a piece to keep indefinitely, oak is a good option. In fact, with proper care, you can pass oak furniture on to your children. Pine still offers years of use and creates strong, rigid furniture that is an affordable, quality option for pieces that don't need to last forever.
For example, pine may be suitable for children's furniture that can be replaced as your child grows.
- Amount of furniture use. Oak is more resistant to wear, scratches, and dents than pine, so it works well for furniture that will have heavy daily use. This is especially true for pieces such as desks or tables where you come in direct contact with wood during the course of your activities.
- Furniture location. Both pine and oak wood furniture keep well indoors under ideal conditions. Choose a type of wood that fits well with our other furniture. If you are looking for wooden outdoor furniture, stick with white oak for the best results.
- Maintenance. If you want a low-maintenance option, oak tends to require less work to maintain its original appearance. Pine sometimes requires more work to prevent or repair damage that sometimes occurs due to its soft nature.
- Your decorative habits. For larger pieces, consider how often you plan to rearrange. Large oak pieces are very heavy, so it is difficult to move them if you want to reposition them. Pine is still a heavy wood, but it is lighter for easier movement. If you want to keep your furniture in one place, weight will not be a problem for either wood.
- Type of furniture. While you can find almost any type of furniture in both oak and pine, some furniture is better suited for a particular type of wood. Oak is a suitable option for dining tables that receive a lot of use. The heavy weight of oak is ideal for dining chairs to keep them stable and prevent them from tipping over. Pine is usually suitable for bedroom furniture, especially in children's rooms.
After evaluating these factors, you can decide that both pine and oak will suit your lifestyle in several areas. For example, you can equip your children's rooms with pine furniture and use oak in the dining room. You will find a wide range of styles and prices on both types. When choosing furniture, look for a reputable company that uses quality materials and reliable construction methods. This ensures that your piece will last longer no matter what type of wood you choose.
Whether you choose pine or oak furniture, you are making an investment in your home. Consider Oak.Store for your next solid wood purchase to ensure quality construction and premium materials.