Things to consider when choosing oak garden furniture >>
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We all want to make the most out of our gardens in the summer. Planning and designing your outdoor entertainment space is very exciting and honestly, who wouldn’t want to fill that space with solid oak garden furniture? But how can you make sure you buy the right thing, that it is low maintenance and lasts a long time? Here, we talk about things to consider when choosing oak garden furniture for yourself.
Chunky or slatted? That is the question. Both can look great in traditional and contemporary setting. The answer is, go with your heart.
Chunky oak furniture design is timeless as it relies on the raw natural beauty of the wood. It requires less processing and is therefore more eco friendly, thus giving us that warm feeling that we have done something good for the planet. It’s these qualities that makes it a style of choice. Combine it with stainless steel or glass to give the design a more contemporary edge.
Traditional park bench design is indeed just one way of doing slatted oak garden furniture. You don’t have to stick with the traditional though. Slatted structure lends itself to contemporary designs, which are sleek and unusual and work so well with minimalist gardens and crisp stone patios.
The price of chunky oak furniture is governed by the amount of oak, so you can always see what you are paying for. The very nature of the design means that pieces are usually made by hand, and are rarely subject to a complex logistical chain, so you can often cut out the wholesaler and numerous transport fees.
Slatted oak furniture is made from smaller sections of oak, which means less cost when it comes to the materials, particularly when it is combined with steel frame. The amount of work that goes into making these pieces is also an important factor in the price, so unusual or handmade pieces might be more expensive.
Slatted furniture is usually made with kiln dried oak, which, when exposed to outside elements soaks in moisture and expands. Then, when the sun comes out, it shrinks again, and so on, and so on. Oak is designed to withstand this kind of movement, however, from time to time you might find that one or two slats bow or drop out and you need to replace them.
Chunky oak garden furniture is made from large sections or air dried oak, usually 60mm thick or more. Air dried oak is also subject to shrinking and expanding when exposed to elements, however, with its higher moisture content combined with chunky section sizes, it makes for an extremely durable option. Chunkier sections are also less prone to bowing due to the way they are cut.
Solid chunky oak is very heavy, so one needs to plan up front about position and access to the garden. A chunky oak garden table can weigh anything between 150 and 300 kg or more, so once you have it in place, it is tricky to move. Similarly, access to the garden must not be through steps or narrow passages, as it typically takes 2 to 4 men to carry a table top. You could, of course use a crane to bring it in over your house, which makes for exciting viewing for the whole street.
Slatted furniture, on the other hand, is quite easy to move by two people and may even come flat packed.
Oak, as a native hardwood is very durable and easy to maintain. It is important to mention that all oak furniture will change in appearance when exposed to elements. The golden honey hue will eventually turn silvery grey after about a year. This silvery oxidised surface protects the wood underneath from moisture, moulds and other things that may affect your furniture. After a rainy winter, you may notice a small amount of moss, which is easily removed with soapy water. We find that hosing your furniture down with a power hose in the spring will shed that blacky residue and revive the surface to a shiny silver shade.
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