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15

Jun

What is engineered oak and why are we using it for our table tops?

Introduction

As a wood, oak is one of the toughest and most popular furniture options you can choose.  A tree that takes decades and decades to grow, the oak tree is not only accepted as a really strong option for flooring and furnishing, it is also so much associated with strength and longevity. Apart from being strong, oak looks great because it comes in such a huge variety of colours and tones.

So why not use solid oak for a table top?

To start with, the price. Due to the reason it takes oak so long to grow, it is also an expensive hardwood in South Africa. Compare to engineered oak, a table top made of solid oak throughout will cost around 400% more.

Secondly, the South African climate. The South African climate is typified by huge temperature and moisture fluctuations. Dampness and rises and falls in temperature cause wood to expand and contract. While it is completely normal for wood to expand and contract, if it is forced to do so excessively because of its environment, it is at risk of damage.  Damage caused by wood excessively expanding and contracting is typically cupping, bowing, cracking or excess gaps in the table top.  

Is an engineered oak table top of less quality than a solid oak table top?

In short, no. Our table tops are made of a solid timber top (0.5 to 1.5mm oak) in conjunction with a multilayer MDF supawood base. Thanks to our clever construction, our engineered wood tops do not expand and contract to the same extent as solid wood tops. But our engineered top’s really special feature is the fact that it’s topped off with solid oak, making the end result look just like solid wood but for a much better price!