So, you've decided to opt for oak gates or garage doors and you want to get the silvery-grey weathered oak look. It's not to everyone's tastes (personally, I don't like it as it makes me think the gates/doors have been neglected, but each to their own!) and the choice of oak will play an important part of you being happy with the end result.
Which oak to choose?
You've got three types of oak to choose from and they are as follows:
- Kiln-Dried Oak
- Air-Dried Oak
- Green Oak
If you're intending to let the oak weather naturally, then avoid kiln-dried oak. The fact that it has been kiln-dried means that once it is installed out of doors without any protection treatment, the timber will quickly soak up any moisture present and it will swell up - you'll more than likely then have to take a plane to your lovely new oak gates to ease them! With our oak gates and doors, we recommend using a micro-porous or moisture-vapour permeable stain, ideally one that contains a UV filter. The fact that a stain is used will stop your oak products from weathering naturally.
Again, air-dried oak needs some kind of protection as it's been subjected to drying, though the timber will not have as low a moisture content as oak which has been subjected to kiln drying.
If you truly want your oak products to weather naturally, then green oak is the timber to go for. Although known as 'green' oak, the term does not in anyway reflect the colour of the timber; it simply means that the timber is still wet. When placed outside, this is ideal as the timber already contains a fair amount of moisture so it will absorb less than both air dried and kiln dried oak.
A Word of Caution...
If you do choose green oak for your gates, as you require the silvery-grey oak look, then be prepared for the gates/doors to go black first, before you get the silvery-grey colour.
This is perfectly normal and this is because the tannin within the timber being released (tannin is the natural oil within the oak, this gives oak its durability). The other thing to be aware of is it is quite likely that the gates will split; this again is perfectly normal and should be expected.
About the author:
Gate Expectations by Inwood (Cymru) Ltd are manufacturing joiners who specialise in the manufacture of gates, garage doors and bespoke joinery items from a range of hardwoods, including kiln-dried European oak.