• UK Oak Doors Blog

What We Mean By Solid Oak

Sometimes it’s hard to explain exactly why you love something and cherish it above other similar things you could have chosen instead, anyone that's been to a wedding and heard the groom's speech will know what we mean. Art is another good example where ambivalent appeal defies precise explanation and this only adds to its integrity and cache.

This may seem like the most romanticised introduction to a blog on doors imaginable, even more so than the tipsy groom mentioned above, but it’s quite common for people to hold a deep fondness for really good wood. In fact our fondness and love for good wood is bordering a medical condition but we are comforted by running UK Oak Doors as this has brought us into contact with other sufferers of the condition, or ‘customers’ as we like to call them. Sometimes however, on receipt of a solid oak door from UK Oak Doors customers may be perturbed to see that it is made up of two or three separate boards not one big lump so we thought we’d explain a bit more about how we make them and why...

Single board construction or not?

As much as we’d like to use one whole lump of oak for one door this would be extremely expensive for the customer and even more costly to the environment. The number of trees to door ratio would be excessive and the finished product would be prone to movement too. So what are the alternatives? Well, you can use cheap materials for the core (ie particle board) of the door structure then stick on a wood veneer, that practice is widespread across other internet suppliers (also known as engineered doors).  It’s cheap but not very cheerful. This is like eating a hamburger with dog food stuck between two buns, from a distance it looks fine but it’s not going to fool anyone for very long.

A dog food burger, charming – What’s the other option?

The other option is to construct the door from separate boards of solid oak. We choose to use three boards for the best mix of strength and resistance to warping. We have tried two and four boards but for the majority of doors the best mix for long term stability and warp resistance is three. This maximises the long term life of the door whilst ensuring what you see is what you get – 100% solid oak using mortice and tenon joints with no composite or honeycomb core and no veneer.

Veneered doors have a much shorter life and wear and tear is immediately obvious and unappealing whereas with solid oak doors wear and tear adds character providing they have been adequately protected with oils or waxes. Only the most superior oak is chosen for the doors meaning you are guaranteed to get gorgeous swirls of oak grain rippling from top to bottom that like a fine wine will get better with age. Also, by using solid oak you can trim down doors more than with veneered doors to get the best fit for your doorway.

Apart from the look of the grain what makes UK Oak Doors so special?

As much as we’d like to take credit for the look of oak grain,we can’t, it’s one of natures gifts. We can however take credit for using construction methods that show off the oak at its best and for the longest possible duration. We use mortice and tenon joints for the most solid possible build quality. How many companies can supply you with a product for around a couple of hundred quid that will be handled and operated on a daily basis that with only a bit of regular maintenance will still look good at the turn of the next century? And all of the wood used in construction is 100% solid European oak taken only from sustainable forests which overall means we must adhere to PEFC guidelines to ensure the minimum amount of waste packaging and environmental impact from start to finish.

If you suffer from the same condition we do, a deep passion for good wood, unfortunately there is no cure. But you can satisfy your affliction with a 100% solid oak door from UK Oak Doors, don’t worry, help is at hand.

This entry was posted in Blog on August 29, 2012 by will.

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