Known for its durability and strength, it is also easy to create a design around oak furniture as it can be matched with almost any colour and complement both fabric and leather chairs and sofas.
For a harmonised look it is advised to buy oak office desks from the same range and of similar quality and shade as your bookshelves, oak office coffee tables and other main furniture in the office.
Solid oak furniture is today predominantly used in the home office and materials like veneers are usually the preferred choice for the office.
Characteristics of oak
Oak is a slow growing tree that takes about 150-200 years to reach maturity and this is reflected in the comparably high price of solid oak furniture. Oak is a hardwood and much more durable than a soft wood like pine that scratches easily.
You have probably noticed that oak is available in a wide range of shades and this is because there are around 400 species of oak tree, which can be divided in two main groups – the red and the white oak.
Buying oak office furniture
Both veneer and solid oak furniture will be available in various qualities. If you are buying solid wood then look out for non-genuine features like drawer bases and cabinet backs that may be of poorer quality or perhaps made of Chinese oak, which is not an oak tree but looks very similar.
As mentioned above the vast majority of oak office furniture made for business is either made of veneered wood or even more likely mfc – a melamine faced chipboard. So what is the difference?
Oak veneer furniture can be made of either a chipboard or MDF core, which is then covered with a thin layer of real wood. This process produces beautiful furniture with a real wood look and feel. However, they can be rather expensive and the surface can scratch easily, which makes them more suitable for a boardroom or the executive office than the general office.
Mfc furniture is cheaper to produce and therefore results in more affordable furniture. Chipboard is covered with a thin layer of melamine, a decorative paper of oak wood effect, which is then laminated to create a surface that resembles real wood and is generally hard wearing but can mark with heavy use.
So choosing the right oak furniture for your office is not just about price and quality, in many cases the melamine products are the most suitable; and great designs make them desirable and the preferred choice by many.
Whatever oak product you choose, you will find that they are all subject to various qualities dependent on the materials and manufacturing process used. You are therefore advised to buy the furniture from a reputable office furniture dealer who can offer personal service and furniture covered by a genuine warranty.