How do I Choose the Best Oak Office Furniture?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

Oak office furniture is a popular choice, known for its quality and weight. This beautiful wood is heavy and majestic, lending an air of formality and gravity to any office setting. Choosing the best oak office furniture is a matter of taste and budget, as the mighty wood can be crafted to suit a variety of design styles.

Oak is a durable, beautiful wood that can be used for office furniture.
Oak is a durable, beautiful wood that can be used for office furniture.

In order to choose the best oak office furniture, first consider the style of design desired. Oak lends itself to certain aesthetics, such as early American, mission, arts & crafts, and French renaissance design. Choosing a style that will suit the needs and atmosphere of the office can be a big step toward narrowing down choices for oak office furniture.

It is important to consider the difference between solid oak furniture and oak veneers. A veneer is a coating of oak material placed over a body of another kind of material. Oak veneer is usually considerably less expensive than solid oak, and may be available in a wider range of color and finish. Solid oak furniture is made entirely of oak, is typically very heavy and quite durable. Both veneer and solid oak can be treated with clear or colored glaze to protect the finish and alter the tone of the wood.

For those looking to save money, or those concerned about the environmental consequences of using solid oak, veneer products may be a solid choice. Be careful when purchasing extremely low-priced veneer products, however, as poor quality veneer habitually buckles and bubbles, creating an uneven and unattractive surface. For those with environmental concerns, look for veneer products that have a body made of recycled or sustainable materials.

It is important to remember when choosing solid oak office furniture that versatility is low. An oak desk or bookcase can be extremely heavy and probably should not be incorporated into an environment where furniture needs to be moved constantly. Consider choosing oak products for furniture that does not require frequent movement or reconfigurations, such as conference tables or a front desk.

Color may also be an important consideration when choosing oak office furniture. Veneer offers a wealth of possibilities, from pale and warm golden oak, to deep finishes like tobacco and espresso oak. Most solid oak furniture is golden or medium brown in hue. Considering factors like the amount of natural light, floor color, and the color palate of other office furnishings such as rugs or chair cushions can help determine what color of oak furniture will match well.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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