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Table Choices: European Oak v Character Oak

character oak table top

When it comes to wooden table tops, there are plenty of choices. Oak is one of the most popular choices because it has a naturally attractive grain, is hard-wearing and reasonably affordable. Most oak (and other wooden table tops) are made to order, so the choice of size and shape is infinite.

There are two particularly popular types of oak used for table tops: European Oak & Character Oak. Before specifying an oak table top, consider the pros and cons of these two options.


European Oak Table Tops

European oak is generally fairly consistent in appearance, with few, if any knots or other irregularities. It is likely to be cheaper than character oak. It is typically available in 25mm or 32mm thickness. Like other wooden table tops, it can be stained to a wide range of finishes, although if the stain disguises the attractive grain, it is worth considering opting for an alternative. Ash, for instance, is usually cheaper, is at least as hard-wearing, and probably even more stable than oak.
Character Oak Table Tops

Character Oak Table Tops

Character oak contains a significant amount of knots and shakes (splits along the grain of the timber). These give the surface an attractive and interesting appearance, worthy of its name. To ensure the table top has a smooth surface, all knot holes and shakes are filled with black filler. Character oak, usually only available in 32mm thickness, is naturally more likely to expand and shrink in unpredictable ways, leading to small splits over time and more rustic character. Character oak is around 20% more expensive than European oak.

What's the right choice for your hospitality venue?

We have supplied many oak table tops to hospitality venues of all types to a wide range of satisfied customers. But we do recommend that if you are aiming for a pristine finish, opt for European oak rather than character oak.  We recommend character oak for casual venues, where the tops do not need to stand up to intense scrutiny. 

European Oak Table Tops Stained to sample in Cinnamon Kitchen Oxford

IMG_0320Character Oak Table Tops in Nando's Newcastle

Top featured image shows Character Oak Table Tops in Farmer J London.

For more help deciding on wooden tops read our blog on different types of wooden table top.

Topics: Tables

By Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth on 06/06/19 16:19
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