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The Great Oak Debate

At Peak Premium, our mission is to provide high quality, competitively priced wood products to our customers. In our offices, the debate raged on what we would do with our oak offering as there are options. European oak, American white oak, American red oak, and American glacial oak were all discussed. 

American white oak looks very similar to European oak and is cheaper to source, however European oak has more character in the grain and is available in longer lengths. As experienced joiners, we think European oak looks better and the longer lengths will mean less fitting time, reducing trade labour costs and lowering your customers bill, whilst seeing far less visible joins half way down a wall. European Oak also has better colour consistency so it looks good when you join one piece to another. So, without a doubt, European oak is our recommendation for a premium finish without compromise.

As well as ensuring quality, we wanted to ensure value and sustainability in the products we offer. We all have kids, and want to leave a world they can enjoy in our wake, so that settled it. When looking at American white oak products we couldn’t be completely sure about the sustainability. We went with European oak as it is FSC approved so we can trace back to where it came from, safe in the knowledge that it wasn’t sourced as the result of forest clearance. All of our pine & ash products are responsibly sourced as well. Our European oak will also produce far less carbon getting to us vs American white oak.

That left one remaining problem. Finding an alternative oak product that offered quality at a great price. We were keen initially to source an American red oak product. It offers a competitively priced alternative to American white oak and European oak, so anyone on a budget could experience having oak at a lower cost. The one drawer back of American red oak is the fact that it can have a hint of pink in the colouring. Because of this, clear staining it is not an option but, if you add a pigment to the colour, it is hard to tell the difference. We thought that if we could find a red oak that shows as little pink as possible that can be sourced without forest clearance we might have a chance.

Glacial oak shows far less pink and can be sourced at competitive prices. There's plenty of knots which add character to our products. It is also much lighter in colour than other oaks, which allows you to stain the wood to the shade you prefer and achieve that perfect finish. It also ticks the sustainability box, using the American Hardwood export council's website as a guide we found that every state in the USA equals or grows more cubic meterage of American red oak per year apart from Texas. All of our glacial oak is sourced from the North Appalachian area which is mostly New York/ Pennsylvania states, not Texas.

So if you're looking for oak check out or Prime European Oak and our Glacial Oak products in our webshop today. You can even order a free sample (just paying delivery) if you want to check it out before making a decision.