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Pine or Oak Wardrobes: Which is Most Cost Effective?

Pine and oak are both beautiful woods that are very popular in the manufacture of all types of furniture including wardrobes. In fact, for building wardrobes, these two woods are the most frequently used. There are some distinct differences between the woods, however, and these differences can affect cost and quality. It worth the time to determine which of the two woods is the most cost effective.

Consider for a moment that there are two wardrobes of identical design and size, but one is made from oak and the other is made from pine. Oak is a hardwood and pine is a softwood. It is a certainty that the oak wardrobe will cost more than the pine version. It is also a certainty that with similar care and use, the oak wardrobe will be more resistant to damage and wear over decades of use. By balancing the value, utility, durability, and longevity of both pine and oak wardrobes, one can determine which of the two is most cost effective.

There are well over one hundred species of pine. Pine grows quickly and is readily available to furniture manufacturers. It is the material most frequently used for manufacturing wardrobes. Oak, boasting nearly 90 species, is a much slower growing wood. It can take two decades for an oak tree to be ready for harvest. Pine’s ready availability is the reason for the lower cost of pine wardrobes.

Because pine is softwood, it is easy to work with using either hand tools or power tools. The wood is easily carved, but because of its soft and easily dented characteristics, the carvings cannot be as intricate or highly resolved as those made in oak. One of pine’s most appreciated characteristics is its tendency to take on a rich patina over the years. It’s light and smooth surface makes it ideal for taking all types of finishes, including stains and paints. Antique pine wardrobes are much in demand.

Oak, on the other hand, is a hardwood. It is heavy and known for its durability. It is also a popular wood used in furniture manufacturing. Its texture and characteristic grain gives oak furniture its universal appeal. It is easily carved, provided all tools are kept very sharp, and oak wardrobes are known for the intricacy of their carvings. The wood ages well and oak wardrobes are structurally stable, making them a favorite for those who appreciate fine furniture.

There is an abundance of pine wardrobes available today, both new and antique. Being mass produced, they offer low cost and good value for consumers. There are more pine wardrobe antiques available than there are oak, because pine was the easier material to work with by hand for the craftsmen of earlier years. It was also more affordable to the average consumer of those times.

Most buyers are attracted to pine wardrobes by their lower cost. While it is recognized that oak wardrobes are beautiful and intricately carved, and might be preferred for long term beauty, many buyers find that the high quality and elegant look of many pine wardrobes can provide them with equivalent service for far less cost. The major difference between the two is that owners of pine wardrobes may need to learn to care for their wardrobe with more diligence than that required to maintain an oak wardrobe.

Most experts will agree, while oak wardrobes are durable, beautiful, high end furniture that will last for a lifetime with minimal care, pine wardrobes are unquestionably the most cost effective.