Elm and oak are both popular types of wood that are often used for furniture and flooring. But which one is right for you? Both have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, so it can be tough to decide which one to choose.
In this blog post, we will compare elm vs oak and help you decide which one is the best fit for your needs!
Table of Contents
What Is Elm Wood?
Elm wood is a type of soft hardwood that is typically found in Eastern to Midwest America. Elm trees are known for their tall trunks and their oval-shaped leaves. Elm wood is a very strong and durable type of wood, which makes it an excellent choice for furniture and other household items.
Elm wood is often chosen for furniture construction because it is a solid and durable type of wood making the furniture considered to be one of the most beautiful and well-made furniture on the market and often seen as an investment piece that will last for many years.
Subscribe to Szilard Pinter on YouTube
What Is Oak Wood?
Oak wood is a type of hardwood that is commonly used in the construction of furniture and other wooden products. It is known for its strength and durability, making it an ideal choice for many applications. Oak is also a popular choice for flooring and other home decorating projects due to its natural beauty.
There are two main types of oak wood: red oak and white oak. Red oak is the most common type of oak used in furniture making, while white oak is often used for flooring and other decorative applications. Oak wood is also available in a variety of different colors, including natural, stained, and painted finishes.
Subscribe to Mean’s Woodshop on YouTube
Elm Vs Oak – Price
Elm wood is less expensive than oak wood. However, Dutch Elm disease has had a devastating effect on the elm population, making oak the more popular choice among tree species.
Elm wood is also more widely available, making it a better choice for budget-minded shoppers.
Elm Vs Oak – Janka Hardness
Hardness is one factor that distinguishes between these two kinds of wood. Elm has a Janka hardness of just 830 lbf. Oak, on the other hand is harder. Red Oak has a Janka hardness of an impressive 1,290 lbf and White Oak is 1,360 ibf.
The Janka hardness test is the industry standard for measuring the hardness of wood. It’s a measure of the force required to push a steel ball into the wood. The higher the number, the harder the wood.
Elm Vs Oak – Durability
Elm wood is not as durable as oak wood. Oak wood is very durable. Elm wood is more suitable for furniture that will not be used often or for decorative purposes. Oak wood is better suited for flooring, staircase construction, and other high-traffic areas in the home.
Elm Vs Oak – Species
The Elm tree comes from the species Ulmus and is a deciduous tree that is native to Europe, Asia, and North America. Elm trees are characterized by their vase-shaped growth habit and their alternate, simple leaves that have serrated margins. Elm trees typically grow to be between 40 and 50 feet tall, with a trunk diameter of around two feet.
The Oak tree comes from the species Quercus and is a deciduous tree that is native to the Northern Hemisphere. There are over 600 different species of Oak trees, but they all share some common characteristics, such as their lobed leaves and their acorns. Oak trees can grow to be quite large, with some species reaching heights of over 100 feet.
Elm Vs Oak- Tree Size
When it comes to Elm vs Oak trees, there are some key differences that you should be aware of. Elm trees grow much faster than Oak trees, with a growth rate of around two feet per year. Elm trees also have a shorter lifespan than Oak trees, with most Elm trees only living for around 100 years. Oak trees, on the other hand, have a growth rate of around one foot per year and can live for centuries.
Elm trees typically grow to be about 80 feet tall, while oaks can reach heights of 100 feet or more.
When it comes to trunk diameter, both elms and oaks can vary widely. Elm trunks typically range from two to three feet in diameter, while oak trunks can be anywhere from three to six feet wide. So if you’re looking for a tree with a wider trunk, oak is the better option.
Elm Vs Oak – Location
Elm is most commonly found on the East Coast of America, while Oak is more prevalent on the West Coast. If you live in an area with a lot of Elm trees, it’s likely that Oak will be more expensive.
Elm is also less common in Europe than Oak, so if you’re looking for something a little more unique, Elm may be the better choice.
If you’re trying to decide between Elm and Oak for your next project, consider your location and what you’ll be using the wood for.
Elm Vs Oak – Color
Elm trees are known for their reddish-brown bark and leaves that have a somewhat leathery feel, it’s sapwood is creamy white in color. Oak trees, on the other hand, have darker bark with a rough texture and it’s sapwood is white to light brown. The leaves of an oak tree are usually green, but they can also be brown or yellow.
Oak, on the other hand, is a bit more versatile. While it is most commonly found in shades of brown, it can also be stained to look like other woods, such as cherry or walnut. Elm, on the other hand, is only available in its natural color.
When it comes to Elm vs Oak, there is no clear winner. It really depends on your personal preferences and what you are looking for in wood. If you want a wood that is easy to care for, then Elm is the way to go. But if you are looking for a wood that is more versatile and can be used in a variety of ways, then Oak is the better choice.
No matter which one you choose, you can’t go wrong with Elm or Oak. They are both beautiful woods that will add character and charm to your home. So take your time, do your research, and pick the one that is right for you.
Best Results for Woodworking with OAK Wood
Subscribe to WoodWorkWeb on YouTube
Elm Vs Oak – Grain
If you’re looking at two pieces of wood and trying to decide whether they’re elm or oak, one of the easiest ways to tell them apart is by looking at the grain. Elm wood has a grain that’s interlocked, while oak wood has a straight grain. Both tend to have coarser, more uneven textures.
Finally, take a look at the pores on the surface of the wood. Oak wood typically has large, open pores, while Elm wood usually has smaller pores.
So, which one is right for you? Oak wood is known for being strong and durable, while Elm wood is prized for its beautiful grain. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.
Elm Vs Oak – End Grain
Elm wood’s end grain is very distinctive, with a “crushed velvet” look due to its small rays. Elm is also one of the most difficult woods to photograph because of this characteristic – the wood can look very different depending on how the light hits it.
Oak’s end grain is much more predictable, with large, clearly defined rays. This makes oak one of the easiest woods to photograph.
So, which one is right for you? If you’re looking for a distinctive look, Elm is the way to go. If you want something that’s easy to photograph, Oak is your best bet.
Elm Vs Oak – Rot Resistance
When it comes to rot resistance for Elm wood, it is important to note that Elm is not as resistant to rot as Oak. In fact, Elm is considered to be one of the more susceptible woods to rot and decay. This is due in part to the fact that Elm wood has a high moisture content. When this moisture content gets too high, it can cause the wood to rot and decay.
Oak, on the other hand, is much more resistant to rot and decay. This is due in part to the fact that Oak has a lower moisture content than Elm. Additionally, the tannins in Oak help to protect the wood from rot and decay.
Elm Vs Oak – Odor
Elm has a strong and unpleasant odor when it is green. However, once it dries out, there is very little odor. Oak, on the other hand, does not have a strong or unpleasant odor.
Oak is a better choice for people who are looking for better-smelling wood. Oak wood smells like a cross between cedar and pine, and many people find this smell appealing. Elm wood is more likely to cause allergic reactions in some people because of the high tannin content. Oak is a better choice for people who find the smell of Oak wood appealing.
When deciding between Elm and Oak for your next project, take into consideration the smell. If you are sensitive to smells, Elm might not be the best choice for you. However, if you can tolerate the smell of Elm when it is green, it might be worth considering because of its unique grain pattern.
Elm Vs Oak – Sustainability
Elm wood is not a threatened species, and it is quite sustainable. Elm has been used for centuries in Europe for furniture and construction, and it is only now starting to become popular in the United States.
Elm is strong and durable, but it is not rot-resistant. Elm can be grown in many different climates, and it is not difficult to find elm wood lumber for sale. Elm is also a very good choice for eco-friendly construction projects.
Likewise, Oak wood is not a threatened species as well. Oak is one of the most popular woods in the world, and it has been used for centuries in furniture and construction. Oak is strong and durable but it is also not rot-resistant.
Oak can be difficult to find in some areas, but it is usually available for sale. Oak is also a good choice for eco-friendly construction projects.
Elm Vs Oak – Uses
Elm is most commonly used in the creation of boxes, baskets, and furniture. It’s also a popular choice for hockey sticks, veneer and wood pulp. Elm is known for its strength and flexibility, which makes it an ideal material for papermaking.
Oak, on the other hand, is more commonly used in construction and flooring. It’s also a popular choice for furniture, interior trim, and cabinetry. Oak is known for its durability and stability, which makes it an ideal material for flooring and construction.
So, which one is right for you? Elm or oak? The answer depends on what you’re looking for. If you need a strong and flexible material, elm is a good choice. If you need a durable and stable material, oak is a better choice. Ultimately, the decision comes down to your personal preference.
Whichever you choose, Elm wood and Oak wood will provide you with high-quality lumber that will last for years to come.
Woodturning – Solid Elm
Subscribe to Alex Yevmen on YouTube
Elm Vs Oak- Related Species
As you can see, there are many different types of Elm trees. These include the Carpathian Elm, Cedar Elm, Dutch Elm, English Elm, Red Elm, Rock Elm, Winged Elm, and Wych Elm. Each type of Elm has the unique characteristics that make it suited for different purposes.
Let’s take a closer look at each type of Elm tree and see what they have to offer.
- The Carpathian Elm is a large Elm tree that can grow up to 100 feet tall. It has a wide, spreading canopy and can live for centuries. The Carpathian Elm is native to the mountains of Central and Eastern Europe.
- Cedar Elm is another popular type of Elm tree. It’s known for its strength and durability. Cedar Elm is a great choice for furniture or flooring because it’s strong enough to withstand heavy use.
- Dutch Elm is a smaller Elm tree that only grows to about 50 feet tall. It’s native to the Netherlands and is known for its resistance to Dutch Elm disease.
- English Elm is a medium-sized Elm tree that grows to about 70 feet tall. It’s native to Europe and Asia. English Elm is known for its beautiful, glossy leaves.
- Red Elm is a small Elm tree that only grows to about 30 feet tall. It’s native to North America and is known for its bright red leaves.
- Rock Elm is a medium-sized Elm tree that grows to about 60 feet tall. It’s native to North America and is known for its strength and durability. Rock Elm is often used in construction because of its strong wood.
- Winged Elm is a small Elm tree that only grows to about 40 feet tall. It’s native to North America and is known for its wing-like seeds.
- Wych Elm is a large Elm tree that can grow up to 100 feet tall. It’s native to Europe and Asia
When it comes to Oak wood, there are two main types: White Oak and Red Oak.
- White Oak is the most common type of Oak tree. It’s known for its strength and durability. White Oak is a great choice for furniture or flooring because it’s strong enough to withstand heavy use.
- Red Oak is the other type of Oak tree. It’s known for its beautiful, reddish-brown leaves. Red Oak is a great choice for landscaping because of its pleasing appearance.
Elm Vs Oak – Pros And Cons
As you probably already know, there are many different types of wood out there. And, each type of wood has its own set of pros and cons. Today, we’re going to be discussing two types of wood in particular – Elm and Oak. We’ll go over the pros and cons of each type of wood so that you can decide which one is right for you.
Pros of Elm Wood
- Elm wood also has a beautiful grain pattern that can add character and charm to any piece of furniture.
- When it comes to price, Elm is also a very affordable option.
Cons of Elm Wood
- One downside to Elm wood is that it can be difficult to work with.
- Elm wood is also susceptible to rot and decay
Pros of Oak Wood:
- Oak is a solid and durable type of wood.
- Oak is easier to work with in comparison to Elm producing great results with less hassle.
Cons of Oak Wood:
- Oak can be a bit more expensive than Elm.
- Oak does not have the same grain pattern as Elm, some people prefer the Elm grain over Oak’s smoother appearance.
- Oak wood is less likely to rot or decay over time as compared to Elm wood.
So, there you have it! Those are the pros and cons of Elm wood and Oak wood. We hope that this article helped decide which type of wood is right for you.
What Are The Differences Between Elm Vs Oak?
Let’s take a closer look at the key differences between Elm and Oak.
Elm wood is known to be more challenging to work with as compared to Oak wood. This is primarily because of the interlocked grain. On the other hand, Oak wood is relatively easier to work with and it also produces better results.
Elm wood is also known to have an unpleasant smell when it is green. Oak wood, on the other hand, has a tell-tale smell that is much more appealing.
If you need a tree that is easy to work with and produces great results, then Oak wood is the way to go. However, if you are looking for a tree that is more challenging to work with and has a unique smell, Elm wood is the better choice.
What Are The Similarities Between Elm Vs Oak?
Elm and oak have many similarities, they are also both deciduous trees, meaning that they lose their leaves every year. Elm and oak trees are also both popular choices for furniture because of their durability and strength.
When it comes to sustainability, both are good options. Oak is a little bit better than oak, but both are considered to be eco-friendly choices. Oak is also a good choice if you’re looking for something easy to care for – it’s not as susceptible to pests and diseases as Elm wood.
Elm Wood Is Best For:
Elm is most commonly used for:
- Hockey Sticks: Elm wood is very strong and stiff, making it ideal for hockey sticks. It’s also used in the manufacture of veneer and wood pulp for papermaking.
- Boxes: Elm is a popular choice for boxes because it’s lightweight yet strong. Baskets and furniture are also often made from Elm.
- Veneer: Elm wood is very strong and stiff, making it ideal for the veneer. It’s also used in the manufacture of wood pulp for papermaking.
Oak Wood Is Best For:
Oak is more commonly used for:
- Furniture: Oak is a popular choice for furniture because it’s very strong and durable. It’s also very easy to work with, so it’s a good choice for people who are new to woodworking.
- Flooring: Oak is a popular choice for flooring because it’s very durable and has a beautiful grain. It’s also easy to install and maintain.
- Veneer: Oak is a popular choice for veneer because it’s very thin and easy to work with. It’s also very strong and durable.
- Cabinetry: Oak is a popular choice for cabinetry because it’s strong and durable. It’s also easy to work with and has a beautiful grain.
- Interior Trim: Oak is a popular choice for interior trim because it’s strong and durable. It’s also easy to work with and has a beautiful grain.
How Hard Is Elm Wood Vs Oak
Oak wood is significantly harder than Elm wood.
White Oak wood has a Janka hardness of 1,360 lbf, while Elm wood has a Janka hardness of only 830 lbf. This means that Oak wood is better suited for high-traffic areas and will withstand wear and tear better than Elm. When choosing between Elm and Oak for your home, consider how the wood will be used. If you need sturdy hardwood for flooring or furniture, Oak is the better choice. Elm wood is more appropriate for smaller projects or decorative accents.
Splitting Elm VS Splitting Oak
Subscribe to Philip Williams Home Inspections on YouTube