With its rich golden brown colouration and distinctive grain, oak wood displays a timeless elegance that perfectly complements every interior design – from classic to contemporary. Its elegance hides how robust it is: There is hardly a wood with greater strength and elasticity than oak. Oak is therefore one of the most popular wood types for floor coverings.
Symbol of strength and endurance
The Celtic and Germanic peoples as well as the Greeks and Romans worshipped the oak as a sacred tree. The oak tree was their symbol for strength, endurance and longevity. The “thousand year old oak” is proverbial – the oldest oak in Europe is said to be in Bierbaum in Austria. It was mentioned in a document for the first time in 990 AD and is estimated to be about 1200 years old. The tree trunk has a circumference of almost nine metres.
Protection and hardiness
For centuries people in Europe built their houses and ships of oak wood because this type of wood withstands any kind of weather. Even the “columns of Venice” are made of oak wood and have been supporting the city's most beautiful buildings for more than 500 years.
About 450 different oak species exist worldwide. They can be found on the American continent, in Europe, Asia and North Africa. In Germany, oak trees are the second most common tree species after beech. They mainly grow in mixed forests; large oak forests are quite rare. The oak (Latin “Quercus”) belongs to the beech family, Fagacae. There are different theories about the source of its name: In the Germanic language the oak was called 'eik', which also means tree. Other sources refer to the Latin word 'esca', which means food. The acorns, which are the egg-shaped nuts of the tree, used to be fed to domestic pigs.
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