The main difference between oak and birch is that birch is much harder than oak.
Oak and birch are two types of light-coloured hardwood. Oak is a hardwood originating from Quercus of the beech family, Fagaceae, while birch is a hardwood originating from the genus Betula. Both are strong and durable wood with many favourable properties. We use these two types of hardwood to make furniture, for flooring, doors, kitchen cabinets, architectural millwork, etc.
Key Areas Covered
What is Oak
Oak is a hardwood originating from Quercus of the beech family, Fagaceae. Oak is a hardwood that tends to be extremely grainy. There are two main varieties of oak as red oak and white oak. The colour of red oak varies from light brown to pinkish-red and has a swirling, water-like pattern. It’s a very popular flooring option in the US. Moreover, it’s a stiff and dense wood and resists wear, but not as well as white oak. White oak is generally brown in colour with a greyish coat and has a tiger-stripe grain with yellow rays and flecks. It is more durable and harder than red oak. Both types of wood are readily available, but white oak is not abundant as not as abundant as red oak.
Furthermore, oak wood is durable and is usually cut in a way that makes it resistant to warping. Since it has a visible wavy grain, it has a unique appearance. A good finish can nicely highlight the grain. However, the stain of the wood can darken overly and exaggerate the grain, which will result in a two-toned appearance. We use this wood for furniture, flooring, moulding, doors, kitchen cabinets, architectural millwork, panelling, and caskets.
What is Birch
Birch is a hardwood originating from the genus Betula. There are various species of birch native to North America, and the most common ones are yellow birch, white birch, and black birch. But yellow and white birch are the two most commonly used ones today.
Birchwood has a fine, straight grain with a uniform texture and often has an attractive satin-like sheen. It is hard, heavy, and strong. It is easier to shape it with power tools and difficult to work with hand tools due to its hardness. It has several useful properties like shock resistance and good crushing strength. Moreover, it takes stain extremely well and glues well with care. Although it dries rather slowly with little degrade, it has moderately high shrinkage. We use birch wood for furniture, panelling, doors, kitchen cabinets, millwork, turnings, and toys.
Difference Between Oak and Birch
Oak is a hardwood originating from Quercus of the beech family, Fagaceae, while birch is a hardwood originating from the genus Betula.
There are different types of oaks and birch, in different colours. The two main varieties of oak are red oak and white oak while the two most common birch types are yellow and white birch.
Oak furniture may give a more traditional look, whereas birch furniture has a more contemporary and modern look.
Today, oak is the more common flooring material, but birch is also used as a flooring material.
Birch is much harder than oak.
Oak has a straight, fine grain while birch has an aesthetic grain, which gives it a unique appearance.
Oak is a hardwood originating from Quercus of the beech family, Fagaceae, while birch is a hardwood originating from the genus Betula. The main difference between oak and birch is that birch is much harder than oak.