American Oak vs. European Oak

Not all timber mats are the same, and one of the main factors that affects the life span and performance of timber ground protection mats is the particular species of wood used.

You might know that we offer Ekki bog mats and Oak bog mats – but did you also know that not all of our Oak timber mats are the same species, or even from the same continent?

In fact we can supply Quercus Petraea, commonly known as European Oak, as well as Quercus Alba, better known as American Oak.

So what’s the difference?

American Oak – Quercus Alba

American Oak is hard and heavy, with medium strength against crushing and bending, and this gives it low stiffness, making it ideal for temporary road surfaces beneath the heaviest construction traffic.

Flexibility is not a weakness here, as it’s important that a temporary road surface can flex to absorb the weight of traffic passing over it, especially when heavy plant vehicles are moving around.

All of our timber mats sourced from North America are certified by the continent’s Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) so that you can feel confident – and prove via documentation, if required – that the trees were farmed sustainably and exported legally.

European Oak – Quercus Petraea

European Oak timber mats have an expected life span of anywhere from 15 to 25 years, depending on how they are used and stored, and the conditions they are exposed to.

Quercus Petraea is fairly hard and dense, and again has low stiffness, which allows it to absorb shock impacts well – its strength against bending and crushing is even higher than its American cousin.

We recommend European Oak temporary road mats as ground protection for light to medium traffic on construction sites and similar premises, whereas American Oak is suitable for heavy cranes and as outrigger pads.

European Oak falls under durability Class 2 and is easily available across the continent, making it a hugely popular material for use in the UK.

If you need a supply of timber mats to buy or you have a one-off project and need timber mats to hire, contact us today to find out more about the right species of timber for your upcoming work.

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