American Oak vs. European Oak timber mats

Timber bog mats are made from a range of hardwood species, the most common being Oak, Beech, Dabema and Ekki wood.

Our oak timber mats use hardwood from two different species of oak, from two different continents.

European Oak comes from the Quercus Petraea tree, while American Oak is from Quercus Alba – but what’s the difference?

In this article we’ll take a look at the similarities and differences between European Oak and American Oak timber mats, to help you choose what’s best for your project.

Strength & Flexibility

American Oak timber mats offer medium strength against crushing and bending forces. But they are also quite flexible, allowing them to take heavy loads without splintering.

European Oak mats have higher strength against bending and crushing forces, with relatively low stiffness. They are especially good at absorbing shock impacts, such as heavy items dropped from above.


Provenance is increasingly important, especially when it comes to responsibly sourced timber, and this can have knock-on effects on the availability of supply too.

All our American Oak mats are sourced from North America and are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) in operation on the continent.

Our European Oak timber mats comply with all the relevant responsible forestry regulations and use timber produced widely across the continent.

We typically hold stocks of all our timber mats so when you need hardwood mats for sale or hire, we have them already available, with no need to wait for delivery from Europe or North America.


Both types of timber produce hard-wearing, durable wood mats with the longevity you would expect from hardwood mats – up to 25 years for European Oak under normal conditions.

European Oak works well for ground protection mats under light to medium traffic, and can be used on a wide variety of surfaces including dry, wet, muddy and frozen ground.

American Oak provides excellent ground protection under heavy machinery, as its flexibility copes well with heavy plant rolling over it.

You can also use American Oak outrigger pads to stabilise crane vehicles and other lifting equipment, making it a good choice for sites with frequent lifting operations.

Find out more

If you have any questions about our range of hardwood bog mats mats, if you’re not sure which is best suited to your project, or you’d like to know what we currently have in stock, please get in touch and a member of the Timbermat team will be happy to help.

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