Air Dried Oak Mantelpiece or Green Oak Mantelpiece?

What is the difference between an air-dried oak beam and a green oak beam?

We are often asked to explain the differences between the two and why we recommend green oak for one use and air dried for others.

Celtic Timber stock oak from three different moisture contents:

As the name suggests, Kiln Dried Oak is oak that has been through a kiln drying process. What this means is that the wood is essentially placed in an oven to remove most of the moisture within it. This means that when you buy a piece of kiln dried oak, it is unlikely that it will move or split or change appearance from how it looks when you buy it.

Kiln dried oak is more expensive than air dried or green oak and we generally recommend it for shelves and furniture:

Air Dried Oak (seasoned oak) is oak that has been felled over 18 months ago and has had an opportunity to dry out in the atmosphere. Air dried oak will still naturally contain moisture and may continue to move as it acclimatises to its new environment (but will do so less than green oak). These features will add to the character of the beam and ensure that each mantelpiece is completely unique.

As it has been air dried, it will maintain its structure and makes for the perfect oak mantelpiece or fire surround:

Green Oak (unseasoned oak) has been felled within the last 18 months and contains most of its natural moisture. Green oak’s high moisture content makes it easy to work with power tools and manipulate. For this reason it is widely used for character beams, construction and for oak frame building structures.

If you want to talk to us about our oak or have any questions about what would be best for you, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01437 710043 or email

Celtic Timber Oak Beams and Barrels for Sale

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