The wood we use: Characteristics and areas of use

The choice of materials is a vital factor in ensuring that products are durable and can last for decade after decade. At Vestre, we use timber from one of the world’s most sustainable forestry sectors. Learn more about the properties of the different types of wood we use, and their recommended areas of use.

Deliberately avoid tropical wood

At Vestre, we do not use tropical wood species in our furniture, since the felling of trees for timber is one of the greatest threats to the tropical rainforest. It has been estimated that as much as 10–15 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are due to the destruction of the rainforest.

“The rainforest must be preserved for three important reasons: To prevent climate change, to preserve biodiversity and to safeguard the livelihoods of millions of people.” (UN)

Sustainable wood

Vestre offers four different kinds of wood: pine, Kebony, oak, and white ash. All these varieties can be supplied as FSC®-certified. The FSC® label certifies that the wood has been sustainably managed, in that the tree from which it comes can be traced along the entire value chain.

We offer high-quality pine, grown in Norway and Sweden, as standard. Because of the cold Scandinavian climate, trees grow slowly and are therefore not felled until they are between 80 and 120 years old. This means that Scandinavian pine is harder and better suited for use in outdoor furniture than pine from warmer regions, which normally grow 3–5 times faster.

By offering Scandinavian timber from what is probably the world’s most sustainable forestry sector, we also ensure a more environment-friendly purchase—without this compromising the quality. All our furniture comes with a 15-year guarantee on the woodwork and requires minimal maintenance. And if the furniture should need “freshening up” after many years of faithful service, it can be returned to the factory, refurbished and given a new lease of life.

Wood for indoor use

Many people associate Vestre with outdoor furniture, but our products are equally suitable for indoor projects, for which we are seeing a growing demand. Recently, we furnished the new Munch Museum in Oslo. Since our furniture is extremely solid and robust, while requiring minimal maintenance, it is a good alternative for museums, schools or places like train stations with high volumes of traffic and people passing through all day.

We recommend oiled oak or white ash for indoor use. We also offer flame-retardant impregnation for indoor products.

Type: Quercus alba
Source: North America
Hardness (Brinell scale): 3.7
Treatment: Timberex natural oil and Osmo hardwax-oil

Oak is known for its high quality, and is often preferred and recommended for indoor projects. It is one of the hardest types of wood, measuring 3.7 on the Brinell hardness scale. The scale goes from 1 to 5, and gives an indication of the hardness of the wood and how resistant it is to indentations. The higher the Brinell score, the harder the wood.

The wood is treated with an oil that makes it extremely resistant to moisture and dirt, in addition to providing better UV protection. The oil has been developed to penetrate deep into the wood and protect it from the inside.

White ash
Type: Fraxinus americana
Source: North America
Hardness (Brinell scale): 3.3
Treatment: Osmo hardwax-oil

White ash is the lightest colored of our woods. It has a whitish hue, is high density, strong, and has straight growth rings. It scores a high 3.3 on the Brinell hardness scale, which means it is extremely robust.

In the same way as for oak, our white ash products are treated with a UV-protective oil, to preserve the wood’s natural color and prevent water damage and discoloration.

Wood for outdoor use

Vestre’s products are solidly made and can stand being outdoors in all weathers—all year round. For outdoor use, we recommend linseed oil-impregnated Scandinavian pine or Kebony Radiata.

Linax/Scandinavian pine
Type: Pinus sylvestris
Source: Sweden
Hardness (Brinell scale): 1.7
Treatment: Linseed oil impregnation

Scandinavian pine is a type of wood that has a natural patterning through visible marks and lively lines. At Vestre, we impregnate the wood with linseed oil, which provides lasting protection against rot and practically maintenance-free usage. The natural color of the wood will become greyish and darken over time.

The wood lasts better if it is oiled every 3–6 years. However, exactly how often this will be needed will depend on the amount of wear and the climate.

Type: Pinus radiata
Source: New Zealand
Hardness (Brinell scale): 4.3
Treatment: Kebonised pine

Kebony is an environment-friendly and patented wood treatment process, developed in Norway. The process improves the wood’s properties, making it hard and durable—more durable, in fact, than even teak or mahogany. Kebony scores 4.3 on the Brinell scale and is the hardest of the four types of wood we use. Vestre uses FSC®-certified pine (Pinus radiata) from New Zealand for Kebony treatment.

This hard-wearing material has a deep brown color, which is reminiscent of certain tropical woods. After a time, the characteristic brown color acquires a silver-grey patina.

Quality since 1947

Ever since Vestre started up in a war-surplus workshop in Haugesund in 1947, quality has been at the forefront of everything we do. And we operate in accordance with what we call Vestre Vision Zero. According to this vision, we will not produce a single product which cannot last forever. This is also how we are fighting the throwaway society, one piece of furniture at a time. Through good design, critical material selection, advanced surface treatment, and a little maintenance every now and again, ever-lasting furniture is in fact very much an achievable aim. We also supply spare parts without any time limits—if we do not have them in stock, we will make them for you.