David Gunton supplies Brown Oak in strips and boards but not generally
in wide long boards. They will be very rare and valuable.
Brown Oak is natural oak which, in life as a tree, has been lived
upon by the Beefsteak fungus, fistulina hepatica. The fungus
draws its nutrient from the sapwood of the living tree. It passes
its waste product back into the sapwood. This reacts with the tannin
in the oak. Tannin is remarkably reactive with alkalis and acids,
many of which occur naturally. The waste product of the fungus changes
the colour of the tannin in the oak from pale to dark brown.
When the woodsman fells the tree he usually has no idea whether or
not he will have natural oak or coloured oak. So it is serendipitous
if the result is a rich brown oak. Depending upon how long the fungus
has been active, the tree will be stripy brown (Tiger Oak), stainy
brown (Stainy Oak), or all brown (Brown Oak).
Brown Oak is much sought after by makers of high quality furniture.
It also make gorgeous floors.
This is a brown Oak floor with a cross banded Satinwood border
with Wenge detail lines.
The house, in the most fashionable district of London, is the 'pied
a terre' of the Chairman of one of the UK's largest and most prestigious
companies. He had intended to have a decorative panel floor. However,
the space was awkward and did not happily accommodate such a design
along with the curved staircase foot and an essential entrance mat.
The boards were designed to be of the same length, brick laid, and
subtly decorated with the apparently simple but gleaming golden
satinwood border. It is simple and elegant, yet sophisticated and
a perfect foil for the furniture, ornaments and pictures.
This is another view of the same floor. This picture helps to demonstrate
why such a simple floor is essential. Too complex a design would
conflict with the many other architectural elements flowing from
the same space.
This is a gorgeous floor - but rather poorly photographed. It is
made exactly as those above.