27th Apr 2023 -

Famously used as railway supports, recycled sleepers have become a popular feature within gardening, offering an attractive and weathered look that provides fantastic strength for a range of uses. Today, oak sleepers are specifically sold for garden and landscaping purposes, alongside reclaimed models, in both oak and a range of other woods.

What Are Oak Garden Sleepers?

The weight and speed of trains upon their tracks meant that they needed to be installed within a sturdy base to offer the safety and performance needed. Historically, railway sleepers were installed perpendicular to the rails at regular intervals. These cuboid wooden pieces were designed to be strong and thick, holding the track in place with steel ties. 

While at the time of their initial installation, they were the best available material, modern railway lines will be installed within concrete sleepers, which offer better long-term performance and are cheaper. Although you’ll different sizes of oak sleepers on sale, they tend to come in a length of around 2.6 meters, a width of around 250mm and a thickness of around 125mm to 150mm. Hardwood oak sleepers will typically be rough-sawn, with splits and knots across their surface, and colour variation across each sleeper.

Are There Different Types on Sale?

While the size of a sleeper will usually be fairly consistent, there will be a few different options for sale when shopping for oak sleepers in the UK:

  • Reclaimed Oak Sleepers: Reclaimed garden sleepers will have an authentic weathered look, which can add a rustic element to your garden project. There will be variations in length and condition thanks to their history, but this will be a very popular option.
  • Green/Untreated Oak Sleepers: Green oak, or “untreated oak” will also be used to make new sleepers within the UK. This is a freshly felled oak that has not been treated, meaning it will have a high moisture content, and will dry out over time. Green oak is easier to work with than treated options, which are likely to still have some moisture content.
  • Treated Oak Sleepers: Options marked as treated have had a preservative applied to them, intended to aid resistance to insects and moisture. This can help to maintain a newer look and to offer better long-term performance.
oak sleeper

How Are Oak Sleepers Used Within Gardening and Landscaping?

There is a vast array of applications for sleepers in garden projects, taking advantage of their striking looks and strength:

  • Edging Garden Elements: Garden sleepers can create a defined border around a range of garden elements, from the vegetable patches of an allotment to a flower bed. They can also be used to create an outline around a garden when fencing isn’t used.
  • Raised Garden Beds: One of the most popular uses of sleepers is to create raised garden beds. Especially when placed on their sides, they can be filled with quality soil and compost making them perfect for growing a range of plants including vegetables. This can be an attractive look and will be beneficial in gardens without soil or with low-quality soil.
  • Steps: Oak sleepers are also popularly used to make stairs within a garden or outdoor area. These can offer secure footing up a gentle slope and will blend fantastically with nature.
  • Making Furniture: Sleepers are ideal for building blocky garden furniture like benches or tables, offering a beautiful and naturally solid look.

These are just some of the many applications of sleepers, which have become a hugely popular element of UK gardens.

oak sleeper

Our Range of Railway Sleepers For Sale

If you are a professional looking for Oak Sleepers, we can source any and all products you need through our trade account system. We also offer high-quality railway sleepers through our website. In naturally long 2.4m x 200mm x 100mm sizes, these pressure-treated beams are perfect for all garden uses you might have. Their treatment will help to resist insects, rot, and fungal decay over time. We offer both green and brown-hued options.

Why Choose Building Materials Nationwide

We are a handy, fast, and cost-effective supply solution for professionals and DIYers across the UK. Through our website, you’ll find our range of sleepers alongside other landscaping materials like soil, decorative gravel, and sand. Everything we sell can be delivered across the UK, saving you from tips to the builders' yard or garden centre.
For professional gardeners and landscapers, our trade accounts offer further benefits, pairing you with a dedicated account manager who’ll be able to source you the exact products you need from our network of suppliers, delivering them to you across the UK at a fantastic trade price. Sign up through our website today.