15 Desk Tops to Consider as You Customize Your Table
Smart Products

15 Desk Tops to Consider as You Customize Your Table

|Oct 31, 2021

Everyone knows that desktops come in a series of shapes and sizes. How many people pay attention to the material, though? People often grab a desk looking at every other feature except the material. It's only after facing challenges in areas, such as durability, that the composition gets the kind of focus that it deserves. 

Standing desk manufacturers these days tend to give you different options to choose from. Yes, some offer one choice, and there is nothing wrong with that. Still, if you can choose, why wouldn't you capitalize on it? 

The question is, what material suits desk table tops the best? Should you be looking into a wood table top? What should you think about when contemplating an MDF wood vs solid wood desk top? There is so much to consider, but it doesn't have to be complicated at all. 

You are in the right place, as the desk surface options and their benefits are covered in detail below. 

Choosing Material for Desk Tops

Choosing Material for Desk Tops

Though some features have objective benefits, keep yourself in the equation as you choose. For example, based on the office layout you have, your custom table top may need to fit in with a certain color. 

Maybe one material option is a bit too bland, while another presents the kind of vibrance you need to bring off the aesthetic you are going after. 

Remember that your choice of material constitutes our long-term investment. If you get this wrong, making a switch is going to cost you unnecessarily. If you want a recommendation though, MDF wood tends to be a solid material for your desk tops. 

It would be much better for you to delay getting the table top and carefully think about the optimal choice instead of rushing to get one and then costing yourself mentally and financially. 

List of Best Desk Surfaces

1. Solid Wood

Solid Wood desk tops

Solid wood is the natural alternative to other wooden types that have fibers held together by an adhesive. It's the most rustic example of strength and durability, while giving off an organic, welcoming, and homely feeling to its users. 

As strong as it is, the lack of refinement means less of a need to pass a high cost to the consumer. You can't replicate the timeless quality, and this is an desk tops option that can go incredibly well with just about any decor that you can imagine. 

2. Bamboo

Bamboo desk tops

Not only is bamboo one of the most durable types of natural wood in the world, but you also find that it is highly resistant to the typical wear and tear that is associated with regular desk tops use. You are encouraged to take care of anything you own, if that trait is not a part of you, then a bamboo table top should be perfect for taking the abuse. 

Water absorption is almost non-existent, which means swelling is no problem. If you must move your desk from time to time, then a bamboo desk top is lightweight and perfect for you. It's about 40% harder than solid wood and oak, yet it maintains a better pricing model than that of hardwood. 

3. MDF Wood

MDF Wood desk tops

Here is one of the best desk surfaces materials on the list is medium-density fiberboard, which is almost exclusively talked about using its abbreviation, MDF. Finely ground wood scraps are bound together using powerful resin or glue in this design. 

There is a thorough high-pressure application during the manufacturing process, which translates to a light weight combined with high durability. Note that while well-designed MDF is highly customizable and should last you for a very long time, you want to avoid the cheaper options as they may simply fall apart. 

The presence of multiple laminate layers is highly conducive to unbeatable protection from harm.

4. Softwood

Maybe you intend to get yourself a desk top with tremendous character minus the rustic style of barn wood, for example. Some people believe that you can only go the hardwood route if you are making desk tops, but that could not be further from the truth. 

Softwood varieties, such as pine make way more excellent desk tops than many can even imagine. Of course, choosing one also makes for a more intuitive and effortless process, since milling and cutting softwood is that much easier. 

The smooth workflow continues since it stands easier too. If that wasn't enough for you, the price is going to be attractive, considering that softwoods are almost always less expensive than hardwoods. 

It's not all positives though, as wood movement can happen causing potential cracks in your desk tops to form over time. You can, however, avoid this based on the width you use as you rip the boards. 

5. Live Edge

Live Edge desk tops

There is always an audience for live edge wood, and no one can blame them based on the finished products that they get. Off the bat, you should know that epoxy is a big part of the design. While no one is discounting the wood in its base form, epoxy finishes contribute to the luxurious look that the table tops tend to have. 

You typically see live edge projects around the house, such as dining room tables, coffee tables, and other table tops. That's not to say that they don't make great standing desk options too. One of the best parts is you get to feel as if you stand out, considering the distinctive look of live edge pieces. 

6. Plywood

This is another desk tops option for those who may be limited by either tools or time. Maple and Birch are two of the top varieties that you can opt for to have a good experience. Beyond their convenience in building, there is also the matter of the relatively inexpensive price tag. 

Beyond that, you find that these plywood types are easy to finish and stain. So, expect to get through whatever project you're doing quite quickly. Why worry about the right way to glue up boards when plywood offers such a convenient solution for your desk tops? 

7. 3D Laminate

3D Laminate desk tops

Laminate itself has become incredibly popular with standing desk owners, based on the uniquely interesting manufacturing process it follows. It's quite interesting to note, especially since 3D laminate desk tops are even more popular. 

Instead of being its own material, what you find is that you have a film that's wrapped around MDF planks completely. For reference, a traditional laminate desk surface would only have the top covered by the film. 

Of course, the laminate material handles corners incredibly well for every desk surface, and you don't even lose your grommets. It’s an incredibly visually attractive option that provides an easy-to-clean surface and tremendous scratch resistance for a hardwood floor. 

8. Metal

Metal desk tops

Metal desk table tops are not the most common, though they can be incredibly beneficial in the right context. From an aesthetic perspective, the right metal brings a unique sheen to an office space and your desk tops, along with an implicit level of durability. 

While there was a time when such desk surfaces would have been way too bleak, newer implementations and continuous research mean you are getting an option that can be just as, if not more attractive than wooden furniture

The pricing tends to be affordable, and you can expect much less infrequent replacement intervals. One of the only obvious downsides is that improper care can lead to rusting, which may be impossible to recover from depending on how widespread the damage is. 

9. Glass

Glass desk tops

Even the lowest budget glass desk tops have a premium look just because of the nature of what glass is. Of course, you wouldn't necessarily throw a typical glass layer on top of your standing desk kit, unless you wanted it to be extremely susceptible to breakage. 

Glass durability is often called into question, which is why a custom table top made of it tends to take advantage of the more durable tempered glass option. Beyond the strength offering, it has a unique look and sheen. 

Once you keep the desk tops clean, there is going to be an undeniable feeling that is highly reminiscent of some of the more expensive office desk options. Just ensure you have an adequate measure of the weight capacity that the material comes with, as overload can lead to much earlier replacement than you would like. 

10. Reclaimed Wood

If you are an environmentally conscious person, then reclaimed wood may be your material of choice. Though recycling numbers are not as high as the world would like, wood is surprisingly along the line of materials that demonstrate a satisfying frequency. 

Some people may feel turned off, as they believe that wood coming from previous service is going to create a bleak look and be synonymous with reduced durability. 

However, the process of re-entry into the manufacturing space ensures that strength is a non-issue. Additionally, those who are huge fans of the aged and weathered aesthetic are going to love what a reclaimed wood table top looks like. 

You should also note that virgin wood tends to be 40% softer than reclaimed wood is. Of course, the pricing model is incredibly attractive too. 

11. Walnut

Walnut desk tops

The walnut hue is incredibly desirable for your desk tops, so why not choose the wooden type that has the color naturally? You can choose to go the painting route, but it doesn't have an exact match when compared to the true variation. 

Durability is no worry, as walnut wood tends to be quite hard, dense, and tight-grained. The naturally dark wood is a delicacy among woodworkers, and the ease with which a smooth finish can be achieved just reinforces this. 

Note that the typical dark look is not the only option, as the aesthetic can range from creamy white to a dark chocolate hue. The latter is almost perfect for anyone who may be in search of a black desk top

12. Cocobolo

If you've never heard of this wood before, you are not alone since it is one of the newest additions to the computer office desk world. However, it's right at home in the office standing desk context, thanks to its popularity among those who are huge advocates against the negative effects of consistent sitting. 

The Central American region is very popular for Cocobolo, and its color and texture have a lot to do with that. For an idea of what kind of visual you are dealing with, people know it as the wood with rainbow colors. That's more than just a moniker as a range of colors from yellow to purple is not far fetched.  

A high quantity of natural oil also presents a durable and waterproof composition for office desk tops. 

13. Linoleum

Linoleum desk tops

Why not start with a material that doesn't get much consideration? Linoleum is incredibly versatile and may go better with your office standing desk than you may think. Color is one of the reasons it stands out, as you can go just about anywhere on the color wheel you would like. 

While it's not the most durable, you can preserve it with the proper care. The composition is natural, and it's incredibly pleasant to touch. Note that depending on the color you choose for your desk tops, it can clash with a minimalist design if that is what you're going for. 

14. IKEA Wood

This one is probably cheating as there isn't a special kind of wood table top material known as IKEA. However, the name is synonymous with a host of low-cost yet functional office products. IKEA wood is for those who want a premade option on a budget. 

Beyond the pricing, you are also encouraged to embrace your creativity with a huge spread of choices. There is also the matter of being able to attach legs to your desk tops without needing anything beyond a typical screwdriver. 

How do you beat that kind of convenience? The truth is you don't, unless you would prefer having something a little sturdier. 

15. Dimensional Lumber

Dimensional Lumber

You'd be surprised to know just how many desk surfaces are made of dimensional lumber. Two-by-fours and two-by-sixes tend to be the common choices here, but there are various other offerings that you can consider, based on the desk build you are going for. 

While your total cost is not going to be as low as going the IKEA way, dimensional lumber is quite inexpensive while almost always being available. The best part is that you can get a marginally premium-looking unit by the time you're done. 


Now you know 15 tremendous table top material options that you can choose from. Each of them has its set of benefits that may make it attractive to you. Remember to keep your desires and needs at the center of your decision, as opposed to what other people may like.

Bulk Order Offer 2024

Spread the word