Smart Products

What Type of Wood for Desk Top Should You Choose?

Avatar of Autonomous Autonomous | Jul 16, 2021

Spread the word


Wood has been a natural material that has been used for creating stools, benches, tables and chairs, and more modern office furniture pieces. As civilization evolved, so have the uses of wood. With industrialization and modernism setting in, industries have experimented with using other materials like metals, glass, and more as a desktop. You could always use a custom wood desktop, which is either naturally polished or painted.

Wood as a Material

Wood as a Material

Being environmentally friendly is the first choice for most folks. However, wood is preferred for furniture as its benefits outweigh other materials when you consider the performance. Here are the top reasons to look for wood as a desktop for your smart desk. 

1. Feel-good factor

There’s even evidence that natural surfaces like wood make us feel good, improving our emotional state, reducing blood pressure and stress levels. That’s because humans have an innate attraction to natural surfaces and things like wood.

2. Tensile strength

The high tensile strength of wood desk tops makes it desirable in the construction industry, and wood supports itself much better than other materials.

3. Resistance

Wood resists electricity and heat, giving the constructed structure cooling compared to cement or other materials.

4. Absorption

Wooden paneling in music studios and other places highlights that wood absorbs sound easily. It does not carry it forward, amplifying the sound. Its acoustic nature makes it a perfect selection for offices and a divider panel between noise and peace. You may find that many wooden panels are either naturally polished to finish or land up as a custom painted table top.

5. Aesthetics

Wood is available in a wide natural variety. This makes it an ideal choice for an incredible range of aesthetic settings. Balancing the acoustic and thermal needs of a room, wood desk tops come as a top choice.

Looking for useful tips on how to build a standing desk, don’t miss our blog! 

Types of Wood

Here are some common types of wood that are being used for wooden desktops.

1. MDF Wood

The usual question is should I go with mdf wood vs solid wood? This mdf wood uses hardwood/softwood residues mixed with wax and resin to hold it in place. This mixture is then set into large panels. High temperature and pressure are applied to these panels to help them bind together for durability. MDF wood is a perfect material for an office table top, given that you are not going to place heavy items more than 50 pounds or so as an indicative number.

 MDF Wood

An adjustable standing desk top made from MDF wood proves to be lighter to raise or lower. It is an excellent material as it is durable and long-lasting for use on a desktop. An mdf wood desk top is easy to clean and maintain.

2. Maple


Looking to buy a wood table top? One of the best choices is a Maple wood desk top. Why? It is hardwood and known for its toughness. Being dense amongst most other types of wood, it is quite sturdy. It is resistant to moisture and does not split easily. The unique pale color and a salt-type grain make it an interesting choice for a desktop. Affordable and easy to clean and maintain, Maple wood desk tops make a good choice for an office desktop.

2. Birch

While it is a dense wood, Birch is not a hardwood. The fine grains that are built-in give you a stable office table top. Ranked between maple, which is lighter, and walnut that is heavier, Birchwood makes desks and tabletops look appealing.

3. Walnut


Walnut is the sturdiest of woods and is rather heavy to move when used in furniture. The rather straight and open grains mixed with the rich dark color of walnut make it aesthetically appealing for a solid wood table top. You will have different shades of walnut color owing to the walnut trees that grow around the world. It can withstand heavy usage easily.

4. Oak


Oak is a classic wood and often found being used for tables and desks for centuries. Why? It is light, highly durable, and hard to use. Oak woodgrain has quite a natural look as the tree ages. The creamy sapwood of Oaktree is available in various hues of golden to medium brown colors. You can easily polish, paint or leave it natural. Being a hardwood, you can drive nails and screws, and they retain the fixtures for a long time. 

Choosing the Right Wood for Your Desktop

Choosing the Right Wood for Your Desktop

Well, surely a tough question for a novice. But if you are a wood lover, you will agree that there are three important pointers for anyone when buying a wood desk top.

1. Quality

Look for the following for quality:

Hardness: The ability of the wood to resist breaking when force is applied. 

Density: The amount of wood available in a particular unit. It could be per meter cube (m3) or even in centimeters measured as cm3.  The wood density differs from one wood type to another depending on the tree growth environment and the tree species. 

Durability: The durability of wooden material, especially durable wooden standing desk tops, is determined by how well it can withstand natural decay. But do remember, other factors like humidity/heat/rains/ spillages and more can affect the wood to decay faster.

2. Color and Grain

The aesthetic appeal of the wood desk top is determined by a lot of factors like the grain of the wood and designs. This is impacted by various other environmental factors, the life of a tree, which tropical zone it is growing in, and more. Many folks prefer light colors; others like dark-colored wood; depending on your choice, you may want to pick the grain and the color. 

3. Budget Vs. Usage

Of course, suit your pocket but remember the usage too. For example, going in for a walnut desktop for a standing desk table will not make an effective use as it is heavy. Hence check the wood as per usage needed.

Final Thoughts

While there are many types of wood, for your desktop, use lightweight wood like MDF which serves the purpose very well.  Oak and Birch may be good for tables that don't have to be raised or lowered. Walnut wood top will magnify a natural desktop.

Get exclusive rewards

for your first Autonomous blog subscription.

Spread the word

WRITTEN BYAutonomous

We build office products to help you work smarter.

  • No Comment.

You May Also Like

Coming at You Live from Autonomous’ Social Media!