Wood vs. Glass Desk Top: Which Is Better?
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Wood vs. Glass Desk Top: Which Is Better?

|Feb 11, 2023

Do you need help determining what kind of small standing desk you want? With so many choices available, making a decision may be difficult. If you're considering moving away from conventional wooden desk tops, you may have already begun to think about glass desk tops. However, this isn't always a good idea, and the answer to whether you should use one or the other will depend on your specific needs. 

This article will provide a very solid breakdown of why it would be a good or bad idea for you to pick one or another material, as we analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of wood and glass desks. 

Let's first examine wooden desks and the reasons for its appeal. 

Types of Wood Desk Tops 

High-quality hardwood is one of the best materials to use when building a desk. This is because hardwood timber is one of the most crucial elements of furniture creation. 

Hardwoods are a great option for a desk since they are frequently praised for their elegance and texture. On the following list, you will see some of the most popular hardwoods used to make desks. It will give you proper insight and help you decide which high-quality hardwoods to use for your DIY standing desk top project. 


Cherry wood comes in two different tones: lighter reddish-brown and darker brown. Furthermore, cherry wood is a well-liked specialty wood product because the color deepens as time goes by. In contrast to other varieties, it also has a distinct, close grain. If you want more flair, figured cherry is available in various styles, including curled, fiddle back, quilted, and more, making it a great wood for desk tops.

Cherry - wood desk top


This wood tends to be reddish or light brown in hue. Moreover, maple wood is exceptionally sturdy. The wood grain can be quilted, bird's eye, straight, curly, wavy, or a combination of these, creating fantastic aesthetics that blend nicely with the rest of your furniture. 

Black Walnut

With its deep, dark tone, black walnut is well-known as the king of fashion trends. It is recognized as one of the wood types that are easier to work with. However, prices for walnuts are greater than those you'll find for other types of wood. This is because walnuts have a much greater demand. 

Quarter Sawn Oak

One of the most "traditional" wood types for furniture is oak. It works well for artistic and crafty projects. Moreover, it produces remarkably durable furniture. Quartersawn wood will have its distinctive "fleck," which is lovely, elegant, and can be identified whenever you see it.

Quarter Sawn Oak - wood desk top

Ash Wood

Ash is a sturdy, light-colored hardwood that is simple to work with. It creates lovely crafts with a crisp, contemporary appearance. Additionally, it is a highly cost-effective option. Despite the terrible effects of the emerald ash borer insect on ash forests, there is still a lot of ash timber available. 

Pros and Cons of Wood Desk Tops

Wood desks are one of the most commonly used types of desks worldwide because they are versatile. However, to know whether they're the right option for our home office, we must analyze their pros and cons from an unbiased point of view. 

Pros of Wood Desk Tops

The truth is that wood desks have many perks. That's why wood is one of the most used materials for all sorts of furniture. Some of the best benefits you'll get when using a wood desk are the following. 


This is the main advantage of choosing to buy anything made of wood. It will always be there. There is a reason why glass-based antiques are far more challenging to locate than those constructed of wood. Glass tends to break much more quickly than wood, and the chances are that if you buy a piece of furniture made of wood today, it will last you for decades.

Pros of Wood Desk Tops

Wood Looks Good

Wood gives much more vitality than glass if you want to create an earthy aesthetic in a determined place. Glass will essentially be a one-dimensional option. Wood can be carved and stained in a variety of ways. If you know what look you want, you can even choose various types of wood that blend well together to create a fantastic contrast between textures. 

The Value

Between wood and glass computer desk, wooden furniture shares this trait with the majority of handcrafted items. Although it is expensive to produce, it retains its worth quite well. Any nicely kept piece of wooden furniture can be resold for a sizable sum. You can check this out by doing a fast search on Craigslist. Some pieces even increase their worth over time.

The Value

Wood Blends Well with Other Items

Woodworking is a booming industry and a fantastic hobby. Therefore, if you love wood-crafted items, you can choose many wooden objects in the same color or type of wood to match your furniture. This will create a cohesive aesthetic and make your office look like it came from Pinterest. 

Cons of Wood Desk Tops

Although wood is one of the best materials out there because of the previously described reasons, it still has several drawbacks that you must consider before purchasing a wooden desk. Some of them are the following: 

Wood Is Expensive

Even if it's a one-time purchase, buying a decent wood desk will cost a lot. Several MDF-type solutions are available, but they won't be as high-quality, and you might spend more money over time. 

You should wait before spending a lot of money on a desk made of wood if you're simply looking for an L-shaped standing desk to put in a college dorm and not a furniture piece to have in your home for a long time. Keep this in mind even if you find a terrific deal.

Wood Is Expensive

Wood Is Heavy

Desks made of wood are absurdly hefty. They're difficult to move, generally weigh a ton, and you'll be in excruciating pain whenever you try to fit one through a doorway. We've all been there, and we all know how tough it can be for our backs to lift one of these desks. Therefore, you will need a lot of help if you want to get one of these sit-stand desks. 

You Can Hurt Your Feet

Almost all desks can hit your baby toe if you don't pay attention, but hitting your toe on a metal desk's curved frame hurts a lot less than on a sharp wooden one. This drawback shouldn't matter all that much, but if you're clumsy, it might be something to keep in mind.

Can Get Damaged

A wooden desk will always be susceptible to stains or water damage. It can be inconvenient if you intend to keep it spotless but enjoy drinking coffee or anything else. Water will leave stains and could make your large desktop look bad. However, you can always use coasters to fix this issue. 

Types of Glass Desk Tops

Finding the appropriate glass is crucial when selecting a glass tabletop. Although tempered alternatives boost longevity, other factors that must be considered include the glass's thickness and the table's intended use. Make the most of your table's beauty and functionality by selecting the best glass for your table. 

There are many different thicknesses of glass table tops, making it possible to choose between tempered and regular glass depending on the use. The ideal glass for table tops also relies on where and how the table will be used. Two of the most common alternatives are the following. 

Annealed Glass

Between glass and wood top, the glass is warmed and cooled following accepted glass-making procedures, making it simple to cut, shape, or recycle. On the other hand, annealed glass is less robust than tempered glass, and if it happens to break, it will shatter into big, pointed pieces. Because of this, annealed glass is only advised for a solid glass tabletop when it is at least 12" thick.

Annealed Glass

Tempered Glass

A tempered glass table top goes through a rigorous heating, cooling, and pressurization process to boost its tensile strength and endurance. After the glass has been tempered, it cannot be cut or manipulated. In contrast, if it breaks, it shatters into numerous smaller, less dangerous fragments. Because of this, tempered glass is frequently regarded as the ideal choice for table tops and shower door replacements. 


If you don't like either of the previously described options, you can always use one of the following as a great alternative for your table. However, keep in mind your desk top dimensions when picking one. 

Acrylic Plastic

Acrylic plastic tends to be used as a replacement for glass. It is transparent and glass-like in appearance when used as a tabletop. However, it increases the longevity of the desk and makes it perfect for outdoor areas. In addition, it is more readily accessible as a replacement material, lighter than glass, and less likely to break. Nevertheless, acrylic is more prone to scratches and stains and only sometimes gives off the same high-quality impression as glass.

Acrylic Plastic


Granite or marble make up most stone table tops, which can be used indoors or outdoors. Stone is a naturally occurring material with many colors, textures, and patterns. It is also incredibly resilient, showing no trace of deterioration over time. On the other hand, stone table tops are much more expensive and heavier than glass, which is its main drawback. 

Pros and Cons of Glass Desk Tops

Suppose you're considering getting a glass tabletop. In that case, you must consider many aspects of it and compare it to other materials in the market, as this will help you decide if it is a good option to purchase one. 

Pros of Glass Desk Tops

Firstly, we will discuss the good things about glass desks and all the benefits you'll get when buying one: 

They Are Cheap

There are several glass desk solutions available for less than $100. Unlike wood tables, you can get one without spending your life's savings. 

They Give a Classy Look

Glass provides a distinctive appearance. Typically, the look features glass with a sleek, industrial black frame. Glass table top desks create a more classy appearance when used as an alternative to wooden desks. 

They Are Easy to Clean

Any absorbent material might make cleanup a bit messy if you spill on it. You'll never have to be concerned about water stains or anything "sticking" to the surface when using glass. All you have to do is clean it, and you're ready to go.

They Are Easy to Clean

Cons of Glass Desk Tops

Although glass desks can be beautiful alternatives for your home office, they also have drawbacks that you must be aware of. Otherwise, you might end up with problems bigger than you can manage: 

Glass Can Break

Even though moving glass is simpler than moving a whole wooden desk, there is still one thing to consider. If you hit the desk with anything solid enough, the glass will likely shatter into pieces. 

This is a concern you must always keep in mind, not only when you're moving it. It might also happen if your desk doesn't have adequate support and you place a lot of weight on it.

Things Might Get Messy

A glass desk might not be for you if you have a desktop and don't like to see all the cords laying around your setup. This is because the glass will allow you to see every cable and item on the floor.

Things Might Get Messy

Glass Is Heavy

Between, wood and glass table, the glass one weighs a lot. Unfortunately, this is true of both glass and wood pieces. Although it is simpler to move glass desks, as you can separate the pieces, it will still be pretty hefty.

What Is a Good Material for a Desktop?

Between glass and wood top, tempered glass desks tend to be better than solid wood table tops in terms of aesthetics, use, and convenience. They are also more functional and simpler to use. Glass may also be used as a table cover to preserve hardwood desks and increase the furniture's longevity. 

Bottom Line

The truth is that the best material for your desktop will be determined by your personal preferences, which is why we advise you to check out our wide catalog of desks and find the one that's perfect for you.

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