A desk is a table with drawers or shelves that can be used to place objects on top of it. They are usually seen in offices, schools, and homes. The purpose of the desk varies from one user to another depending on their needs. Some use it for a computer desk or writing while others will use this for rearranging small things on the table which makes it hard to reach them.
There are many different types of wood out there but what materials are considered the best? If you’re having trouble choosing what type of wood would match your style then here are some options that might be worth considering.
Why Wood For An Office Desk?
Wood is a natural material that provides a warm tone to office decor, giving any business building or home office a traditional and professional appearance. Wood decks are among the most popular options for today’s buyers because they’re sturdy and provide lots of surface area for activities like writing, reading, studying, working on crafts, using it as a computer desk, and displaying favorite mementos from personal trips.
Why is it important to choose the best wood for your desk? Many people will tell you that the best type of desk is one made out of solid oak or maple. While these woods can make beautiful desks – there are many other varieties available – some may not be right for every situation. And if you’ve ever gone shopping for wooden furniture to discover there were hundreds of choices, you understand the confusion that can result.
Best Type of Wood for a Desk
Oakwood is a very durable material that has been used in timber and furniture making for centuries. It is also known to be easy to work with, so it’s perfect if you like DIY projects. Oak can be light to dark brown in color and has a great appearance that will give your desk a traditional touch.
- Oak is incredibly durable. This means that the furniture made from this material will last for a long time.
- The color of an oak desk varies from light to dark brown depending on the age of the tree it came from. If you love aesthetically pleasing items, then this is one wood type that’s worth looking into.
- Do you have DIY skills? If yes, then oak would likely be easy to work with since it bends well and has fewer knots compared to other types of wood out there.
- Oak is a more expensive type of wood compared to some other options on the market. It would also be harder to find a specific color that matches your style best since this material comes in different colors.
- Oak is a sturdy material but it’s also very heavy.
- Since oaks come in different colors, you can’t be sure whether your desk will look the way you want it to if you don’t have previous experience working with this type of wood.
Walnut wood is one of the best wood types for making desks, most likely because it’s so attractive. It has a lovely natural sheen, and its mahogany color can look charming in almost any setting.
However, all good things do not come cheap. While there are cheaper varieties of walnut, they usually don’t have the beautiful swirls that mark an expensive piece of furniture with true walnut wood. For the best possible desk, you should go straight to the top drawer if you want real walnuts. Aside from having amazing aesthetic features like grain patterns and unique coloring variations, it is more durable than other types of wood. Walnut resists moisture well too (just make sure you refrain from placing anything on your new desk directly after applying any type of finish).
You’ll want to make sure you take the time and care necessary to protect and maintain your walnut desk. The material is very dense and can be prone to surface scratches, so proper cleaning techniques may need to be employed should something get set down on the wood with any force.
- The Walnut wood desk is very attractive to the eye, durable, and moisture-resistant.
- High durability, attractiveness, moisture-resistant
- Walnut comes in many varieties (e.g., extra-dark brown, with dark wavy lines ).
- Environmentally friendly
- Walnut is solid wood and shock-resistant
- Walnut wood is expensive and susceptible to scratching and water damage.
- Installation is difficult for anyone, especially if they are inexperienced
Cherry wood is another incredibly popular wood for making desks. It has a warm reddish-brown color that looks great with lighter woods and white furniture, and it’s known for its durability.
However, just like walnut, cherry wood desks are usually the most expensive variety on the market. If you want an average quality cherry desk at an affordable price, you may have to settle for more pale varieties that won’t look quite as nice if set against dark walls or furniture. Otherwise, do yourself a favor and search out one of the best pieces of true cherry available. Cherry is also very dense so it will be durable while being resistant to liquids- two great qualities in any desk!
- Cherry wood is a very durable and attractive wood for your desk.
- Environmentally friendly, as it is a renewable resource.
- Cherry is expensive.
- Installation can be difficult for those with little experience working with wood.
- Not scratch-resistant
Maple is a light-colored wood often used in the creation of desks. It’s known for its fine, straight grain and durability.
Since maple is such a light color, it may not stand out as much in your home or office unless it has been stained or painted. If you want an unadorned desk that still has a bright appearance, look to maple rather than oak. Maple is also more resistant to moisture and stains than oak (and thus looks better when exposed to drops), though it can be significantly more expensive depending on which type of maple wood you purchase.
- Maple is very durable and attractive
- Resistant to moisture
- It’s not particularly tear-resistant.
- It’s not ideal for intensive usage.
5. African hardwoods
This solid wood is extremely strong and durable, making it a wonderful choice for a computer desk. Many African hardwoods are naturally beautiful colors with interesting grain patterns.
However, they are also known to be very dense so they can be prone to scratches if not treated correctly. The best way to treat your African hardwood desk is by regularly waxing it or using a similar product so that the oils in the wood don’t get sucked out over time.
The most famous African hardwood is mahogany, but there are many other varieties that are just as lovely (and expensive). Some of these include rosewood, wenge, and purpleheart.
- African hardwoods resist moisture well
- Some varieties look stunning without any stains or finishes
- Easy to work with
- Chemicals may damage it.
- They are expensive, and a novice may have difficulty working with this wood type.
Rosewood is one of the best woods that’s naturally rich in color. It has a density somewhere between maple and mahogany, so it can be used as a substitute for either depending on your needs.
Rosewood comes from the tropical regions of South America, Asia, and India, but its high price means you may have to settle for other types of rosewood furniture if you’re looking to purchase a desk. This article includes some great alternatives to rosewood desks if they’re not in your budget.
- Beautiful natural coloring
- Resistant to scratching and moisture damage
- It can cost more than some cheaper varieties.
- Rosewood is known for being slightly more difficult to work with during construction.
Teak is a type of wood known for its durability and resistance to moisture, which makes it an excellent choice for desks that get used regularly or that will be stored in areas where they could encounter liquids (like the kitchen).
Teak comes from tropical regions like South America and Southeast Asia. It can be expensive, especially if you go with high-quality varieties, but there are some more affordable options available online if you don’t mind compromising on quality.
- Extremely durable
- Highly resistant to liquids and staining
- The color may not suit all decors.
- It can cost significantly more than other types of desk wood.
Pine is one of the cheapest types of woods you’ll find. It’s also fairly soft compared to other varieties, which makes it easy to work with but can reduce its lifespan.
Like maple, pine may not be the best choice if you need a desk that will stand up to heavy use or that will last for decades (unless you treat it regularly). If you go with pine, look for high-quality pieces and don’t scrimp on installation; this type of wood needs support from both its structure and additional supports like braces and brackets in order to retain its shape over time.
- One of the least expensive options available
- Resistant to water damage and staining
- Environmentally friendly
- The softness can make it prone to splitting.
- It’s not particularly good for heavy use or long-term storage, especially if you try to save money by purchasing a low-quality piece of wood online.
Bamboo is a type of grass that’s extremely flexible, strong, and durable. This makes it an excellent choice for desk legs or frames because it can flex with the desk instead of cracking over time.
However, bamboo is still technically wood, which means you shouldn’t leave your desk in places where it will be constantly exposed to water or high humidity unless you want the desk to warp or discolor. You also shouldn’t use harsh chemicals on bamboo furniture when you decide to clean it up—gentle cleaners are recommended instead.
- Extremely flexible without losing strength
- Environmentally friendly
- Can discolor if left in humid environments for long periods of time.
- Can crack if not supported properly.
Elm is a type of wood that’s extremely durable and flexible, which means it can remain straight without warping over time. It’s resistant to rotting and insects, so it won’t be damaged easily by its environment.
It has a medium weight that makes it easy to work with during construction, but the smooth grain of elm has a tendency to become slippery, which can make it hard to write on for people with sweaty hands.
- Extremely durable
- Resistant to insects and rotting
- The medium weight makes it easy to work with during construction
- Can be slippery for some people when used as a desktop surface.
- Can be expensive if you go with higher-quality varieties.
Mahogany is one of the most traditional desk materials because it’s beautiful, easy to work with, and durable enough to stand up to heavy use or long-term storage. It can range from medium-weight to extremely heavy, which means that it works best in sturdy furniture that will be used regularly.
Because mahogany has a medium to high-gloss finish, it can also be prone to fingerprints and scratches over time if you don’t take the proper precautions or regularly polish it up.
- Beautiful wood grain with a warm color range
- Sturdy and durable
- Medium to high-gloss finish that resists scratches
- Can be expensive if you go with a higher-quality variety.
- It can scratch easily over time, especially if it’s not polished regularly.
What Are The Best Finishes For An Office Desk?
Wood stain and varnish are the most common finishes for office desks because they’re easy to apply and offer a professional look. However, wood stains tend to be more transparent than other types of finish—consider lacquer or paint if you want a high-gloss or opaque finish that will resist scratching and water damage.
Paint can be used to protect wood over time, but if you choose the wrong type of paint, it can discolor or chip off. Many companies recommend using oil-based primer and topcoats rather than latex for this reason.
Lacquered finishes are extremely durable and scratch-resistant while still being easy to clean with a damp cloth, so they’re popular with furniture that will be heavily used by the public. Lacquered finishes also tend to have a glossy sheen.
Ceramic finishes are another option for people who want a high-gloss finish on their desk without worrying about it chipping or scratching easily. However, this type of finish requires a professional application from a company that specializes in finishing services. It’s not typically available at most local hardware stores.
Clear finishes are also popular for desks that will see some wear and tear, but they do require regular upkeep to protect the surface. They’re less expensive than other finishes but can show fingerprints more easily.
After reading this post, we hope you can make a decision that is best for your needs. Remember to think about how the desk will be used and what type of wood would work best with it. It’s important not to get caught up in one particular style or material because there are many great options out there! We wish you luck in finding the perfect fit for your office space.
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Lawrence D. Reynolds is an experienced carpenter and woodworker who started this site to help others get into this craft by providing advice on choosing tools and materials and sharing How-To guides about woodworking. He has been into Woodworking for over 25 years and enjoys nothing more than sharing his knowledge and helping others learn about this wonderful material.