Wooden table top materials
Typically from scaffolding boards, giving a random mismatch of colours. Because the history of the reclaimed timber is unknown, they do have the tendency to split
A veneer is a thin layer of wood glued to a cheaper wooden core. It is typically half the cost of a solid wood alternative.
A wide range of wood-veneers are available and can be laid at different angles creating interesting patterns or just straight.
Solid timber tops tend, by nature, to move and react to temperatures around them. To prevent this movement and tops from warping or splitting, wooden battens are applied to the underneath of the tops. This is not necessary on generated timbers such as MDF, Chipboard, Ply.
Battens installed underneath different table tops
The left image shows a warped table top, the right a split table top.
Floor Boards and Engineered Flooring:
Floor and engineered boards look identical to solid wood and are now commonly used to make table tops. They are an alternative to veneer and generally the preferred option for heavily used tops, as the material is thicker (15mm–20mm) than veneer (0.6mm–2mm); which means it can be sanded back and reused if need. The only difference between the two is how they react,
Laminate literally means layered. A laminate is a sheet material glued to a cheaper, wooden core. What appears to be a single layer is actually a number of even thinner layers of which one is the colour or pattern. Laminate tops are available vast ranges by various suppliers. Suppliers
Pros and Cons of Using Laminates & Veneers
Laminates and veneers tend to give a smoother finish and are less likely to split than solid wood as they do not warp. This also makes them an ideal option for adding metal edging. Note that as laminates are produced in sheets there will be size restrictions or joining lines for large table tops.
The core of a laminated or veneered table top can be MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard), plywood or chipboard. Chipboard is the least satisfactory option, as it’s a poor fix for screws connecting the top to the base and should be avoided for this reason. It may also be worth considering moisture
Table Top Heights
Always consider the total height of a table which has to combine the height of the base and the thickness of the top. In extreme circumstances the central underside of wooden tops can be routed to reduce this height, however, typically table bases are cut down to achieve the required overall height. See our blog on table heights for more information.
Max Table Top Size
Solid timber tops can be made up to 3600 x 1600mm in size, but more often than not, it
Example of How Two Sections of a Table Can Be Joined To Make One
Dog and Bone Connector
Laminate tops can be made up to 3000 x 1200mm in size, depending on the core material, some of the core material is only available as 2440 x 1220mm boards so the max size would be 2400 x 1200mm.
It’s important to
There are many ways to finish solid wood tops; simple seals and lacquers are most popular, but you can also choose from a long list of unusual finishes. These include distressing, scorching, band-sawing, liming and sand-blasting. Read our blog on
Solid wood tops can be fitted to most bases, but as many solid wood table tops require reinforcing strips underneath (these can be visible, particularly on smaller tables) the base must be considered when tops are specified. Read our blog on table bases here.
Outdoor Wooden Table Tops
Solid wood is a good material for table tops for outdoor use - as long as the tops are manufactured for this use, and we recommend slatted tops for outdoor use to allow water to
Make better, quicker, decisions by viewing wooden table tops in person
We have many solid wood table tops and samples on display at our Hammersmith furniture showroom. Please get in touch with our friendly and helpful team by calling freephone 0800 8494 135. Alternatively, if you're looking for more information about tables but don't want to speak to us direct, simply download our Hospitality Furniture Knowlege book and learn pros and cons of furniture materials, current style trends and tips and tricks of the trade.