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Wooden Table Tops - Types of Wood


We love wooden table tops - they are robust, come in an almost unlimited range of sizes and shapes, look better with a bit of wear and can be stained to match pretty much any interior design scheme. Table Top Edges can be routed in a range of profiles and solid wooden tops can be sanded and re-finished to remove marks and wear-and-tear. This is our guide to the most common types of wood used for table tops, particularly solid wood table tops.

Prime Oak Table Tops

Prime Oak Table Tops

A long-time favourite, oak is a warm-looking wood, with a subtle double grain. Prime Oak has a regular appearance, with few if any knots.

Indoor use only.

Character oak wood table top

Character Oak Table Tops

Character Oak, as the name suggests, has an irregular appearance with changes in colour and many more knots and splits than Prime Oak. These features are typically supplied filled to create a practically smooth surface.  Typically around 20% more expensive than Prime Oak.

You can read more on the properties of both Character Oak and Prime Oak (European Oak) as table top choices here.

Indoor use only.

ash wood table tops

Ash Table Tops

Ash is another wood with good grain detail which has made it a popular (cheaper) alternative to oak. Ash is often stained to mimic other woods rather than used in its natural state. Fast-growing ash is considered a sustainable choice.

Indoor use only.


Beech Table Tops

Beech has been, and still is, a stalwart of the furniture industry, its abundance across Europe making it inexpensive. Nowadays its plain appearance is less fashionable and it is also a timber that is slightly more prone to splits than some alternatives. 

Indoor use only.

walnut wood table top

Walnut Table Tops

A rich deep brown, with character, Walnut makes a hard-wearing and stable table top. It's a slow-growing timber, so less sustainable and more expensive than some alternatives.

Indoor use only.

Reclaimed Scaffold Boards

Reclaimed Scaffold Table Tops

Typically from reclaimed pine or whitewood planks, these softwoods are imbued with character. Reclaimed planks, having lived a past life, the different wear-and-tear will, give a surface a contrasting and uniform appearance. 

Indoor use only.

IROKO Table Top

Iroko Table Tops

Iroko is a very durable wood with an attractive (sometimes inconsistent) colour.  Once considered a low-cost alternative to Teak, it now makes it a popular timber for outdoor table tops. Often in slatted form with gaps for the rain to drop through.

Indoor/Outdoor use.


Teak Table Top

Teak Table Tops

Traditionally a very popular choice, teak was once abundant and has been used for furniture of all types for centuries. Its close-grain resists warping and splitting. Old-grain teak is now carefully protected, with teak plantations providing costly timber for limited furniture production.

Indoor/Outdoor use.

Still have questions? Why not speak to an expert...

We have many solid wood table tops and samples on display at our Hammersmith furniture showroom.  Speak to a member of our team to arrange an appointment.

Topics: Tables, Furniture knowledge

By Hooria Eltumi on 11/11/21 11:10
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Searching for table sizes, wood finishes, researching chair materials or simply wondering what furniture will work best in a restaurant or hotel space? This book is packed with over 10 years of knowledge from the contract furniture industry.

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  • Furniture specification tips
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