types of wood for table tops

In the journey of crafting the quintessential tabletop, the selection of wood emerges as a game-changer. It’s not just about the visual appeal, it’s a decision that influences the resilience and lifespan of your table. Imagine constructing a table from a live edge wood slab - the distinctive grain pattern alone can transform the entire project, making it a masterpiece. This magic lies in the choice of wood. So, let’s embark on this enlightening journey to explore some of the finest types of wood for table tops.

kinds of wood to make furniture
Let's find your favorite types of wood in this blog post
Credit: Flowyline Design
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Which is better for tabletops: hard or soft wood?

The choice between hardwood and softwood for tabletops depends on various factors. Hardwoods, derived from deciduous trees, are denser, sturdier, and more difficult to work with. They perform better when exposed to elements and have superior fire resistance. However, they can split when you drive in a nail. On the other hand, softwoods, from evergreen trees, are easier to cut and work with. They are hard enough for any type of table but score poorly on the Janka hardness scale. Their low density means they get damaged quickly and have poor fire resistance. However, they are more affordable. Therefore, if durability and resistance are priorities, hardwoods are a better choice. But if ease of work and affordability are more important, softwoods could be the preferred option.

Ultimately, the choice of kinds of wood to make furniture depends on the specific needs and preferences of the user.

best wood for furniture making
Which should we choose? Hard wood or soft wood?
Credit: ©Fai ZU; Xaro on Canva.com

Best Wood for Furniture Making

1. Oak

Oak is a popular choice for tabletops due to its strength and resistance to wear. Its distinctive grain pattern adds a rustic charm that can complement any decor.

Oak is one of the most common types of hardwood
Oak is one of the most common types of hardwood
Credit: ©Momentmal; Thorsten Spoerlein on Canva.com

2. Maple

Known for its hardness and durability, Maple is an excellent choice for a tabletop that will see heavy use. Its light color and subtle grain pattern give it a clean, modern look.

Maple wood is a common woodworking material
Maple wood is a common woodworking material
Credit: ©strathroy; drnadig on Canva.com

3. Cherry

Cherry wood is prized for its smooth texture and rich, warm color that deepens with age. It's a bit softer than oak or maple, making it easier to work with.

Cherry wood is valued for its deep red color and straight grain
Cherry wood is valued for its deep red color and straight grain
Credit: ©fotokostic; Mubera Boskov on Canva.com

4. Walnut

Walnut offers a combination of strength and beauty. Its rich, dark color and straight grain make it a stunning choice for any tabletop.

Walnut is popular among woodworkers because of its deep brown color and ease of workability
Walnut is popular among woodworkers because of its deep brown color and ease of workability
Credit: ©Michel VIARD; Guiyuan on Canva.com

5. Mahogany

Mahogany is a traditional choice for fine furniture. It's moderately hard and has a straight grain, making it easy to work with. Its reddish-brown color and fine texture make it a luxurious choice for a tabletop.

Mahogany is a reddish-brown, straight-grained tropical hardwood
Mahogany is a reddish-brown, straight-grained tropical hardwood
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6. Cedar

Cedar is known for its incredible natural resistance to water, insects, and the sun, making it a top choice for outdoor furniture. Its pleasant and robust aroma is another iconic aspect of cedar.

Cedar wood is derived from a variety of cedar trees
Cedar wood is derived from a variety of cedar trees
Credit: ©Anahy Modeneis; y-studio on Canva.com

7. Pine

Pine is popular for its strength and affordability. With proper treatment, pine furniture can last for many years, even outdoors. It takes many colors of stain well, offering versatility in design.

Pinewood is an evergreen gymnosperm of the softwood group
Pinewood is an evergreen gymnosperm of the softwood group
Credit: ©AlexD75; Bozena_Fulawka on Canva.com

8. Birch

Birch, specifically yellow birch, is common in North American furniture. It can be left unstained to darken over time to a nice golden brown naturally. It's still common for utility purposes such as shelving or crates due to its decent durability.

Birchwood has a smooth and even texture
Birchwood has a smooth and even texture
Credit: ©Cathrin2014; vvoevale on Canva.com

9. Rosewood

Rosewood is a hardwood that's long-lasting and allows artisans to build furniture with magnificent carvings. It's often used for high-end furniture pieces.

Rosewood is any of many brightly colored hardwoods that are frequently brownish with deeper veining
Rosewood is any of many brightly colored hardwoods that are frequently brownish with deeper veining
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10. Mango

Mango wood is a sustainable choice that's becoming increasingly popular for furniture. It's durable and showcases a beautiful grain, adding a unique touch to any piece.

Mango wood is classified as a hardwood
Mango wood is classified as a hardwood
Credit: ©Alexandr Baranov; Queensbury on Canva.com

11. Acacia

Acacia is a hardwood known for its strength and durability, making it an excellent choice for furniture that needs to withstand heavy use.

Acacia wood is a popular and long-lasting hardwood
Acacia wood is a popular and long-lasting hardwood
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Discover the Charm of Wooden Tables

Wooden tables have long been a staple in homes around the world, offering both functionality and aesthetic appeal. They come in a variety of styles, each with its own unique charm. Here are some types of wooden tables that you might consider for your home.

Drip Slab Tables

Drip slab tables are a beautiful blend of art and furniture. The design typically features a thick slab of wood with a 'dripping' edge, creating a stunning visual effect. The natural grain and texture of the wood are often highlighted, making each table a unique piece of art.

Drip slab tables are a fascinating combination of art and furniture
Drip slab tables are a fascinating combination of art and furniture
Credit: Flowyline Design
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Waterfall Tables

Waterfall tables are named for their distinctive design where the grain of the wood appears to 'flow' over the edges of the table, much like a waterfall. This design is achieved by mitering the joints, allowing the grain pattern to continue from the top of the table down the sides.

Waterfall tables are named because of their unique design
Waterfall tables are named because of their unique design
Credit: Flowyline Design
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Live Edge Tables

Live edge tables celebrate the natural beauty of wood. They are made from slabs of wood that retain the natural edge of the tree from which they were cut, creating a rustic and organic look. Each live edge table is unique, reflecting the individual characteristics of the tree it came from.

The natural appeal of wood is highlighted with live edge tables
The natural appeal of wood is highlighted with live edge tables
Credit: Flowyline Design
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Tables with Drawers

Tables with drawers offer a practical solution for storage while maintaining the aesthetic appeal of wooden furniture. They are versatile and can be used in various settings, from the living room to the bedroom, and come in a range of styles to suit different decor themes.

A table with drawers will help you to save more space
A table with drawers will help you to save more space
Credit: ©pixelshot on Canva.com

Butcher Block Tables

Butcher block tables are sturdy and functional. They are made by gluing together thick strips of wood, creating a surface that is both durable and attractive. You can also choose the strips from many types of wood to create an inviting look for your space. These tables are perfect for kitchen countertops, offering a robust surface for food preparation.

Butcher block tables are created by gluing thick pieces of wood together
Butcher block tables are created by gluing thick pieces of wood together
Credit: ©BreakingTheWalls on Canva.com

River Tables

River tables are a stunning type of wooden table where a 'river' of epoxy resin runs through the center of the table, often made with two slabs of live edge wood. The epoxy can be tinted in various colors, creating a striking contrast with the natural wood.

River tables become popular in recent years
River tables become popular in recent years
Credit: Flowyline Design
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Each of these wooden table styles offers a unique blend of functionality and aesthetic appeal. Whether you prefer the rustic charm of a live edge table, the practicality of a table with drawers, or the artistic flair of a drip slab or river table, there's a wooden table out there to suit your taste and needs. Remember, investing in a wooden table means not only buying a piece of furniture but also bringing a piece of nature into your home.

The choice of wood can significantly impact the aesthetics, durability, and longevity of your table. It's essential to consider these factors when choosing the perfect wood for your tabletop. The best types of wood for table tops also depend on your specific needs and aesthetic preferences. Consider the intended use of the table, your budget, and the existing decor of your space when making your choice. Happy woodworking!

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