Choosing the right wood material for a tabletop can be tricky if you don’t have an eye for design or experience in furniture building. But no need to worry! Our experts have put together a list of the best tabletop wood so that you can make the perfect choice for your needs.
- Cherry Wood: Cherry wood is an ideal type of wood for formal tables, such as dining room tables or kitchen tables. A lot of people are attracted to it because of the smooth texture and warm shade of brown. Cherry wood looks great when new but develops an even more appealing look over time, with the light brown color gradually turning darker year after year. Even the grain pattern is attractive and not disruptive, so you won’t necessarily need a tablecloth.
- Maple: If you’re trying to design an affordable dining room, our woodworkers recommend using maple. Not only is it durable, but it also takes stains well. In fact, over time the stains can even add to the look of your table. If you’re trying to decide between soft and hard maple, keep in mind that soft maple (also called brown maple) is less durable. However, hard Maple is a great investment since it’s one of the hardest woods experts use for home furniture—it has a Janka rating of 1400 to 1500! If your decor tends to be light-colored but you want a touch of rustic wood, our woodworkers recommend “rock Maple,” which got its nickname because of its hardness.
- Walnut: We carry walnut wood, which works well for both contemporary and modern fixtures. Its dark tones are revered by many interior decorators and it’s a great natural wood to use at home, especially if the client prefers an outdoorsy and rustic ambiance. Although not quite as tough as maple, walnut is still a very durable hardwood with a Janka hardness rating of 1010. It can resist impact and scratches fairly well. Another thing our builders appreciate about walnut is the variance in color. You will find a beautiful grain in either darker or lighter shades, making it great for contemporary furniture style setups. Keep in mind that walnut tables will be more expensive than other types of wood tables because walnut trees are not as large.
- Oak: Oak wood, more specifically white oak, is a highly sought-after material for not only home dining tables but restaurant tables as well. Oak has a semi-open grain which allows it to absorb stains relatively easily. Furthermore, oak is extremely hard–it rates 1200 to 1300 on the Janka Hardness Scale. If you prefer darker wood grain, red oak is a good option for formal dining room furniture. For a traditional farmhouse-style table, oak is the best choice for the tabletop. Farmhouse-style tables are simple in design and typically feature trestles. This style is popular with many families we work with because of its simplicity.
- Pine: Though it is not the most durable wood, pine makes up for its shortcomings in beauty and price. Janka’s rating for pine is only 300-400, but this inexpensive yet lovely material remains a popular choice among those seeking a farmhouse table. Our team loves pine because it is easy to paint and very versatile. You can make your tabletop the focal point of your dining space by painting it any color you want, or you can paint it to match the exterior of your house. If you’re unsure whether pine is a softwood or a hardwood, read our explanation below.
- Hickory: Lastly, we have hickory. This wood is extremely rustic and will give your home that traditional appearance. Hickory also received the best ratings when it comes to withstanding impact, which makes it the perfect choice for a tabletop. However, hickory can be susceptible to moisture damage, so keep that in mind if you’re considering using it on your kitchen dining table. Hickory formal dining room sets located in the eating room are still a great option because of their unique shade of reddish brown mixed with cream.
Different woods create different looks, so it’s important to decide what you want your tabletop to say about your interior. If you’re working with a tight budget, pine is an affordable option that can still take wear and tear. However, if money isn’t as big of an issue for you and you want something more durable, then hickory is the way to go.
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