Posted on

Solid wood desk/table top options explained

When buying a solid wood table top for your desk frame, you are commissioning a beautiful piece of furniture.

Likely you have an idea of how your desk should look, it may need to be the centre piece of a carefully considered workspace, or it may need to blend into a room with another primary function and existing style. Either way, it is often the details that can make your vision really come to fruition.

It is important our ordering process is kept as simple as possible. Too many options can leave you swimming in jargon, too few could leave you frustrated. So we have honed our questions to the below, but remember, we are also just a phone call or email away if you have any further questions or want something specific.

Custom Shape (+ £36 inc VAT)

A desk doesn’t have to be a perfect rectangle. If you can sketch it, we can make it. Upload your requirements (from a pen & paper sketch to a 3D CAD render) in this section.

Custom shapes are also useful if you intend to use your table top for a bay window, window seat, coffee table or multi-purpose table.

Custom shapes we have done in the past range from trapezoids to waves, from J shapes to corner cutouts. Currently very popular is the contour shape (shown below). All can be added and detailed by uploading a sketch to this option, see below for the type of document we need.

Do not use the custom shape option for:

  • Drilling pilot holes: We would recommend you use our pilot hole on delivery service. Generally measurements taken are not accurate enough, hole sizes could also knock your measurements out. In the worst cases the holes could be just enough out to really cause a problem fixing your desk top securely.
  • Grommet holes: We drill these any size and location for free!
  • L shaped desk tops: see how to order an L shaped table top here.
  • Very complicated designs: please get in touch first, we will be happy to advise further.

Real examples of acceptable custom shape sketches

Edge Boards/Reverse Grain Ends (+ £30 inc VAT)

Currently not available.

Add end caps to your table top with wood running perpendicular either side.

Some say a desk with edge boards looks more traditional, other say a desk without edge boards can look more modern. There is no right or wrong, and the edge boards will not affect the strength of your desk, they are a purely aesthetic, and as such this is entirely a matter of personal preference.

Bear in mind before ordering a top with reverse grain ends our note here about wood shrinkage, this could impact wether you choose to go with or without edge boards.

Rounded Corners (+ £20 inc VAT)

Would you like the 4 square corners rounding off? We can do that for you. Not to be confused with a chamfered edge.

Please input the size of the corner you would like. How do you work out a radius corner? This video is useful, though not produced by us. Or you can download this A4 PDF, either print out or imagine at A4 size to work out your radius.

Some customers have asked for rounded corners as they have toddlers running around with the desk at head height, others have said they think it gives the top a modern feel when used without edge boards.

The two desks below are 15mm (left) and 50mm (right).

Edge

For comfort we can take off the ‘sharp edge’ from the table top, known as a chamfer, as shown below (large and standard). You can request a more ‘butchers block’ look by requesting we do not chamfer the edge at all, or full/half bull nose edges.

Some customers find having no chamfered edge can lead to some discomfort when working a whole day at the desk, it all depends on how you rest your hands/wrists on your desk. Some feel that a larger chamfer can help with carpel tunnel syndrome symptoms.

We can achieve a more elaborate edge profile on request, just get in touch with us to discuss your requirements.

  1. Full Bull Nose
  2. Half Bull Nose
  3. Large Chamfer
  4. Standard Chamfer

Finish

We offer different types of finishing, and the option to have no finish at all, in case you have specific finish you want to apply yourself. We also offer a discount to leave the top unfinished/only sanded, giving you some room to budget your own finishing oil, polyurethane or similar.

Light/Standard Oak Finish

If not clearly stated otherwise, every picture you see on our site is our standard finish. It can look different depending on the lighting and camera. It is simply our super high quality Mylands finishing oil. No colouring or chemicals. Our standard finish brings out the existing features and grain of the oak, and helps it wether spills a little better.

You can top up this finish at any time you see fit over the course of your table top’s life. Simply sand back a specific area, or the whole top, with very fine sand paper, and even reapply the finishing oil (we use Mylands Wood Finishing Oil).

Teak Oak Finish

A slightly darker oil than the standard is used to make the top colour slightly richer. (You can top up the finish using Liberon Teak Oil.)

Belgium Ash Oil Tint Finish (+£36 inc VAT)

To get this finish we use Fiddes hard wax oil tint. We can do any Fiddes colour on request (as found here), contact us for a quote.

Dark Oak Finish (+£10 inc VAT)

To achieve the dark stain we firstly sand down the wood with 120 grit sand paper, then polish it off with 320 grit. We then generously spray on “Morrells Light Fast Wood Stain”, specifically Brown Mahogany 0181/200. We leave the stain set for about 20 seconds and then wipe off any excess. Finally we leave it to dry for at least 30 minutes and then coat with Mylands wood finishing oil.

You may request a specific match in the order notes at checkout, i.e. walnut colour (picture below), or send photos after your order of the furniture you would like the wood to match. Remember, we can only stain darker, not lighter; and we do not guarantee a perfect match. Note: Staining a top can make it harder to top up the finish later if you water damage it etc.

Whitewash Oak Finish (+ £20 inc VAT)

We can use specialist finishing oil which contains a white pigment to whitewash/white stain your oak top (please see picture reference below). Note: Adding a non-natural colour to a top can make it harder to top up the finish later if you water damage it etc.

Asian Hardwood Finishes

Learn more about Asian Hardwood here

Gloss Painted Pine (+ £50 inc VAT)

We apply a multiple layers of high quality base coats, then the final paint colour is sprayed on to give a top quality finish over our sustainably sourced pine to produce an easy to maintain paint finish (picture below). Unless otherwise requested, we use white paint.

Colour Stain Pine (+ £36 inc VAT)

We can stain the wood to any colour using this finish option, just mention the colour in the order notes at checkout. Most often, we are requested to stain pine black.

Pictures of our finishes

A combination of our camera, the light at the time of taking the picture, and your screen means taking a picture of our finishes is never 100% accurate. Even when you have your desk top, it will look different at different times of the day.

Click here to see full resolution sample pictures, as close as we can colour match them digitally, along with some other pictures below in different lighting conditions that hopefully help your decision making process.

Pilot holes on delivery (+ £36 inc VAT)

Currently not available due to not entering private premises during government COVID restrictions.

We can help you attach your desk top to your frame when we hand deliver your table top. Your frame needs to be fully constructed on delivery, we will then align your desk frame, and attach it to the top, taking away any cause for concern.

Many desk frames (like Conset or Flexispot) do not come with tops that have predrilled holes, as the frame itself is extendable. In this case, the top they ship with the frame would not have pilot holes, and so you would drill into the top with wood screws.

Or maybe we currently do not have a template for your frame, most frames (like all Fully) accept this type of fitting too with their ‘Bring Your Own Desk’ option.

Freebies on request

We can drill grommet holes or cut aways, affix cable trays, accessories and hair pin/industrial legs etc free of charge. Just send them to our workshop after you place your order. Please leave clear instructions (grommet hole diameter and location, cut away depth and position, intent to send legs or accessories) in the order notes at checkout. We will send you an order specific address to send any purchases to us after your order has been placed.

Something else?

If you want to push the boat out, we likely can support your request, maybe you have a custom profile in mind, a specific finish or treatment, a different wood or thickness than we offer online. We have been making quality furniture for 20+ years, and have a team of highly skilled cabinet makers; get in touch with us today to start the process.

Custom trim around the desk top

Why choose Sit/Stand Desk Tops?

Hand Delivered. On Time.



We hand deliver all our desk tops free of charge, with a 1 hour time slot, to ensure your top arrives in perfect condition. Made in Somerset. No customs charges.

Custom size? Same Price.




We make your table top to the exact required size. All our desk top prices are worked out using the same formula. Calculate your price and order in minutes.

30 Day Money Back Promise



An immediate refund or replacement if you’re not happy, which ever suits you best. Free order cancellation within 48 hours, no questions asked.

Frequently Asked Questions




Learn more about the quality of our sustainably sourced wood, how our desk tops are priced, our process, delivery timescales and more on our FAQ and About pages.

Our customers love our table tops

“Today my desk arrived, and it is far beyond anything I could have hoped for. The wood is gorgeous, and a wonderful finish. Solid, well made, and something I’ll treasure for years. I cannot recommend these guys enough, I was blown away by my product, and you will be too.”

Read the full review on Trustpilot: Adam Inglis, WriteR