The Best Wood For Your Home Office Desk Top: 18 Of The Best Wood Desk Tops For You

The Best Wood For Your Home Office Desk Top: 18 Of The Best Wood Desk Tops For You

The growth of the home office has grown exponentially since the Covid pandemic, but the home desk has always been a key feature of homes everywhere, be they for students, parents or anyone else in the home looking for a pleasant place to work.

The question for many is the type of wood to use for that desk top and there are ample choices available.

But, ask yourself first, what exactly are you seeking to achieve. For those seeking a long-term desk that can survive generations then you need a decent hardwood surface such as oak wood.

Your choice of wood will to a large extent be dictated by the visual appeal you are looking for and cost. The most important thing is to get a desk that provides you with exactly what you need.

However if you are looking for something that is lighter and easier to move about then you will not be looking for such a solid wood desk top, but rather something like pine.

You may also want a standing desk, which is increasingly popular among those working within downtown offices and at home offices, so this may permit you to make a different wood top choice for your home office desk.

You need to assess your need, whether it will be largely a computer desk, a meeting desk for use in the office space you have or a combination of these things, as is often the case.

Here are 15 wood desk tops that we think can qualify as the best choice wood type for your table top.

1.Oak is a quality wood for desk top that you will not regret using (or buying). Oak has a dense grain and a very good tannin content, which makes it resistant to ‘infection’ by fungi, termites and the like.

How to choose the best wood for your home office desk - 18 top desk tops

As noted however, it is heavy. The tannin content can also potentially make it more difficult to protect with oils, which in some cases may react with the tannins.

2.Cherry wood is a very popular desk top in the United States and elsewhere for wood desks. The reasons are not hard to find given that it is a high quality wood with a lovely red-brown color and a lovely grain, providing a terrific appearance and quality look.

The Best Wood For Your Home Office Desk Top: 18 Of The Best Wood Desk Tops For You
Maple desk top

3.Maple is another top wood desk wood which, like cherry, has a lovely grain (a more creamy color) and quality appearance. Maple wood is great for furniture generally and it responds very well to stains and oils so you can readily match your desk to other office furniture.

However it is also a wood that does not necessarily need staining and remains a top choice for desk tops. Hard maple is a variation that is also excellent for desk tops.

4.American white oak is slightly different from the oak mentioned and is, like its cousin, a very popular choice with a dense grain. It is remarkably versatile and apart from being used to make high end furniture it is also some of the best type of wood used for such diverse things as flooring, in shipping and boats, railway sleepers and more.

The Best Wood For Your Home Office Desk Top: 18 Of The Best Wood Desk Tops For You
Pinewood standing desk

5.Pinewood is a great wood for the ‘country’ look with its marked grain and its shading that runs from pale white to yellow. With its knots and personality-filled appearance it has character with its natural look and can be used without staining or oiling.

6.Cedar is a popular choice for outside furniture because it is highly resistant to moisture. A quality lighter timber it is certainly ideal for anyone seeking to use any desk outdoors, apart from its natural appeal.

7.Walnut is a ‘rich’ wood that provides the classic look for an executive desk or something for the top lawyer seeking something that is the best option for a top level appearance. It is also an easy wood to use if you are a DIY type seeking to make your own desk, but it stains easily (in a good way) and provides a great appearance.

8.Ash wood is durable and with a grain that ranges from beige to light brown it provides an attractive appearance. It also provides a very elegant and classy look to any office, home or not. It is reasonably expensive like many quality woods used, but is a highly popular furniture wood for the reasons of its appearance and quality.

9.Black walnut is obviously another walnut, but its dark appearance and is a heartwood that can range from a light brown to a lovely dark chocolate brown with darker streaks. It is durable and makes for an excellent desk top. It generally has a straight grain, but not always and if there is a downside it is that it can be somewhat sensitive to insect attack so if that is an issue you need to be aware of it.

The Best Wood For Your Home Office Desk Top: 18 Of The Best Wood Desk Tops For You

10.Teak is commonly used for boats and in shipping generally because it is an almost impermeable wood. Like cedar it is another ideal outdoor furniture timber because of its moisture resistance and is very much a long time timber to be used for any furniture. It can age to a beautiful, grey patina and can be readily re-stained.

11.Rosewood is an attractive, durable wood in color ranging from dark brown to an ebony shade. It has an attractive grain making it a good choice for those liking its color and grain and is most popular in Asia but it certainly a wood that will create attractive wooden desks.

12.Birch is a wood that has a reddish brown color and is popular for furniture material. It is durable and very good as a desk top, however with staining you can obtain a differing result depending upon the grain and texture of the wood. It can also be susceptible to insects and is not a timber to be used outdoors, but can create attractive wood desktops when stained properly.

13.African Hardwoods are a more exotic and often more expensive choice for a wooden desktop. The African hardwoods are a term for a variety of African timber that provide a lovely variation of textures and grains. The variety includes such trees as Sapele, Zebrano, Poculi and other timber. You should look carefully at the nature of the grains and colors, but they can produce magnificent desk tops and are a great choice for many.

The Best Wood For Your Home Office Desk Top: 18 Of The Best Wood Desk Tops For You

14.Bamboo might seem like an unusual desktop choice, but it most certainly can produce a desktop that is different and with an exotic appearance. Unbelievably, perhaps, bamboo is one of the most durable and long-lasting timbers so don’t be put off by this as a real wood that is often the right choice for the perfect desk top.

15,MDF is somewhat similar to particle board or plywood desktops, but it is more dense and has better strength. The manufacturing of the wood creates a very dense material that can provide a very effective desktop that can be painted or stained to suit your own requirements.

16.Elm is a timber that can have a beautiful grain pattern that often resembles a zebra or a tiger with a striped effect that can be very effective. Elm is a wood that has very good, durable qualities. The scourge of Dutch Elm disease has killed many elms, pushing up the price and so it is a quality but pricey desktop alternative.

17.Asian Hardwood is like oak, but half the weight and with a lovely ability to come up beautifully when properly stained. A native timber of Brazil, it is also known as rubberwood, parawood and Asian hardwood lumber and comes as a result of rubber plantations.

The Best Wood For Your Home Office Desk Top: 18 Of The Best Wood Desk Tops For You
Plywood standing desk

18.Plywood is clearly a less expensive option for your desk top, but properly selected and used it can be very effective. It is ideal for the DIY desk To select the top grade plywood which are properly sanded with minimal problems with the appearance of the timber top and you should also select plywood that is not less than 19mm in width to ensure proper strength.


It is clear that there are a wide variety of choices for the best wooden desk top. Once you have clearly identified what you are wanting your desk for and what surface you require, be it a smooth surface, natural wood veneers or will cover your desk with a glass top, you can make a choice that is almost limitless.

Whether you are a lawyer working from home or a tradesperson or student, choosing the best wood for your desk top is a fun exercise that can also result in making a better and more productive work environment at a time when ‘hybrid work’ sees the work-from-home workforce increase expedentially.


Tyler Wilson is a freelance writer who writes about office technology, productivity issues and lifestyle for professionals. His work has been published widely in professional and trade journals on office work issues.

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