The material of the tabletop determines its decorative qualities, resistance to external influences, durability, and maintenance features. Most often, wood, chipboard, and MDF are chosen for the manufacture of classic and adjustable office desks. Each of these materials has its advantages and disadvantages.
The working surface of a computer desk should be practical and aesthetically pleasing, and natural hardwood such as oak, walnut, and ash meets these requirements 100%.
Advantages of wood tabletops:
- environmentally friendly and safe
- attractive natural texture
- resistant to chips and deep scratches
A wood tabletop does not delaminate and is durable and reliable. Tabletops made of ash have an elegant pattern, oak looks the most interesting in a radial cut, and walnut attracts with its extraordinary texture.
The main disadvantage of wood is its price: all hardwoods belong to elite varieties. The final cost depends on the complexity of the processing and the thickness of the tabletop. In addition, oak, walnut, and ash retain their main properties only if the adjustable table is properly maintained — although the wood is strong, the top layer wears out over time and must be restored.
Chipboard is made by pressing sawdust and chips under high temperatures. The quality and safety of the board depend on the grade, class, and brand.
The grade for use in the furniture industry can be either the first or the second. The main differences between them are texture, color uniformity, and quality of processing. Third-grade boards are used for construction purposes only.
The class depends on the presence of phenol-formaldehyde compounds: they are not used in E0 chipboards (environmentally safe material), E1 chipboards contain them in small quantities (the material can be used in furniture manufacturing), and in E2 chipboards, their amount exceeds the permissible standards.
The grade affects the moisture resistance of the chipboard and its capacity to retain its shape. Boards marked PA are the most resistant to moisture and strong in bending, while PB can be slightly deformed in damp conditions and have a worse tolerance to mechanical deformation.
Advantages of chipboard tabletops:
- aesthetic appearance
- a variety of colors and textures;
- ease of processing
- resistance to mold
- low cost
The disadvantage of chipboard is that it cannot be finely processed, has a shorter service life than wood, formaldehyde resins can cause allergies, and careless use leads to scratches and chips.
When choosing the working surfaces of adjustable tables made of this material, you should pay attention to the thickness, quality of edge processing, and safety (the best option is chipboard class E 0). The decorative properties of the chipboard are enhanced by lamination.
MDF is a medium-density wood-fiber board based on fibers bonded with paraffin. The decorative and functional properties of MDF depend on processing.
- Applying a thin (up to 0.5 mm) layer of PVC film increases the strength of the MDF board and makes it possible to paint it in any color.
- Painting implies applying not only paint but also various varnishes, enamels, etc. By adjusting the technology, interesting effects such as patination (artificial aging) can be achieved.
Advantages of MDF worktops:
- environmental friendliness
- aesthetic appearance
- resistance to fading
- resistance to wear and tear (if covered with a film);
- attractive price compared to wood
The disadvantages of MDF are its moderate moisture and mechanical resistance, which makes it easy to damage even with abrasive detergents. Therefore, we recommend choosing a surface with a matte finish rather than a glossy one, where small scratches are almost invisible.