Best Wood For Desktop

Making your own DIY desktop table is a brilliant way to bring your own style and creativity into the home. However, one of the biggest dilemmas you’re going to have is deciding which type of wood to use. 

While most woods are versatile, naturally beautiful, strong, and affordable, not all of them are perfect for making a reliable desktop. On top of that, deciding what you want can quickly become overwhelming. 

For example, you might need lightweight wood that can be easily moved around. On the other hand, you might need a heavier, more durable piece of wood that will last for generations. 

The type of wood you use will depend on the aesthetics you’re aiming for, durability, your budget, and the tools you have available, making things even harder.

To help out, we’ve done the research and put together a list of the best wood on the market for making a desktop. We’ll look at what each wood offers and identify any pros and cons. 

If you want to find the best wood for your desktop, keep reading!


Edge Supply Red Oak Wood Veneer Sheet Flat Cut, 24” x 96”, 10 mil Paper Back, “A” Grade Veneer Face – Easy to Apply Oak Veneer Sheet – Veneer Sheets for Restoration of Furniture

The first wood on our list is oak. Oak sits at the top of our list and with good reason. Offering unparalleled strength and durability, it is the perfect option for anyone looking to make a desktop that will last a lifetime. 

Capable of lasting 7 decades, you won’t be surprised to hear that oak is used to make most office desks. In fact, even the oval office desktop is made of oak. With that in mind, why not make your own desktop out of this solid material. 

Oak isn’t just a strong and durable wood. It is also one of the most beautiful types of wood you can buy. American white oak is particularly attractive, boasting a stunning cream color and a classic appearance. 

Alternatively, you could use European oak. This type of oak boasts a shining golden-brown appearance that suits any office. 

That’s not all though! 

Oak also has outstanding finishing qualities and works brilliantly. When we’ve worked with oak, we’ve found it very easy to work with when using screws, nails, and a saw. 

Oak is usually cheaper than other high-end woods too so you could keep costs low by using it.


  • Extremely durable – Oak can last up to 70 years when maintained.
  • Stunning appearance – This wood has a gorgeous natural grain.
  • Easy to work with – Sawing this wood or putting nails and screws through it is easy. 


  • Heavy – Oak isn’t the best choice if you want to make a lightweight desktop. 

Also available at:


Cherry Lumber Square Turning Blanks (4pc) (2' x 2' x 12')

Next up, we have cherry. Cherry wood is collected from tall cherry trees that grow over 100 feet tall. The wood from this tree is so durable that the tree is capable of living for up to 100 years before it starts to rot.

It is this durability that makes cherry a solid choice for your wood desktop. Aside from that, cherry is high in demand at the moment because of its usability and beauty.

When freshly cut, cherry tends to have a paler appearance, but gradually over time, that color changes until the wood becomes a gorgeous rich reddish-brown color. 

We fell in love with cherry woods’ smooth texture, uniform sanity, and straight, fine grain when we first worked with it, so we’re sure you will too.

Thanks to the usability of the wood, we strongly recommend using it if you’re a beginner. You’ll find it much easier to saw, nail, and screw the wood, creating a wonderful desktop with little hassle. 

In regards to cherry wood’s suitability to be turned into a desktop, its durability and strength make it resistant to shock loads while its overall beauty will look magnificent in your home office. 


  • Beautiful – Cherry wood looks absolutely stunning.
  • Easy to work with – Gluing, screwing, nailing, and polishing cherry is relatively easy.
  • Durable – Your cherry desktop will last.


  • Pricey – Cherry is quite expensive.

Also available at:


Wilson 15.5'-17.5' Decorative White Birch Logs, Natural Bark Wood Home Décor - 1.5'-3' Dia. (Set of 8)

A native hardwood most commonly grown in North America, birch is a versatile wood that comes in many varieties, most of which are perfectly suited to making an attractive, durable desktop. 

The most common varieties of birch you are likely to use are yellow, black, and white birch. Having said that, white and yellow birch are probably the most popular. In fact, yellow birch, also known as golden birch, is the type of birch most people refer to when they talk about wood.

Thanks to its durability and charming appearance, birch is used in a wide range of woodworking projects and construction. It is also used to build tables, desktops, toys, and even toothpicks.

Though it may not be the hardest or strongest wood on the market, your birch desktop is certain to last for decades. Birch actually scored 1,260 on the Janka test which tests wood’s hardness. This shows that birch is a solid choice. 

When it comes to appearance, we love birch. This attractive wood has a fine strain featuring waves and pores. This gives the wood a completely unique look. The wood’s closed pore structure allows an excellent finish too so the wood can be further enhanced to look even nicer.


  • More affordable – Birch is more affordable than other woods on this list.
  • Great finish – This wood allows for an easy, fantastic-looking finish.
  • Stunning grains – Birch has a unique grain that only adds to its overall appearance.


  • Can crack and warp – In dry conditions, birch can crack and warp.

Also available at:


Jili Online 10 Pieces Natural Pine Wood Rectangle Board Panel for Arts Craft - 10cm

Pine is another very popular choice when it comes to making a wood desktop. Classified as softwood, it is softer than other hardwood varieties, making it a good choice for those of you that want to make a more lightweight desktop that can be moved around easier. 

Despite being more lightweight and softer than other woods, pine is still a strong wood with high shock resistance. This together with its characteristic creamy white color, and versatility make it a big hit with woodworkers. 

Also being very easy to use, another great thing about using pine to create your desktop is that you have a range of different colors to choose from and can easily paint the wood if you deem it necessary.

This gives you more freedom to unleash your creativity on the wood and find a color that suits the look you’re going for. 

Alternatively, you can easily stain pine to preserve its original color and protect it from external factors. 

While all these things are great, what we love most about pine is its affordability. Pine is extremely cheap, especially when compared to other types of wood on the market. This makes it much easier for us to make a desktop we love while keeping costs down.


  • Nicely blends in – Pine’s neutral colors will blend in with your decor.
  • Affordable – Pine is one of the cheapest woods on the market.
  • Highly resistant – This wood is resistant to shrinkage, swelling, damage, and shocks.


  • Not that stylish – There are woods that look more impressive than pine.

Also available at:


Woodchucks Wood Maple 3/4 Inch x 2 Inch x 16 Inch Solid Hardwood Lumber as Cutting Board Wood (10 Pack)

The final wood on our list for making a desktop is maple. Let’s be honest, of course, maple was going to make this list.

Not only is it one of the most popular woods in America, but it is also one of the most used when it comes to making desks and chairs. Therefore, it’s also a solid option when building your very own desktop. 

Maple has an array of useful characteristics that make it great to work with. For starters, it is incredibly strong and durable, easily standing up to the pressures of time.

Secondly, it looks amazing and can be stained easily to produce a beautiful finish. Finally, despite its strength and durability, maple is actually quite lightweight. This makes it perfect for creating a small desktop that isn’t that heavy.

The only downside to maple wood, if we can call it a downside, is finding the right maple wood variety for your project. If anything, we have far too many beautiful varieties of maple to choose from. 

Our favorite varieties are Norway maple, Japanese maple, field maple, and sycamore maple. 

In regards to appearance, maple has a creamy, pale white color and features pink-brownish sapwood that helps give the wood a more attractive, modern appearance.


  • Beautiful grain – Maple wood has a swirling grain that looks incredible.
  • Strong – Maple scored 1,450 on the Janka test.
  • Lightweight – Despite being super strong and durable, maple is a lightweight wood.


  • Not heavy-duty – Maple doesn’t suit the construction of a heavy-duty desktop.

Also available at:

Buyer’s Guide

It is important to not only know which types of wood can be used to make a desktop but also which type of wood suits your project. It is important to know this before you make a purchase as you could otherwise end up with a wood that isn’t quite right for what you want.

To help you make a positive final decision when buying wood and one you don’t later regret, we’ve put together this buyer’s guide. In this buyer’s guide, you will find all the important factors you need to consider when choosing the best wood for your desktop. 

Be sure to follow each point we make carefully if you want to make the best decision possible.

Quality Of Wood

First of all, you need to consider the quality of wood you want to use to make your desktop. You need to find a wood that easily stands up to the task and lasts a lifetime. If you don’t, you could end up with a beautiful-looking desktop that can be damaged easily or starts to fade over time. 

With that in mind, you should take your time to find a solid wood that offers impressive resistance and durability. The wood should also be resistant to sunlight and insect attacks. Luckily for you, all of the options on our list offer excellent durability and strength.

If you choose to look for a different type of wood, be sure to check the product description for durability first.


A wood grain is considered to be one of its most important qualities. The reason for this is quite simple. A wood grain impacts how good it looks, how durable it is, and how strong it is. The texture of the wood is also impacted by its grain. 

Therefore, you need to take your time to consider the type of grain the wood you like has and how it will affect it in the future. You will also want to think about this carefully as the attractiveness of wood grain can also impact the wood’s overall cost.

If you want to keep costs low, you may need to look for a simpler grain.


On the topic of money, you also need to take your budget into consideration when looking for wood. It is very easy to spend money you don’t have on wood as it varies massively in price. 

Before even looking for wood, you should first set yourself a budget for your project. Then, you can save time and money by only looking at the wood that fits your budget. 

If you’re on a tight budget and want to use cost-effective wood to make your desktop, we strongly advise looking at woods like plywood and elm. Both of these woods are affordable options.


Finally, you should also consider color when picking the wood for your desktop out. Wood color is more important than you think as it directly impacts the finishing qualities and style of the wood. 

For example, if you plan on painting the wood a certain color, you have to ensure the wood has finishing qualities that allow you to do so. If the wood you plan on using doesn’t have those qualities, you could easily be left with a messy finish. 

On the other hand, you probably don’t want to paint a wood if it already has an appealing appearance and beautiful grain. 

As a result, you should take into account what you want from the wood, how you plan on using it, the color you’re looking for, and the wood’s compatibility with paint if you plan on changing its color.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Wood Is The Best For Making A Desktop?

In our opinion, there isn’t one single type of wood that works best when it comes to making a desktop. Instead, there is a range of attractive, durable, and strong woods that can be used to make a stylish and reliable desktop. 

Our favorites are cherry wood, maple wood, and oak wood. These options are all attractive, super strong, and versatile in terms of usability, making them a great choice for making a desktop.

How Thick Should My Desktop Hardwood Be?

The perfect thickness for your desktop might vary depending on what you need and the type of wood you plan on using. For example, you would need 19mm thick plywood to make a solid desktop, but just 17mm when using another type of wood.

Having said that, generally speaking, you should be fine using wood with a thickness of approximately 18mm to make a sturdy desktop. 

Where Can I Buy Wood For My Desktop From?

There are a number of great places to look if you want to buy a durable piece of wood. If you want convenience, your best bet is to look online.

In terms of finding wood online, you can check or Both of these online retailers have a wide range of woods on offer. In fact, they both have every type of wood we spoke about in this article.

If you want to buy in person, you should head for Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a wood to use when making your very own desktop can be quite tricky. There is an extremely large variety of different woods to choose from, all of which offer something slightly different. 

However, looking for the best wood for your project no longer needs to be a hassle. In this article, we have provided you with five of the best woods to use when making a desktop. 

Whether you’re looking to make a heavy, durable desktop that will last for 70 years or a small lightweight desktop that can be easily transported, there is a wood you can use on our list. 

As well as looking at what you can expect from each wood and any pros and cons, we’ve also provided you with a useful buyer’s guide that will help you make the best decision. 

All you have to do now is use the buyer’s guide to narrow down your options. By doing so, you should be able to identify the best wood for your project.

Paul Brenner

I'm your guy for any type of electrical installation or plumbing repair. I'm a jack of all trades. You name it, I can do it. I've seen it all and I'm not scared.

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