A table is probably one of the most used pieces of furniture in your home - whether it's for preparing or eating your meals, getting work done, or just a convenient surface to put the knick-knacks of everyday life on. That's why it pays to choose the right material to balance design and durability. This article gives an overview of the most commonly used materials for table tops .
When it comes to modern luxury interiors, marble is one of the most popular materials. The classic white Caraca marble and black Marquina marble undoubtedly exude a cool elegance that complements the contemporary, slightly detached vibe that some like to achieve.
However, the maintenance effort for marble is significant. Marble is a porous material that absorbs liquids - especially acidic ones - very easily. Therefore, it tends to accumulate stains and coasters are always needed. A thick top coat is usually necessary to seal the material, and it may require frequent touch-ups. Finally, marble feels cold to the touch, which in our humble opinion affects the way you handle it.
Unlike natural marble, quartz is a man-made material that overcomes some of the flaws of marble. It is less porous (stains less quickly), and requires less maintenance.
But because the material is man-made, it can't match the natural beauty of marble - it often feels artificially "tacky".
Glass tables were very popular in modern interiors in the 90s, but it has since been overtaken by more organic elements. Most people want their home to be as different as possible from their cold office space. Because it's relatively inexpensive and scratch-resistant, many homeowners also have a piece of glass custom-made to protect their wood table tops, replacing it every few years or so. This is considered an aesthetic faux pass by many designers as it obscures the natural beauty of the wood. Glass also tends to break down and can even shatter if subjected to uneven heating.
Laminates are essentially thin sheets of plastic covering a base material (which could be fiberboard, plywood, etc.). Aside from the risk of chipping (laminates are brittle), this material is cheap, durable and low maintenance. Therefore, it is used for high traffic areas such as fast food restaurants and coffee shops. However, this material is perhaps the least aesthetically pleasing - most people certainly don't want their home to look like a fast food restaurant.
Veneered table tops
Similar to laminate, veneer uses a thin layer to cover a base material. The main difference is that a veneer is made from natural wood, while laminates are artificial. This allows veneered furniture to have a natural look without having to bear the full cost of materials.
Although veneer furniture resembles solid wood furniture, a trained eye can quickly tell the difference in the repetitive wood grain patterns, which betray the artificial nature of the "wood" material. Veneer is also less durable than solid wood because delamination (peeling), flaking and denting are more likely. Veneered furniture probably also cannot be painted over unless thicker layers of veneer are used.
Our favorite material is solid wood, because it combines aesthetics and practicality. For us, nothing beats the natural beauty of wood; there's just something about Mother Nature's artistry that resonates deeply with the human soul. It exudes a feeling of warmth, making it perfect for home use.
Solid wood tables are also durable and easy to maintain when properly finished. Modern finishes have further increased the ease of maintenance of wooden furniture.