Wood Table Tops Guide

Fine dining restaurant furniture

Wood is by far the most common material used in the world. Almost any type of wood can be used to build and design restaurant furniture. Each wood type possesses its unique characteristics adding different degrees of color, style, dimensions and warmth thus putting emphasis and beauty to most décor themes. This guide will further elaborate on the various type of wood and its characteristics as well as materials used to build restaurant tables.

Butcher Block Vs. Plank Wood Table Tops

Selecting the right wood table tops can be a difficult task. Especially if you don’t know what exactly you are looking for. And that's even before we go into laminated and wood like materials such as resin. Understandingly, choosing the ideal wood table top can be quite intimidating. To help you with your choice we created this guide that will go over various wood types, table top build and design as well other wood like materials.

Butcher Block Table Top

Solid Wood Butcher Block Table Top

Butcher block tables usually include 2" wide wood strips. The length of the strips is random from 6" to 20". Made by gluing the wood strips together with the edge grain visible on top makes the butcher block extra strong and durable when compared to most other wood table tops. The randomness of the length of wood pieces also adds to the table top's visual appeal and attractiveness.
Plank Table Top

Solid Wood Plank Table Top

Plank tables usually include 4" - 6" wide strips with an even length that are glued together with the face grain up. The plank design is a more traditional look and can also be seen at higher end restaurants due to its design. Whereas the butcher block design is more sought after for its random placing of the wood blocks, the plank design is sought after for its lush opulent classic design.

Hardwood Table Top vs Softwood Top

A dining table is typically the focal point of every restaurant so naturally you would be looking for restaurant tables that are mostly made of hardwood. Hardwood comes from broad deciduous trees as opposed to softwood from conifer trees. Wood table tops made from hardwood are more resistant to years of wear and tear. Hardwoods are comparatively darker in color whereas softwoods have lighter shades. Because they are longer lasting than softwood, hardwood is comparatively more expensive.

Because hardwood is commonly used in most commercial grade furniture, the popular choices of wood species used for these restaurant tables in industrial, rustic, mid-century and traditional restaurant décor themes are beech, maple and oak. If you are looking for a lightweight and more affordable option, wood table tops made from softwood species such as pine may be what you need. Though softwoods are cheaper, they aren’t as durable and they dent easily.

Wood Type Wood Species
Hardwoods Beech, Maple, Oak, Ash, Mahogany, Rubberwood
Softwoods Pine, Spruce, Cedar
Wood type and characteristics

Wood Type and Use

Equipping your venue with the right furniture entails a delicate balance of choosing materials for restaurant tables that are stylish, affordable, and durable. You may take a liking towards the glossy and timeless look of a plank wood table top though it may be too pricey for you. However, you may find a laminated table top to be more budget friendly and economical with little maintenance required.

You may wonder if the level of durability matches up with other wood table tops. The table below describes the types of wood table tops available and their characteristics:

Solid Wood, Veneer and Laminate Comparison

Table Top Construction Type Maintenance Affordability
Solid Wood Solid wood construction with various types of edges Easy to refinish, repair, sand and stain to conceal damages Comes with a more upfront cost but won't need to be replaced as much and can be refinished time and again
Veneer The core would be usually made out of manufactured wood such as plywood with a thin layer of wood veneer on top and edges Warp resistant retaining its look long term Moderately priced though costing more than laminate tables but less than solid wood table tops
Laminate Similar core as veneer with a laminated sheet on the surface. Edge type may vary (see below) Made to resist heat, spills and scratches, hard to conceal over-time damages and scratches Affordable, easy to clean and low maintenance
wood table tops available and their characteristics

Wood Table Edges

There are many types of edges available for wood restaurant tables. The most popular and practical table edges are the bullnose, waterfall and eased.

  • Bullnose - Rounded table edge, normally with a radius that is half of the table top thickness. For example, if the table is 1 1/2" thick, the radius would be ~3/4". The bullnose table edge has a classic look.
  • Eased - The term eased edge refers to a slightly radiused profile and does not exceed 1/16”. It tends to be more polished and tempered to create a clean look.
  • Waterfall - The waterfall edge is somewhat of a combination of the Bullnose and Eased edges with part of the edge being rounded followed by a straight edge.
Restaurant Wood Tables Edges

Popular Restaurant Wood Tables

Sometimes all you want is a complete table that will save you the hassle of matching a base to your desired table top. Below are our most popular wood table sets that will save you time when ordering your new restaurant tables:

Ottis Table Set in Black Finish

Perfect for both regular and communal dining the Ottis table is one of the biggest rising trends in restaurant tables design. With a solid wood table top and commercial grade metal frame, the Ottis looks great in any location from a steak house all the way to an upscale restaurant.

Ottis Bar Table in Dark Grey Finish

A matching bar height option to the regular Ottis, this bar table is great for large parties coming in for a drink or for adding more character to your restaurant. The American made solid wood table top and 18 gauge steel legs give the Ottis bar table unsurpassed strength and durability and the wood-metal combination creates a table that becomes a focal point in any setting.

Industrial Series Restaurant Table with Metal Legs

This commercial grade rustic table with dark walnut wood top and dark grey metal legs is ideal for industrial style locations. With a variety if industrial style chairs to match it, this table is hard to surpass.

Industrial Series Restaurant Table with Metal Base

The industrial style design is growing in popularity and can be seen in restaurants all across the USA. Suitable for diverse locations this industrial table with a square metal base will look great in any upscale restaurant with a touch of modern industrial decor.

Industrial Series Pinewood Table

Full of rustic charm and personality the 1 3/4" thick handcrafted pinewood top and sturdy steel tubular legs looks like it just came out of an old-style factory. Perfect for steak houses and urban settings this pinewood table will stand the test of time.

Industrial Series Pinewood Bar Table

Combine these Pinewood bar tables with matching regular tables and some industrial style chairs and bar stools to create a beautiful urban setting or a rustic interior. The metal legs have foot rests that provide not only additional comfort but also help strengthen the overall structure.

Industrial Series Restaurant Table with Metal Frame

This industrial style metal table with metal frame is a great investment. Durable, attractive and stylish the table is a perfect example of why the industrial style is so popular. With matching chairs and bar height tables you can create an attractive and inviting interior for your customers to enjoy.

Solid Wood Plank Table Top with Legs

The 1 1/2" thick American made solid wood plank top sits on 4 wood legs strengthened by a wood frame. Made especially for commercial use, the solid wood plank table is quickly becoming a staple in upscale bistros and restaurants.

Laminate Tables – Types and Edges

Self Edge

Self edge tables feature identical laminate on both surface and edge. Table top is 1 1/4" thick with a commercial grade laminate by Wilson Art and includes thermally fused backer. Comes in almost any size. Made in the USA.

T Mold

T-mold tables feature a laminated surface and T-mold edging made with high quality rubber. Table top is 1 1/4" thick with a commercial grade laminate by WilsonArt and includes thermally fused backer. Comes in almost any size with 3" radius cut corners. Made in the USA.


Overlay tables feature a laminate surface incased by a 3/8" nominal wood edge that can be stained in various wood finishes. Table top is 1 1/4" thick with a commercial grade laminate by WilsonArt and includes thermally fused backer. Comes in almost any size. Made in the USA.


Overlay tables feature a laminate surface with a solid wood 1 1/4" wide edge that can be stained in various wood finishes. Table top is 1 1/4" thick with a commercial grade laminate by WilsonArt and includes thermally fused backer. Comes in almost any size. Made in the USA.

Reclaimed Look

The commercial grade 1 1/4" thick laminated top comes with white melamine backer and is available in several reclaimed wood choises. Comes in almost any size. Made in the USA.

Outdoor Laminate

Made to be used both indoor and outdoor this table top is available in 3 laminate colors, comes in multiple sizes and shapes and has a black phenolic edge.
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