Best Wood for Desk: 13 Types

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If you are looking for the best wood for your desk, there are many types to choose from. Some of them include mahogany, oak, and pine. Each of them is known for being strong, dense hardwoods with their own unique set of characteristics. Read on to find out the benefits of each so you can make a more informed decision on which one is right for you.

Best Wood for Desk

1. Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse chestnut)

Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse chestnut)is a strong hardwood that is resistant to wear and tear, as well as decay and damage from moisture. Since it is such a dense hardwood, it has little need for frequent oiling and can achieve an excellent finish.

An added benefit to using this wood as the material for your desk is that it provides a very stable working surface. If you are looking for a wood with unique color characteristics, Aesculus hippocastanum has a very attractive grain. It is usually stained or dyed to give it its deep brown color, but the finished product yields exceptional results for use as a desktop.

2. Casuarina cunninghamiana (River She Oak)

Another excellent choice for wood used to construct desks would be Casuarina cunninghamiana, commonly known as River She Oak. A very dense and durable hardwood, it is characterized by its distinct straight lines that can create an attractive contrast on your finished desk. It also resists decay, but regular oiling will be required to retain the beautiful finish of this wood.

3. Carpinus betulus (Common Hornbeam)

One of the benefits of using Carpinus betulus as the material for your desk is that it’s very stable, making it an excellent choice for individuals with less mobility. The wood itself has a subtle hint of color variation which allows you to choose from a variety of stains and dyes to further accentuate these characteristics.

For those looking for a light-colored wood, Carpinus betulus offers a clean and attractive whitewash finish.

4. Carya illinoinensis (Pecan)

Do you love the American south? If so, Carya illinoinensis may be just right for your desk. One of the most popular types of wood used to construct desks, this material is known as one of the strongest and most durable wood available on the market.

Another benefit of this material is that it comes in a variety of sizes and shapes, allowing you to choose exactly what you want for your desk. You can also choose from a number of stains and finishes to give yourself just the right look.

5. Cordia sebestena (Bocote)

Cordia sebestena (Bocote) is yet another popular choice for individuals looking for a unique wood with distinct color characteristics. This hardwood has an attractive yellow, gold, or green hue that can be enhanced to further accentuate the color. The finished product has an extremely durable finish which protects it from damage caused by moisture and heat.

Best Wood for Desk

6. Cupressocyparis leylandii (Leyland Cypress)

If you’re looking for a wood that has delayed response to changes in temperature, Cupressocyparis leylandii is the perfect choice. You can achieve an attractive golden tone on your desk when this type of wood is stained or dyed. This wood is also known for its durability, which makes it an excellent choice to construct desks out of.

7. Diospyros digyna (Persimmon)

An extremely dense hardwood, Diospyros digyna is characterized by the yellow hues that make this wood appear golden or orange in color. When finished with a stain or dye to enhance the grain, this wood will make an attractive desktop.

8. Euodia hillebrandii (Noogood)

If you want to achieve a unique look for your desk while still choosing a wood that is known to age well, Euodia hillebrandii may be the right choice for you. It’s a popular hardwood that is known for its dark, rich tones and is often stained or dyed to highlight this color.

9. Koelreuteria paniculata (Goldenrain Tree)

Koelreuteria paniculata makes an excellent desktop because of the beautiful yellow hues it emits when finished with a stain or dye. The grain of this wood tends to be straight and uniform, but can be enhanced through the use of stains and dyes. You can also choose from a variety of finishes based upon your needs and preferences.

10. Pterocarpus indicus (Padauk Wood)

Another hardwood option would be Pterocarpus indicus, which many individuals recognize by its striking red color. This type of wood is extremely durable and resistant to damage, making it excellent for heavy-duty desks that need to withstand high levels of activity.

11. Quercus alba (White Oak)

If you like the idea of using an American classic, Quercus alba (White Oak) makes a great choice. The uniform arrangement of its straight grain offers wonderful color contrast to any finished desk top.

It has an attractive golden tone with silver highlights which can be easily enhanced with staining or dyeing techniques. Since this material is rather soft, it will require regular upkeep through oiling to prevent your desk from suffering damage over time due to moisture and heat exposure.

12. Terminalia superbAfrican ( Satinwood)

Last but not least, Terminalia superbAfrican ( Satinwood) is another favorite of many woodworkers. This popular hardwood has a golden or reddish hue which can be enhanced with a variety of finishes and staining techniques. The grain of this type of wood is usually straight and uniform, making it a natural choice for a desk top surface.

13. Tectona grandis (Teak)

Tectona grandis, also known as teak, is a dense hardwood that offers a golden hue when finished. It’s often used as a substitute for other hardwoods because of the durable properties it possesses.

Teak is resistant to damage caused by moisture and heat exposure, so this type of wood makes an excellent choice if you intend to place your desk in a high-traffic area.


In conclusion, there are a wide variety of hardwoods that can be used to construct desks. You’ll likely want to choose a wood with unique color characteristics if you’re looking for something that will enhance the appearance of your home or office. A wood such as Teak is very popular because it offers a golden tone that accents any type of design or décor.

Other popular choices like Quercus alba (White Oak) and Terminalia superbAfrican (Satinwood) provide an attractive golden hue which can be enhanced with staining or dyeing techniques. If you’re looking to add a unique touch to your desk, consider contrasting the color of your wood by using one that has yellow or red undertones.

Whether you choose a popular material like Euodia hillebrandii or a classic choice such as Quercus alba (White Oak), you’ve got plenty of options to choose from when it comes time to select the right wood for your desk.

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