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Any enquiries received during this time period will be answered promptly when we return
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Desk Surface Materials Explained

Desk Surface
Materials Explained

Investing in new office desks can represent a significant expense. As such, you have to look closely at everything from design to construction materials. Where materials are concerned, three of the most commonly used are melamine, wood veneer, and glass.

1. Melamine

Melamine is a synthetic product used to cover a substrate – such as Particleboard / Chipboard or MDF. The melamine is actually a resin with many applications above and beyond manufacturing office furniture. Melamine is used as a component in the production of insulation, soundproofing materials, decorative laminates, and even high-performance concrete. Incorporating it into office desks generally involves marrying it with the substrate boards.  They are processed using heat that melts a melamine/formaldehyde material onto the boards. The boards end up with a durable, plastic-like coating that comes pre-formed in an array of colours.  Therefore, you can have melamine desks that look like solid walnut, oak, cherry, or any other type of wood.

The advantages of melamine include its toughness and durability for everyday use. Melamine presents a uniform finish that offers plenty of aesthetic variety thanks to advanced paper printing methods. Compared to some other materials, melamine is also comparatively inexpensive. Most of the office desks on our website have a melamine finish, so please browse this category to discover a desk range that is both durable and the perfect style for your office.

2. Wood Veneer

Wood veneer is a genuine piece of wood which is usually less than an eighth of an inch thick. The wood veneer is applied to an underlying substrate to act as the finish and is usually applied to Particleboard / Chipboard and MDF. When used for manufacturing office furniture, wood veneers are almost always manufactured from hardwoods and applied to the substrate for strength.

The biggest advantage of wood veneer is its status as genuine wood. A wood veneer desk has the look and feel of real hardwood even though it has a substrate underneath the veneer. Its natural wood beauty, good strength and durability, and uniqueness in the sense that every tree used for the veneer is slightly different. 

Due to this, wood veneer is usually more expensive than melamine. Wood veneer also requires a bit more maintenance in the form of cleaning with mild soapy warm water and a high quality furniture polish to keep it well protected and looking smart. 

We have a variety of office desks and tables available in wood veneer, including our wood veneer executive desks and wood veneer conference tables.

3. Glass

Glass needs no introduction in terms of what it is as we are all familiar with it. Glass is normally used as the desk top surface material with a metal or wood support frame. 

Glass can truly make a desktop stand out as it is very attractive whether left transparent or it has an enamel paint finish on the glass underside to give it a stunning colour.

In terms of strength and durability, glass desks are extremely robust. Glass desk tops are manufactured from tempered or toughened safety glass by a process used to increase it’s strength compared to standard glass, and is not easily scratched or chipped.  

Regular maintenance is also necessary, as glass can show marks and fingerprints and will need cleaning using warm water and microfibre cloths.


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