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What Type of Wood Is Best For a Coffee Table?

The Best Kind of Wood For A Coffee Table

Coffee tables are an important piece of furniture that can act as an accent for your living room or help to tie together a room’s design scheme. When choosing a coffee table, there are several factors to consider including the type of wood that is best for your needs. Different types of wood have different pros and cons based on cost, durability, appearance, etc.

So, what type of wood is best for a coffee table? This question can be difficult to answer because there are many factors to consider, such as cost, durability, and appearance. However, some of the most popular types of wood for this purpose include oak, ash, maple, cherry, walnut, and birch. Each of these woods has unique qualities that make them good choices for different people.

For example, oak is a very durable wood that is resistant to scratches and water damage, while cherry is a beautiful wood that darkens over time. So, it depends on your individual needs and preferences when choosing the best type of wood for your coffee table. Below, we consider a few options.

Here is a guide to some common kinds of wood used for coffee tables along with the advantages and disadvantages of each type.


Oak is one of the most durable types of wood that can be used to make a quality coffee table. It is resistant to water damage so it is unlikely that your table will get ruined by exposure to spills or other accidents involving liquids.

It is also quite hard so scratching your furniture will be difficult if not impossible during normal use. However, oak can cause problems in hot climates because it heats rapidly and does not hold cool air very well. If you live in a warm climate, oak may not be the best choice for your coffee table.

Oak is also slightly more expensive than other types of wood for coffee tables.


Ash is a great type of wood for a coffee table because it is easy to work with and highly durable. It also resists warping and staining due to the high density of its natural oils.

Similar to oak, ash can be hard on the pocketbook as well as the environment so you should try not to purchase furniture made from ash if these aspects are important to you.

Talking about environmental friendliness, ash is considered a green material by many people who advocate its use in furniture. You can rest assured that ash is not harvested illegally or in a manner that is unsustainable and that it does not include toxic chemicals like lead paint (this was used often in furniture in the past).


Maple is another very durable type of wood for coffee tables. This type of wood is hard enough to be used as a flooring material in some cases! However, it can also be very expensive.

Since maple is such a durable and dense wood, it’s not easily scratched or warped by heat, and liquids like oak and ash can be. This makes maple an excellent choice if you’re looking for low-maintenance materials.

However, like most types of wood that are primarily bright or pale in color, maple isn’t particularly good at darkening over time (which may be desirable for your particular style). Due to its high density, the darkening process happens slowly so eventually your table will start to look a little bit gray and faded.


Cherry is yet another great option for a coffee table because it has many of the same qualities as oak and maple (durability, strength, high density) without any of the disadvantages.

This type of wood is even more resistant to water damage than oak! However, cherry can be very expensive so if you’re looking for affordable types of wood for your coffee table this isn’t necessarily the best choice.

It is also worth noting that since cherry darkens with age, it may not be a good choice if you want your table to retain its bright color over time.


Walnut is another type of wood that is quite durable and has a distinctive appearance. This type of wood has a deep, dark color and can be polished to a high shine.

It is also relatively resistant to scratches and other damage. However, walnut is somewhat pricier than other types of wood and it can be difficult to find quality pieces since it is becoming increasingly popular.


Birch is a good choice if you’re looking for affordable wood that is still fairly durable. Tables made of birch are usually finished with a light stain that shows off the natural beauty of the wood grain.

However, birch is not as resistant to scratches and dings as other types of wood and it may not be a good choice for households with small children or pets. It is also a softer wood which means it’s more prone to damage from liquids and heat.


If you’re looking for an exotic type of wood to use for your coffee table, try Padauk.

Padauk is a bright redwood that is highly durable and easy to work with. It is also quite expensive, making it a good choice for people who want a unique and high-quality piece of furniture.


If you’re on a budget or are looking for an environmentally friendly type of wood, bamboo is the best choice. Bamboo is one of the world’s most rapidly renewable types of wood and it only takes about five years before it can be harvested again.

Bamboo looks similar to cherry so if you want your table to retain its color over time, this may not be the best choice. It also tends to warp easily so you should use coasters and trivets if you want to avoid unsightly dents or damage.


While cedar is not particularly durable or strong, it can make a great choice for a coffee table if you’re looking for a lower-cost material with a unique appearance. It is naturally resistant to rot and fungi so, in some climates where humidity is high, cedar performs better than other types of wood that are known for their durability.

However, when used as a coffee table cedar will require care to ensure that the surface doesn’t get too wet which may expose the wood to fungus or cause splitting in extreme cases.

If you live in an area where humidity isn’t much of an issue cedar can be treated just like any other type of wood to increase its durability.


Pine is a popular choice for budget-minded shoppers because it is one of the cheapest types of wood available. Tables made of pine often have a rustic appearance that can be appealing to some people. However, pine isn’t very durable and it may not last long if used regularly in a high traffic area.

Many other types of wood can be used to make a coffee table, so this is just a sampling of the most common options. Make sure to do your research before making a final decision so you can find the type of wood that will best suit your needs and preferences.


If you are looking for something a little bit more exotic, then mahogany may be the right choice for you. Mahogany is a rich, dark wood that has the potential to look luxurious. It can be difficult to find high-quality pieces of mahogany furniture but if you do, this type of wood comes in many different colors and can be stained to suit your specific design needs.

Mahogany is also durable and long-lasting so it can be a great choice for homes with small children or pets.


Another type of wood that is very durable and can hold up to everyday wear and tear is teak. This type of wood is often used on outdoor furniture because it is so resistant to water and heat.

Teak tables often have a high-end appearance since it is used to make luxury furniture as well. It can be expensive, but it is a good choice if you want to invest in a piece of furniture that will be able to stand the test of time.


So, what type of wood you should use for your coffee table depends on your personal preferences and budget. If you’re looking for a durable, low-maintenance table, ash or maple are good choices. If you want a beautiful, dark wood with a high shine, then walnut is an excellent option. And finally, if you’re on a tight budget but still want a durable table, oak is always a good choice.

Whichever type of wood you choose, be sure to take into account the climate where you live so that your table will withstand the weather conditions.

Whatever material you choose for your new coffee table, be sure to take into account the overall style of your home. With so many different materials and options available, it should be easy to find the perfect piece to suit your individual needs. Working with a professional architect is also a great way to design a piece that perfectly fits your needs.

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