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Introducing Asian Hardwood: a light weight solid wood great for sit/stand desks

Since mid-2020 prices of solid wood have been rising. As it stands in mid-2021 the industry has never seen a market like it – 48 hour expiry on fixed prices, huge demand from large oversees economies, and demand outstripping supply to this extent. It is in this circumstance that many of our customers started asking for a wood types outside of the standard oak and walnut.

Pine is much more available, providing a quick and cost effect solution to solid wood desk top requirements, but another more recent popular choice for sit/stand desk frames has arisen: Asian Hardwood.

Further reading
Pros & cons of using ply wood for desk tops
– Pros & cons of using solid pine for desk tops
How to choose the right solid wood for your desk

What is Asian Hardwood like?

Asian Hardwood is a very light weight solid wood. It’s roughly half the weight of oak and very pale in colour with a grain which could be compared to oak, but when finished with danish oil has an obvious and attractive slightly pinkish hue in places. Unlike oak it won’t take on the richer deeper colours without staining.

Why is Asian Hardwood suitable for sit/stand desks?

All desk frames have a maximum load capacity. Sit/stand desk frames especially so as the motor will have it’s lifting capacity. Some high quality frames have a low maximum weight threshold, and so upgrading to a heavier solid wood top could be a concern.

Asian hardwood can give the best of both worlds, using a hard wood for monitor mounts/camera clamps but not adding to the overall weight the frame needs to bear.

FYI: Next to the price on the solid wood desk top product pages we provided an estimated top weight.

How durable is Asian Hardwood?

Asian Hardwood is less hard than pine, and much less dense than oak/walnut, it is about 900-1000 on the Janka Scale, 350 kg/m³ density. This is perfectly adequate for normal weight.

Our Asian Hardwood has been kiln dried and seasoned. It is by no means water proof; even with finishing oil you will not want to be allowing the top to get wet. It will however take additional finishes like a polyurethane, which can go straight on top, to make the desk water proof. Read more about looking after your solid wood desk top here.

Is Asian Hardwood an alternative for pine, oak or walnut?


Asian hardwood grain can be most easily compared to oak but without staining it will not take on the same rich tone, even after finishing oil has been applied.

We can stain it to take on the colour of different woods, like walnut; or different finishes, like grey tones etc. Learn more about finishes here.


Whilst Asian Hardwood grain is comparable to oak, it feels much more like pine. It is probably not best suited for long, unsupported lengths (like a Karlby and Alex set up) but will have no problem bearing normal loads. It is very light weight.

Is Asian Hardwood for you?

If you are looking for a solid wood top, at a budget price and quick turn around, Asian Hardwood could be the right choice for you. Feel free to get in touch with your delivery address and we can send out a free sample.

Buy an Asian Hardwood desk top

Take a look at some of our desk tops below, or our full range here.

Why Solid Wood Tops?

Custom size? Same price.

Desk top prices are worked out using a going market rate formula. There are no extra charges for non-regular sizes. Calculate your price and order in minutes.


Learn more about our service, the quality of our partners sustainably sourced wood, how desk tops are priced, delivery timescales and more. Read our articles or FAQs.

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Our trusted partners are located around the country. Allow us to arrange delivery, pick up from the workshop yourself, or book your own courier.

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