If you have checked out our reviews you will see some common themes: “beautiful” and “quality”. We wish we can take all the credit, but the 2 main ingredients for exceeding customer expectations is 1) working with grade A quality solid wood (pine, oak, walnut, asian hardwood, beech etc), and 2) each and every top is Full Stave. This post aims to give you a better understanding of what Full Stave means and why it is worth the extra investment.
What does Full Stave mean?
Full Stave tops are made from one continuous piece of wood for the entire length.
The alternative is a “butcher block worktop”. These can often be found as kitchen worktops. Imagine a number of ~30cm by ~5cm blocks put together like bricks in a house. The blocks are then glued together to create a longer deeper panels which can be used for kitchens. We never use “butcher block” furniture panels to make desk tops.
A Full Stave top does not mean the top is made from just one piece of wood. A stave is like a plank of wood. A Full Stave desk top has a number of planks that are joined together to create the depth. It is common for customers to think our desk tops are one solid piece as the planks in our Full Stave tops are carefully chosen to compliment each other. Staves can be up to around 50mm thick, starting as thin as about 9mm.
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Why invest in a Full Stave table/desk top?
With the alternative “butcher block” panels available, why do we only make Full Stave table/desk tops? After all, sourcing long, FSC certified, Grade A quality solid wood is much more difficult and expensive. Let’s explore 4 reasons:
Full Stave offers increased quality
The solid wood used in “butcher block” panels is often created by offcuts, and/or lower quality wood. It can be difficult to ensure all the wood used in the panel is entirely traceable. It is not uncommon to see areas with a high glue content, which is unsightly and importantly, not wood!
Full Stave tops are more characterful
Because each stave has a much higher value, time and care is afforded to putting matching staves together to create a beautiful and coherent desk top. Wood is a natural product and so of course, variations sometimes occur, but generally speaking a Full Stave table top gives the grain more space to show it’s character, the entire length can allow the staves to work together to create a harmonious piece of art.
Full Stave tops are stronger
Full Stave stops have less joins, less glue, wider planks and therefore more strength. It is however fair to say that for most office use, “butcher block” tops would be sufficiently strong, even for use with camera clamps and monitor mounts – they are after all still solid wood, not hollow/cardboard/particle board.
Full Stave tops suite office spaces better
It is quite difficult to remove the kitchen work top aesthetic from an office desk when sing “butcher block” panels. Every room is different but most people agree the Full Stave look works a lot better in an office, or a dining/living space.
How wide are the planks in Full Stave tops?
We do not guarantee stave width at Solid Wood Tops. If the wood is Grade A quality, and is FSC Certified (or equivalent), we will use it to make your desk/table tops. Generally our staves are about 10cm wide. As the top thickness increases, the staves can tend to get a little thinner.
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