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How to order samples for your solid wood project

The phrase measure twice, cut once applies to every decision you make when placing your order request; not just the dimensions of your desk top, monitor stand, (picture) shelving or kitchen island converter!

Before committing to a bespoke piece of furniture, we understand you might want to get a real understanding of the high quality solid oak, pine or walnut and the finish you are planning on using. This is where our sample service can come in handy. This post discusses more about why samples can be a good idea, why sometimes it might not be, and how you can order samples through our unique ‘order request’ process.

Why order a sample

Samples provide the most accurate representation of the wood’s grain, colour variations, and finish. It also makes the decision process a more tactile one, helping you better imagine how the piece will fit into your space and complement your existing furniture and design decisions.

Look and feel of the wood and the finish

Wood samples can help you gauge a number of details: colour, texture, density, grain and even how a finish looks in different lights. For instance, digging your finger nail into the wood and writing on it (not directly!) with your favourite pen.

Lighting can also make the wood look different, ordering samples lets you view the wood in a variety of lighting conditions, helping you make a choice that will look great in any environment.

Matching with existing furniture

Perhaps you already have some furniture and the new item needs to either match it, or at least complement it. Samples will give you the opportunity to compare the finish, holding it up against your floor, walls or other wood pieces. If you are looking to match with some aged solid wood (which is quite difficult), nothing beats a sample to see how close the colour is.

Exploring options

Pine, oak, walnut and other solid woods all have their own unique characteristics. Ordering samples allows you to compare and contrast, exploring your options, challenging any preconceptions.

Aside from the wood itself, the finish could be up for discussion. Coloured stains or protective finishes all change the wood, and samples allow you to witness firsthand how they interact with the wood grain.

When not to order a sample

With all that said, there are valid reasons to go straight into the order process. Most of our customers do not require samples, here are some reasons for skipping straight to the build process.

Familiarity with wood

Natural finishes like oil or wax on frequently used, A grade quality, solid woods like pine, oak or walnut don’t tend to vary too much. If you already have a good idea of what you will be getting, and you have had a look through our customer gallery and have no concerns, it might be a good reason to head straight to the ‘order request’ process.

Time constraints

Going through one or more sample cycles does take extra time in the build process. If you’re working on a tight timeline, sending and evaluating samples might not be the best use of that time. For this reason you might opt to proceed without them.

Existing customers

If you already have a desk top and are looking for another one, or maybe shelves or a stand to match, just add a comment in the order notes and we will make sure the finish used is the same as when you first ordered. In this case, a sample would be unnecessary.

Edge profiles

Our standard sample service is for grain and finish comparisons only. They are generally applied to 18mm offcuts. As such, if you wanting a sample of an edge profile, or even to gauge the thickness (more than 18mm) then a sample is probably not the best way to go about it. If you have some thing specific in mind, you can always send us a picture of what you want, and we can go from there.

Extensive customer gallery

Our gallery and social media has many pictures showing tops in all sorts of lighting and conditions. Hopefully the pictures give you a great idea as to what the wood an finish looks like, most customers feel that is adequate to place an order from.

How to order a sample

Our ‘order request’ process is a little different, you can learn more about the general process on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

It is necessary for us to know as much as possible about your project before partnering you with the best company. Your choices and delivery location will dictate which partner we match you with. Each partner will have slight differences as to how they apply the finish, which brand they use, and even sometimes slight characteristics with the wood.

Fill out an order request by going the relevant product page (use the shop menu above), choose the quantity of samples required, and detail which finishes and woods you would like sending out in the Extras field, or order notes at checkout.

The samples will be sent out to you within 2 working days with no payment required ahead of time. If you decide to go ahead, you will pay for the samples along with the product. If you decide not to go ahead, the samples will not be charged.

As discussed, ordering samples for your solid wood desk and shelving can be a crucial step in the selection process. It empowers you to make informed decisions, ensuring your investment aligns perfectly with your expectations.

Start your order request today

Why Solid Wood Tops?

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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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