Some standing desks come with a desktop included, while others — like the LoctekMotion standing desk kits — allow you to source your own desktop, either from the same manufacturer or from another supplier. Purchasing the desk frame and desktop separately gives you the opportunity to truly customize the standing desk’s look and functionality.
The desktop surface is one of the most important features of a standing desk to the end user. It should have visual appeal, but should also be sturdy, durable, and functional. There are three factors to consider when you’re selecting a desktop surface for your standing desk frame: material, dimensions, and thickness. Read on to learn the pros and cons of different materials, and what you should consider when making your decision.
Desktop Surface Material
Bamboo: It seems like bamboo is everywhere these days. That’s because it’s a relatively low-cost, durable, and beautiful surface. Although bamboo is actually a grass not a wood, bamboo desktops have an attractive natural grain that makes them look like a light hardwood such as white oak or maple. Bamboo desktops are very smooth, but are on the softer side, making them more vulnerable to dents or scratches.
Laminate: Another common option for desktop surfaces is laminate, a synthetic material that simulates hardwood. Also used for flooring and even kitchen counters, laminate is a highly durable surface that will resist most scratches or dents. Laminate is usually on par with bamboo in terms of cost. Because it is not a natural material, it tends not to be as smooth to the touch as other options.
Glass: A glass surface can be a very sleek and modern option for a standing desktop. Glass desktops tend to be lighter than those made out of hardwood (although heavier than laminate or bamboo) so they’re easy to assemble and move around. However, glass is more expensive, more vulnerable to cracks, and prone to smudges.
Fiberboard: Fiberboard is a man-made wood material constructed out of wood fibers. It is available in three different densities: low-density fiberboard (also known as particle board), medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and hardboard. Fiberboard is often covered with a veneer to give it the appearance of hardwood. It is a very cost-effective option, but won’t be the most durable or high-quality surface.
Hardwood: Solid hardwood has long been considered one of the most sophisticated and beautiful options for office furniture. It is hard to match the durability of solid wood. You can count on a hardwood desktop to last for years to come. Wood is also easy to refinish and restain if a scratch or blemish needs repair. However, wood does require a larger upfront investment. Wood furniture is also among the heaviest.
To some degree, the dimensions of the desktop surface are up to you. However, it’s important to make sure that the desktop is at least as wide and deep as the dimensions of the standing desk frame. You should also allow a small half-inch overhang on all sides of the frame to prevent the surface from splitting.
The primary factors to consider in terms of desktop thickness are the length of the screws that come with your desk frame and the weight capacity of the frame. The desktop surface should be thicker than the length of the screws. And if you select a heavier material, you’ll want to verify that the weight capacity for the desk frame will be able to support the weight of the surface along with the weight of anything you plan to put on top of the desk, like a computer. This can be an issue for heavier desktop materials such as hardwood or glass.
The Final Decision
After you shop around for desktop surfaces, you may decide that the simplest option is to purchase your desktop from the same manufacturer as your desk frame. The benefit of doing so is that you can count on your desktop to deliver the same level of quality and durability as your desk frame — and you can be sure that they will fit together seamlessly. LoctekMotion offers desktops to pair with our standing desk frames. Contact us to learn more.