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Shopping Guide: The best wood choice for your desk

Shopping Guide: The best wood choice for your desk
We, at ergonofis, take the value and sustainability of our products at heart. We are relentlessly obsessed with quality to offer you the best standing desks on the market. We believe that working on a great standing desk is at the basis of a productive and creative workday, that it will inspire you to thrive while keeping you healthy. This is why we put an enormous amount of thought into what kind of materials we use, where we get it from, and who crafts it.

So let’s take a closer look at our wood standing desks: what kind of wood are they made off, why we chose to work with hardwood, what it means when we talk about sourced from sustainable forests, and why we think it is important to have them crafted locally. We have two types of wooden standing desks:
the Sway, available in maple, birch, and walnut, and the Alive, made with live edge solid wood, available in walnut or suar (limited edition). We’ll delve a little deeper into the details to help you choose the right one for you!


Why hardwood? 

There are 3 overarching types of wood available on the market: hardwood, softwood, and manufactured wood. Manufactured woods include plywood, chipboard, and fibreboard. They are mostly inexpensive and made up of wood chips, shavings, fibers, or wood veneers. Softwoods, which include pine and spruce, are used in construction but also for making paper and cardboard. They have a less complex structure making them less dense.

Hardwood, which is what we use for the Sway and Alive wood standing desk surfaces and includes maple, birch, and walnut wood, is made of trees that grow slower than softwood producing trees, providing them with a more complex structure. This complex structure creates denser wood fibres, forming a very solid wood. Hardwood is known to be more durable, less likely to rot or decay than softwood, and has superior fire resistance. It is porous, allowing finishes and varnish to settle more deeply in the wood. While hardwood is more expensive than other types of wood, it is the highest quality type of wood there is and will withstand multiple years of wear and tear, making it perfect for long-lasting, quality desk surfaces. 


What does it mean when we say sustainable? 

Sustainability is one of the values ergonofis was built on. It, therefore, goes without saying that we make sure the wood we use for our wooden standing desks is sourced from sustainably managed forests. Our maple, birch, and walnut wood come from Canada and the United States, from distributors that do not practice clear-cutting. We want to focus on the long term, making sure that the forests are managed in a way that does not harm the ecosystem, that protects wildlife, and that is going to be reseeded for future generations to benefit from.   

Deforestation is a significant contributor to climate change. Forests are home to 80% of the earth’s biodiversity. They play an essential role in the water cycle, affecting the quality of drinking water and the water used for agriculture. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, helping to offset the greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans. We must be part of the solution, not the problem, making sure our wood is sourced as locally as possible, and from forests that are sustainably managed and focused on the future.

More than ever, we believe it is critical to think about how our business affects our community and the environment. Buying from and working with local companies not only invests money into our community, increasing jobs, and contributing to public services, but also reduces our environmental impact by limiting the distance our materials need to travel.


Who crafts our wood?

It is fundamental for us to work with people that are as passionate about their work as we are: from the coworkers we work next to every day, to the ones who craft the wood surfaces for our standing desks. This is why we work with local woodworkers who are detail-oriented and devoted to their work. We want to invest in local talents to offer you a product that was made thoughtfully and sustainably, while also encouraging the local economy.


The Sway desk: Why go with maple, birch or walnut? 

wood species sway standing desk

For our Sway standing desks, we chose 3 main types of solid wood to make the surfaces: maple, birch, and walnut.  These desks are made of 6 to 12 wooden boards, depending on the desk’s dimensions. They are cut in a straight rectangular shape, with sharp squared edges that are 1 1/4'' thick. Maple, birch and walnut hardwoods are perfect for making quality, long-lasting desks. Here’s why:
 
Maple is a type of hardwood that is known for its sturdiness. Being the hardest and most dense of our woods, it is very strong, heavy, resistant to splitting and moisture. It has a pale color, with a straight grain that has some twists and swirls. Maple makes an ultra-durable desktop, easy to wash, and it is the most affordable of our wooden standing desks.

Birch is dense and provides an extremely stable surface, although it is not the hardest of our woods. It has a fine grain, mainly straight with some waves and small pores. Our birch solid wood desk surface stands between our maple and our walnut surfaces. It is lighter than maple, but heavier than walnut. It has a medium color, and it is priced between our two other surfaces.

Walnut is our most high-end desk surface for the Sway desks. Known for being a very stable, relatively strong, and shock-resistant hardwood, it is our lightest wooden desktop. It has a straight, moderately open grain, and a very rich, dark color. Among the softer hardwoods, walnut must be handled with care as it is more likely to be damaged.


The Alive desk: Why go with walnut or suar?

walnut and suar wood alive standing desk

The Alive standing desks are different from the Sway standing desks in that they are made from live edge wood slabs. A live edge slab means that the circumference of the tree is maintained, including the edges of the tree trunk. It creates beautiful natural looking desks that are unique and keep the spirit of the wood “alive.” Each Alive desk is made of 3 to 5 slabs, depending on the desk’s dimensions. They are 2’’ thick and come in walnut and sugar. 

We chose walnut for the
Alive standing desk for the same characteristics and strengths mentioned above. The hardwood used for the Alive desk, however, does have a few fundamental differences. It has live edges, and the surface is thicker (2" instead of 1 1/4"). Additionally, because the wood is dried differently, its original pinkish tones are preserved for a result that is closer to its natural, untransformed color. 

The
Alive standing desk is also available in suar. Suar wood is incredibly distinctive. It has a criss-cross, complex grain with a variety of earthy colors ranging from light sepia tones to dark, chocolate browns. It undeniably becomes the design focus of a room. Additionally, it is very sturdy, durable, and decay-resistant. As previously stated, it is important to us that we source our wood from sustainably managed forests, and this applies to suar as well. Suar grows in Southeast Asia, consequently, it is the type of wood that travels the furthest in our 4 hardwoods. It is, however, harvested differently than the wood we use for our other desks as it comes from the large limbs of the tree, and not the trunk. This means that the tree itself keeps growing and producing more. We source our suar wood from forests that are developed primarily for making furniture and from companies that pay their employees fairly.  


What is the best choice for you? 

By choosing an ergonofis wood standing desk, you are choosing a high-quality hardwood surface, sustainably sourced and made by passionate local woodworkers. But what type of wood surface is best for you? Here is a table summarizing our main 3 solid wood types to help you make an informed choice.

Type of desk: Alive or Sway?

types of woods available standing desk ergonofis

Type wood: maple, birch, walnut or suar?

wood comparison

 

Questions

Have more questions? Do not hesitate to reach out! We are available to answer any questions you have for you to make the best choice possible.
 
 
 
 


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