Using Wood Slabs for Tables

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Using Wood Slabs for Tables

Wood slab tables are becoming more and more popular these days. They have always been around, but they are making a comeback as a unique and stylish accent to your living space that blends well with many style choices.


What are wood slab tables?

Wood slab tables, otherwise known as live edge tables, are handmade tables that have been crafted in such a way that at least one of the outer edges of the tree is preserved. “Live Edge” is referring to the living part of the tree or rough exterior. Each table is custom made and carries a sense of personality as Mother Nature is left as the designer. More often than not, any imperfections or unique traits in the wood are left untouched to create one-of-a-kind tables. In some cases, the bark is left on for an even more unique and natural look.

These tables are often considered more environmentally friendly because more of the wood is used in the creation process. Standard lumber cuts off the bark and imperfections, often wasting 20-25% of the tree. When a tree is cut for the purpose of creating wood slab furniture, nearly all of the wood is used, leaving a fraction of waste behind at 6-8%. It is also quite common for these tables to be created from already felled trees or reclaimed sources once again, using the most resources. The following image shows the different cuts of wood and the amount of waste left behind after the planks are removed.

hwo wood slabs are cut compared to normal wood


How are wood slab tables made?

When shopping for wood slab tables, keep in mind that because each table is custom made by hand it can be quite time consuming to make. The craftsman often hand-planes the wood, and then sands it so it is smooth. Then if they are to remove the bark, the wood under the bark is then smoothed so there are no rough edges, while keeping the natural look of the wood. After that is completed, the surface is oiled, dried and prefinished. If the bark is kept on, then they apply multiple coats of finish to preserve the outer edge.

Some of these tables can be quite rare because of the size of the piece of wood needed – which is typically at least 40” wide. It can be quite difficult finding trees that wide to create these tables. Thus, other options are sought out. An alternative to these wood slab tables are tables that have the live edge design. These tables are joined from multiple planks of wood with a process similar to that of a standard table. The ends are then constructed with pieces of the “live edge” to create a similar look, but at a more manageable size.


Either style of table will still produce a beautiful one of a kind piece of furniture for all to enjoy. These beautiful, natural tables are timeless pieces of furniture that will suit any décor style. View samples of these beautiful pieces of wood here.

December 14th, 2016|