As life and your day-to-day happens, you may notice wear and tear signs on a once shiny and smooth desk surface. Not to worry — good-quality tabletops can last decades if properly taken care of! We’ve put together the best tips on how to protect your tabletop from cracks, scratches, stains, and warping to maintain its initial look and feel in this article.
Don’t Overload Your Tabletop
With time, cracks may appear even on the most durable tabletop. To avoid wooden table cracking, we recommend the weight applied on the tabletop should not go over its desk frame load capacity. Also, try to evenly distribute the items on the tabletop to prevent putting too much weight on one spot, which can lead to tabletop bending over time.
Don’t Expose Your Tabletop to Direct Sunlight
If you own a desk with a wooden tabletop, if possible place it away from windows or make sure you use blackout curtains. Sunlight ruins lignin in the wood — an organic polymer responsible for making trees rigid — and makes your wooden tabletop more fragile.
Maintain Stable Humidity in the Room
Temperature and humidity fluctuations affect the furniture as well. Whether too low or too high, the humidity level may cause cracks in the wooden table. It’s recommended to keep up to 60% indoor humidity as a maximum to ensure the wood structure won’t break absorbed excessive moisture from the air. You can also use dehumidifiers during the rainy season and air conditioning that dries the humid air up, helping maintain the optimal humidity level.
At Progressive Desk, we create the majority of our tabletops with MDF (medium density fiderboard) material, with the wooden fibers connected by high heat and pressure. This technology makes MDF tabletops much more resistant to temperature and humidity changes than solid wood, so they are unlikely to warp or swell during their designed lifespan.
Keep Your Desk Away from Heaters
Aside from the fact that wood is flammable, heat absorbs moisture from the wood, making its structure less firm. We advise keeping your desk 5 - 6 feet away from space heaters and wiping the tabletop with a damp cloth once in a while to give it a bit of hydration.
Dry the Tabletop Gradually
Wooden tabletops can warp for many reasons, including ambient temperature, humidity, wood type, and thickness. Typically, the more moisture wood contains, the greater chances it may warp due to uneven drying speed within the wood fibers. The wood type has the final word, but generally, the thicker tabletop does lessen the chance of warp. However, if your desk is standing in a space with a high humidity level and gets damp, experts advise drying it up bit by bit to avert tabletop warping. It’s also important not to overly dry the tabletop to avoid cracks and splits.
Since our MDF tabletops are covered with laminate, which protects the wooden base, they’re resilient to factors that cause cracking or warping in solid wood tabletops.
Prevent Stains on Your Tabletop
Not only do stains look bad, but they may also be hard to remove from your tabletop. Have a coaster under your cup, and make sure you quickly clean the spills before they create a stain. You can use placemats as well under your lunch boxes to protect a wooden tabletop when eating at your desk. This way, you won’t think about how to fix a wood table from a hot plate later!
Use Accessories to Minimize Scratches
Your desk’s surface constantly interacts with other things throughout the day, and most of them can create more or less visible scratches. Use mousepads and a soft mat for a keyboard to protect your tabletop’s finish. Also, think about putting pointed objects, such as keys, pencils, bracelets, rings, a watch, etc., into a small container and taking them back when you finish working at your desk. However, even if you take all these precautions, some scratches will inevitably appear one day. But don’t be stressed! We know how to get scratches out of a tabletop.
Clean Your Tabletop Carefully
Use a mild cleaning agent and a soft cloth like cotton or microfiber to wash your desk — harsh chemicals may destroy the tabletop’s finish and provoke scratching. Laminated tabletops are generally easy to clean with only soap and water and don’t require extra polishing. Read our dedicated blog on how to properly clean your tabletop. Also, unlike solid wood tabletops requiring additional care, such as wax and lacquer, MDF tabletops are low-maintenance and thus cost-effective.
A Quick Recap
To ensure your wooden tabletop stays in good condition for longer, keep in mind these tips:
- Don’t put too much weight on your tabletop, and make sure it’s evenly distributed;
- Watch your indoor humidity and ensure it doesn’t go higher than 60%;
- Avoid drastic changes in temperature in your home that can be harmful to wooden furniture;
- Keep away your tabletop from heat sources and don’t expose it to direct sunlight;
- Don’t place your desk in a damp room and use dehumidifiers, when necessary;
- Use placemats on a tabletop to minimize scratches and avoid stains;
- Clean the tabletop carefully with mild cleaning agents and soft fibers.
We hope the pieces of advice from this article will help prolong your tabletop’s lifetime and preserve its freshness as much as possible! Check out our tabletop collection, choose your favorite one, and build your personalized desk!
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