Wood slab tables of course begin with, well, trees. And boy do we have trees. At our mill in the Rochester, New York area, we have millions of board feet of raw timber. You read that right – millions!
Just about every species of tree you can imagine can be found by spending a day (or several days) exploring the contents of our Mill site. The trees also range in size: from just a few inches around to more massive timber that can be upwards 3 feet or more in diameter.
We often get asked the question: which type of tree is best for my wood slab dining room table or for my live edge kitchen island? This is actually a great question! While it would be pretty difficult for us to dedicate this page to outlining all of the timber species we have in stock, we can talk a little bit about the more popular tree species toward which our clients tend to gravitate for their custom made wood slab furniture pieces.
Spalted maple simply means that the wood has begun to decay. This is not a bad thing! In fact, the trajectory of the wood’s decay means that there will be black striations in the grain. And this is what makes spalted maple highly sought after. (It’s one of our best sellers!) The contrast created by the black lines and marks in the wood grain can be quite beautiful and make for stunning wood slab furniture.
Another highly popular dining or kitchen table option, red oak slabs possess both a richness of color as well as a durability and hardness that make them great for any type of eating or prepping surface. Versus white oak, red oak tends to be more porous in terms of the grain—this lends the wood slab to staining quite well. With this wood species, there is also a very distinctive grain pattern.
Black walnut can be more expensive than some other types of wood species we currently have in stock; one reason is because it is not as easy to come by. As the name suggests, black walnut wood slabs are going to be generally darker in nature, with some having an almost chocolate brown appearance before staining. It is also an incredibly durable wood species, and the grain of this slab will be more uniform with the occasional burl to give it interest and depth.
People tend to love hickory wood slabs because of the distinctive character of this particular species of tree. Hickory is also quite heavy, hard and dense which means it can at times be more difficult to work with, but the end result is going to be incredibly sturdy. For the most part, the grain is a straighter grain but can have some definite color variation. Hickory for live edge kitchen islands is quite popular.