What is the best wooden table top option for your Dallas Home: Live Edge or Butcher block?

Every home has its own unique style and at Unruh Furniture we keep that in mind when building furniture. Every piece of furniture is handcrafted and uniquely made to fit your style. We are different from the typical box store and each piece is made to order. You get to decide the exact size, the wood type, and color. When choosing the size you not only get to decide the length width and height you also have the option to choose the top thickness. One way to make your furniture unique is by using a live edge or butcher block top!

If you love soild hardwood furniture, odds may already be familiar with what live edge and butcher block is. In the case that these terms are new to you; live edge is when furniture showcases the natural raw edge of the wood. In some cases you may still see the bark from the tree. However butcher block table tops are quite a bit different from the live edge table tops and have many smaller wood planks glue together and tend to look similar to wooden cutting boards. Recently, Live Edge and Butcher Block tables have become increasingly popular in both residential and commercial interior design.


pen leg modern dining table

Check out this Buffalo Creek Table with walnut live edge with a natural clear coat stain.

In our option nothing compares to a solid hardwood product and we think live edge and butcher block tables can give any room a tasteful unexpected look. Deciding which type of table top is best for your kitchen or dining room can be a difficult choice, here are three buying points that will make you decision easier:

Live Edge

Construction: At Unruh Furniture we create our live edge pieces only out of Walnut, specifically Black Walnut. Walnut naturally has a beautiful aesthetic due to the intricate graining pattern and color. While the color of walnut is usually a warm caramel color with light and dark pieces throughout. Due to its natural darker color when the wood is stained the color consistency is typically very deep and rich. The grain is a mixture of a wavy and straight unique pattern with visible small and large scale knots. Our live edge pieces consist of a full walnut slab with natural “live” edges on both sides, that is ripped down the middle to make both of the live edges for the table top. The boards in between each live edge piece will be glued edge grain to edge grain during the lamination process to achieve the desired width of the top. When creating furniture with a live edge feature you will notice the organic movement of the wood. The top thickness will be 1 ¾”, keep in mind that there will be a 4” to 6” variance on the table width as each piece of wood has its own characteristics and will not be straight.

Sustainability: When buying quality furniture the expectionation is that the longevity of the piece will last for years and years to come. Live edge is just that, built to last both structurally and style wise. The Live Edge look is not new and has been around for quite some time and first became popular in mid-century modern design. Many people do not realise that creating furniture with a natural live edge can be a more eco friendly alternative as more of the tree is being use while leaving the wood in a more natural raw form.

Pricing: While Walnut is the most expensive wood species option we offer; the live edge option has its own separate price increase. Since every inch is a possibility and each piece has its own individual pricing system however the specially the live edge option an additional $799.


walnut live edge wooden office desk

This is the Mid Century Desk with a walnut live edge top stained weathered oak.


butcher block table top

This Clydesdale Table has butcher block top and was created in Alder and stained Deep Mocha. .

Butcher Block

Construction: Compared to the Live Edge option Butcher Block has quite a few more steps and takes a bit longer to construct. Butcher Block consists of many wood boards cut down into smaller pieces and ripped to the same width and then rotated 90 degrees and glued face grain to face grain while leaving the edge grain exposed on the top surface. When creating a Butcher Block Table with Unruh the top thickness will be 2 ¼”. Traditionally, Butcher Block is built out of Maple wood however, Maple is not your only wood species option as our customers have the ability to create a Butcher Block top out of any of our 6 hardwood options: Alder, Cherry, Maple, Hickory, White Oak, and Walnut.

Sustainability: While the Live Edge Top has more of an organic shape and unique look, the Butcher Block Top has more substance that is built to stand the test of time. Butcher Block is a highly durable surface and will withstand heavy usage especially when built out of a harder wood such as Maple, Hickory, or White Oak. When buying furniture with Unruh you will receive the BEST Warranty around by guaranteeing the quality for life - no matter what happens.

Pricing:Even though the Butcher Block Top option is the thickest top option it isn’t the most expensive option. Since the butcher block option is available in all the different wood species prices will vary depending on the wood species.


butcher block king size bed

The Clydesdale Bed shown above has butcher block headboard and was created in Hickory and stained Faded Ebony.

How To Get Started

At Unruh Furniture we will build furniture that is custom made to fit your home and unique style. Keep in mind your options are endless. We have the ability to create coffee tables, headboards, and desks with a live edge or butcher block top! Schedule a time to visit our Dallas Showroom to start customizing furniture for your space!

By Kaitlin Kusch

Kaitlin is a Kansas City native with a passion for design and a love for people. She has an uncanny ability to know the best furniture solution for a unique space. And did we mention she loves animals too?

Contact Unruh Furniture’s team today to customize the way you live.

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