Oak Desks Here: A Comprehensive Guide & A Piece of Advice!

My absolute favorite moment in the M*A*S*H TV-series is when Colonel Henry Blake buys himself an oak desk. Remember how he asked: “Radar, do you know what kind of wood this is?“ – “Oak, sir?” And Colonel says: “Nope – it’s oak.” That was brilliant. Alas, that oak desk lasted no more than one episode, having been sacrificed to the local black market tycoon in exchange for medical supplies.

Which Wood Type Should I Choose for my Furniture? | FAQs: Question 1

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List of Top-Rated Oak Desks

1. Coaster Home Palmetto Small Oak Roll Top DeskCoaster Home CO-5301N32.5x24x44.5inpoplar, MDF, oak veneerView on Amazon
2. Sauder 401354 Orchard Hills Computer DeskSauder 40135458.8x23.5x57.3inengineered woodView on Amazon
3. OneSpace 50-LD01GO Essential Computer Solid Oak DeskOneSpace 50-LD01GO21.8x43.2x37.5incomposite wood, formicaView on Amazon
4. Sauder 415109 Harbor View Computer oak desk with hutchSauder 41510923.5x62.2x57.4inpressed boardView on Amazon
5. Mylan Oak Crest Roll Top DeskChelsea Home 73398054x24x44.5insolid woodView on Amazon
6. Bush Furniture Cabot L Shaped Espresso Oak Office DeskBush Furniture WC31830-03K59.5x59.5x30.2inlaminated compressed woodView on Amazon
7. Leick Corner Computer and Writing Oak Corner DeskLeick Furniture 8243124x48x30.25inhardwood, not oakView on Amazon
8. Ameriwood Home Delilah Parsons Sonoma Oak Writing DeskAmeriwood Home 9859096PCOM19.7x39x30inlaminated particleboard, MDFView on Amazon
9. Sauder 418213 County Line Writing Salt Oak DeskSauder 41821347.2x19.5x30.1inengineered woodView on Amazon
10. Ameriwood Home Dakota L-Shaped DeskAmeriwood Home 9354015PCOM51.3x53.6x28.3inMDF, fake wood laminateView on Amazon

Were Colonel Blake living nowadays, he could easily buy himself another oak desk online. Or, at least, a desk that could easily pass for an oak.

As long as people have made furniture, they gladly used oak. Oak is easy to process, which lets carpenters and woodcarvers work miracles. The Oak is durable. Treated properly, oak furniture can literally last for ages. That’s why in Latin it is called Quercus Robur which means “strength” in English. Oak is also resistant to mold and fungi.

Also, here’s a honorable mention of my previous reviews:

Oak is really beautiful to look at. It has a rich and warm honey color, expressive grain, pleasant texture. And when it is covered with natural varnish, wax or oil, its gorgeous inner texture shows all its splendor. Oak adds an atmosphere of classicism to every interior. Even a brand new oak item has an air of age about it.

So, let us browse the Internet a little and compare the real oak desks with cheaper desks that look like oak.

The Best Oak Desks Reviews

1. Coaster Home Palmetto Small Oak Roll Top Desk

The traditional style makes this secretary desk look elegant and sleek. The honey finish looks like it radiates warmth. The desk is compact and can easily fit into the small room. Five drawers and multiple envelope compartments can store storage your office supplies. The screen protects your work from dust. But there are some cons.

First, the item is really compact, which means: it cannot house the computer with CPU and monitor. A laptop is OK, but a bigger machine won’t fit. And also it has no insert for a cord in the back of the desk. For a bigger computer, you’d better buy the next item.

2. Sauder 401354 Orchard Hills Computer Desk

For the love of Mike, it is big! Well, not really “HY-u-u-uge!”, but definitely big. And it is sturdy, as you would expect from oak. It can contain the whole home office: a computer with a CPU tower, printer, files, printer paper, books, you name it. There are holes for ventilation and wire access in the back of the desk.

But this is not genuine oak, it’s engineered wood with Carolina oak veneer. So don’t try to move the assembled item holding it by the top. It would be the last mistake in this desk’s life, because of the lower part is really heavy, and if it goes apart, it goes forever.
Otherwise, the desk is great. People gladly buy it for themselves to work at home and for their school kids and students.

3. OneSpace 50-LD01GO Essential Computer Solid Oak Desk

This is an office computer desk that looks very official. The shelf in the middle can be removed to place a CPU tower. There is plug-in access in the back. It comes in several colors, so you can choose classic oak, light oak or grey oak. I’d prefer a grey oak, for its solid look. It’s an office desk, and there is nothing I can add to it.

4. Sauder 415109 Harbor View Computer oak desk with hutch

Sauder provides us with another example of its computer desks, very much the same architecture. Salt Oak finish adds a bit cold and expensive look to it. It is good for a home office but does not really look in place in the office. The hutch is big enough for 32’’ monitor, and there are three drawers, except for the faux drawers compartment where CPU tower is to be situated.

5. Mylan Oak Crest Roll Top Desk

The price of this item may make you hiccup, but, well, this is the solid oak for you. The thing is genuine, from the top to the bottom, so the price is rather moderate, at the cost of being produced in China from comparatively small parts. The look of the item is charmingly rustic. The whole design is old-fashioned, and all those small drawers and envelope compartments look incredibly cute.

And the roll top is lovely. But, despite its old-fashioned look, this is a piece of modern furniture, it has a pull-out keyboard tray, two pull-out writing surfaces, and a wiring access hole. This thing is a real deal. I could marry it, were I a Coaster Home Palmetto Small Oak Roll Top Desk. We would make a beautiful match.

6. Bush Furniture Cabot L Shaped Espresso Oak Office Desk

Gosh, I never ever heard of Espresso Oak. Well, you live and learn.

This is certainly not a fine secretary desk. This is a monster of a desk, and it gives you a football field of working space. It has an Integrated 4-port USB hub, and you can hold your CPU tower in the compartment behind the glass door. The finishing is laminate, so those in the know advise advice to use a plexiglass coverage to prevent the tabletop from scratching and spilled drinks.

There is also a hutch available separately for the additional price. The whole item doesn’t look like it is worth thousands, but it is quite nice and would fit both in home and in office.

7. Leick Corner Computer and Writing Oak Corner Desk

This is small, this is sleek, this is nice. People just love it. It fits into the smallest rooms straight in the corners and looks like it has grown there. The appearance is perfectly natural. It has a lower shelf for a computer tower and a printer and also the wire retaining grommet on the back.

It claims to be hardwood, but not oak, oak is only the veneer finishing. But still, it’s genuine wood. [But there are lees to every wine I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS]: tall people may have a problem sitting behind this desk.

8. Ameriwood Home Delilah Parsons Sonoma Oak Writing Desk

The best part about this desk is its simplicity. You can assemble it in no time at all. It is cute, it may be used for different purposes, not only as a writing desk but as a vanity or sewing desk also. People praise it for the perfect balance between price, sturdiness, good look and utility. It doesn’t look pretentious, but it’s good.

9. Sauder 418213 County Line Writing Salt Oak Desk

Is this the writing desk to feel like Ernest Hemingway? I would think so. I would like to have it in my attic where I would retire to write my masterpieces. As soon as I will have an attic, I will order this desk, because it is lovely and it could easily endure the creative chaos I always make.

But alas, I have no attic, and since then I write my articles on a sofa, holding the laptop on my belly. But people can dream, can’t they? One day I will move to the village, buy myself a house with an attic and order this desk. I will write and enjoy its endless cuteness.

10. Ameriwood Home Dakota L-Shaped Desk

Well, this is another L-shaped office desk that provides decent working space for a moderate price. As far as I could see, this item is on high demand amongst people who work with two or more monitors. It may look suspicious concerning if it can hold a desktop, but some people persons with a bad habit of sitting on the tables proved it sturdy enough. Two additional shelves won’t hurt anyone (unless you kick them for no particular reason).

So, how did you like this tour? What looks better – genuine oak or faux oak laminate and veneer? And how do we care for both kinds? ENLARGE TYPEFACE TO MATCH THE REST OF THIS!

Oak Desks FAQ

So, when you choose a desk to look solid, respectable and classy – the choice is definitely oak.

There are various kinds of oak. More than 60 varieties of oak grow in the United States, and approximately 600 all over the world.

Woodworkers divide all of them mostly in two kinds: red oak and white oak. It may sound funny, but black oak belongs to red, and chestnut oak belongs to white. Because black oak is not really black, it is reddish-brown. And chestnut oak is more like chestnut, but somehow it’s white.

Lay people cannot really tell one kind of oak from another, because one tree can vary from branch to branch and from one layer to another. We can only take for granted what woodworkers say to us. And when they say that white oak can be twice as expensive as red oak, we only have to believe.

Oak grain pattern is easily recognizable. The texture is uneven, but it looks like someone drew dotted lines in a dark pencil across a board. In red oaks, these marks are shorter, in white oaks, they are longer.

With years, oak timber gets darker. That is the result of exposure to oxygen and UV-light. But the process is too slow to notice it in several years. It mostly can be seen on the antique items.

Using oak wood is ecology-friendly. Oak is not an endangered species and the wood itself (and the waste, too) is biodegradable. There are oak plantations in the USA and Europe, and, since oak grows everywhere, manufacturers don’t need to export it from far away, which minimizes carbon footprint because of transport.

But let’s face the truth – oak is rather expensive. Oak grows slowly, so it costs more than pine or maple. This is the choice I respect. But personally, I take another position.

We live in a versatile and changeable world. We don’t even know if we would like to have one item during our lifetime. We like to move from one place to another, from town to town, from country to country. We don’t want to settle in one place and spend the whole life there. We are modern Gypsies, do not fancy being encumbered, lumbered. So, do we really need furniture that has every chance to outlive us?

Weight is another reason why people keep away from oak furniture. It takes a bunch of hearty guys to move oak furniture around.

Maybe, the good compromise is the furniture that looks like genuine oak, but really is not? Admit it, appearance is mostly everything. And if you can afford the same appearance for half of the price – why would you pay more?

How to care about oak desks?

Several times I have been told that genuine oak is durable. But that doesn’t mean it’s unassailable. Oak timber, as any timber, is vulnerable to moisture and water. But also it can crack in extremely dry and hot air. Being moisturized and dried inhomogeneously, the oak item can be ruined permanently. Humidity makes the wood absorb water and slightly expand.

Dry and hot air, on the contrary, makes wood give water away and shrink a bit. So, you have to take care of the humidity in your living space. If it is more or less constant everywhere, it’s OK. But if some part of your furniture is exposed to hot and dry air, like it is situated near a radiator or a fireplace, and the other part is cold and subjected to moisturization, the item can simply go apart.

So, having an air conditioner or dehumidifier is good for your furniture. Anyway, you better place your furniture away from radiators, heating ducts and so on. Also, direct sunlight may cause inhomogeneous warming, so it’s better to avoid it by positioning the furniture or adjusting blinds. Humidity must be kept on the 40%-45% level.

Covers, paddings, and coasters are really helpful if you are tended to eat behind your desk.
Nail polish remover is a sworn enemy of timber, especially varnished, so manicure is a no-no behind the desk.

Dust your desk with a soft cloth, along with the grain pattern of the wood. Use soap dissolved in water to remove fingerprints and inevitable human body oils in places where you touch the desk. Choose polished carefully. Avoid the ones that contain silicone.

Watermark rings can be removed by covering them with thick clean blotter and pressing it down with a warm iron. Spots from milk and alcohol could be removed by the mix of boiled linseed oil and rottenstone. Rub the spot with this mixture, then wipe dry.
Cigarette burns can be concealed with concealing polish or with a paste of linseed oil and rottenstone, which is used to rub the burn until it vanishes.

Dried paint, wax or bubble gum should be removed with finest (0000) steel wool dipped in mineral spirits. Then the place should be wiped dry with a clean cloth.

How do we care about faux oak desks?

Pretty much the same, except we don’t use steel wool or linseed oil on laminate. That will do no good. But we can use alcohol and non-ammonia glass cleaner.

About the author

Jessica Nickson

Jessica Nickson is a keen home and garden innovator with over 25 years of hands-on experience in, home improvement, landscape gardening and all things appliance related to making life easier and more interesting. You can contact her via e-mail - jessica.nickson.hd@gmail.com.

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