When we talk about solid wood tables, everyone quickly has an idea in their head, well ... who has not ever sat around one of them?
Preside over our rooms, fill our dining rooms or decorate our gardens. We spend many moments alone or in company at a table. We all imagine one way or another wood table, but it is worth clarifying a bit what that concept of solid wood tables really means.
What is Solid Wood?
We, as clear lovers of wood, always use the solid wood format, that is, that piece that comes directly from the trunk of a Tree or its branches, without being crushed and then recomposed in the form of a board. Being difficult to distinguish for many, we will find on a large number of occasions tables made in an exquisite way using crushed wood boards (known as chipboards or MDF) that have been covered with a thin layer of wood, binding all that mass by means of glues, which mostly release substances such as formaldehydes.
Although these have some advantages, such as their dimensional stability against changes in humidity, they also have serious limitations, such as their almost zero possibility of reuse or their difficulty in being repaired in the event of bumps or scratches. On the contrary, the Solid wood It is very easy to repair, as the wood is not summarized in a millimeter layer, but rather it makes up a whole board. This translates into a greater hardness, a great resistance to shocks, a great resistance to wear caused by use ... and much greater strength and essence, noting even to the touch whether or not our table is made of solid wood and has been treated with natural waxes or oils.
Continuing with the advantages of solid woodWe must highlight the ability it offers us to give your wood a second life once its long useful life as a piece of furniture has ended: the piece can be sawn, sanded and polished again for a new creation. And even if we did not find that second chance for our piece of wood, there is always the possibility of sitting in front of the fireplace, feeling how the space heats up and seeing how it floods our living room with beautiful colors ...
But for this act to be comforting and healthy, it is very important that our wood has not been impregnated or treated with synthetic varnishes: if the wood treated with these varnishes (generally of the type polyurethane or nitrocellulose) is burned in the stove, we will emanate potentially unhealthy substances into our own room, and through our fireplace we will also affect all our neighboring homes and our close surroundings ... That is why we always emphasize the importance of solid wood treated with natural and healthy finishes.
But let's get back to the idea of solid wood table as an object.
One of the most unique pieces of wood in any home ... is the table.
It is one of the pieces of furniture that impresses the most character in a home and even expresses a language in itself: its size and arrangement tells us about how the inhabitants of that house consider their day to day life, as well as the importance they give to their food, such as rest or social relationships.
Therefore, the choice of a wooden table already determines in a more or less conscious way our moments of leisure, rest and food. The size of that table is usually determined by external factors, such as the size of the room, or the number of diners that we usually have, or even factors that sometimes go more unnoticed, almost sideways, such as the number of people who visit us. would like to have around our table.
Regarding the size of a coffee table, we must take into consideration that each diner around a table generally needs between 50/60 centimeters long and between 40/60 centimeters deep of the board to sit comfortably. The height of the table is between 70 and 80 cm, depending on the average height of the diners, although it should be noted that the common height of the tables ... has been increasing in recent decades, since the average height of the The population does so, with a height of 70 cm being a measure that we will find with increasing difficulty.
We must also mention another wooden table that we frequently find in our living rooms, generally around a sofa: it is the so-called coffee table. Here the measurements are even more variable, but generally we start from dimensions of 80 x 120 cm, which is reduced in those homes with city flats, largely influenced by the decrease in house sizes and consequently also of the living room. For this reason, we can often find tables 100 cm long and even 50 wide, although in this case the height has not changed much, with 50 cm high being the most common.
What is the best solid wood to make furniture?
The wood to be used to make our table was given, in the past, by factors such as the proximity of the wood to be used, the availability to obtain it or the ease of working it. Thus, in the areas of hardwood forests (such as northern Spain) chestnut or oak was preferably used, while in the central area of the Iberian peninsula pine was used especially, avoiding woods of extreme hardness and difficulty to be worked like oak wood. On the other hand, in the Central European areas, beech wood also played a decisive role, as well as oak wood ...
All this has changed a lot nowadays, since we obtain solid wood tables from different parts of the world, although little by little a criterion of choice is being extended when it comes to choose our table, where parameters like wood sustainability, more specifically the proximity to the point of manufacture of our solid table, is occupying a prominent place at the time of our choice and purchase.
Today, for our wooden table for the garden, it is very common to find woods such as Teak, Acacia or Eucalyptus, as well as other tropical woods, since all of them offer greater resistance to the outside. If we decide on some of these woods it is very important that our table is made with certified wood to make sure that it comes from good environmental management.
Traditionally, outdoor furniture in northern Europe has been made with local woods such as Spruce, Beech and even Birch, lacquered in colors such as white: from that custom comes seeing the outdoor furniture made of resin and with white color that we have seen by almost any terrace, bar or beach bar. Another wood that has traditionally been used for outdoor furniture and whose origin is nearby in Spain, is Chestnut. Another species, also very resistant to the exterior and with strong roots in areas of Segovia and Soria, is the Sabina wood, with its strong veining with yellow and reddish tones that if not protected, it ends up turning gray over time.
Nowadays, other solid wood tables made with wood subjected to new technologies that respect the environment, such as wood treated at high temperature (known as “heat-treated wood”) That darkens it to give it a toasted brown color, with the great advantage of having practically no need for conservation, being able to withstand rain and even snow without our wooden table suffering from it. Another treatment for outdoor wood that should also be taken into account is wood that has undergone a treatment known as “acetylated wood”, a wood that is also very tempting when choosing our solid outdoor table.
With all these considerations, we can start to choose our solid wood table, finding many and varied options on the market.
And for us, a provider that meets practically all these recommendations is Sintala Design, which in addition to design includes a very advanced environmental criterion, since it manufactures all its products solid wood without cutting trees for it. Do you already know her work and her creations?
José Luis Aranda