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Better Than LVL: Our 2 Best Table Alternatives

As some of you may have heard, we culled LVL tables. LVL, or laminated veneer lumber, is an engineered wood product that uses multiple layers of thin wood assembled with adhesives. While beautiful, the product did not perform to our standards.

This cull was put into effect April 4, 2016. But as the saying goes, “When one door closes, another opens.” And in this case, the opened door features two beautiful table products that our customers love. A win for everyone.

LVL Alternative #1: Laminate

The first LVL alternative is a wood grain laminate top with a Baltic Birch core and exposed edge. It’s a mouthful, but the finished product is a doppelganger to the real LVL tables.

For this product, we lay your choice of wood-look laminate (here are our five favorite LVL look-alikes) on top of layers of Baltic Birch. Not only is the laminate durable, but the layers of Baltic Birch are incredibly tough—an ideal product for busy dining spaces.

We then custom match the exposed Baltic Birch edge to the laminate top by expertly hand-staining. The finished table has a seamless effect from top to edge.

Don’t believe me? See for yourself. Can you guess which table top is laminate and which is LVL in the picture below?

Along with being nearly identical, here are a few more reasons why we love the laminate option:

Built to last. Laminate offers superior durability to just about any surface. It resists dings, dents, and scratches that comes with 365-day-lines-out-the-door use.

Tough on germs. Since laminate is such a hearty product, you can use almost any type of cleaner or disinfectant. No need to be delicate with germs here--you have a business to run and customers to keep happy.

So many choices, how does one choose? There are an infinite amount of colors, stains, grains, and textures to choose from laminate. But if you want a truly LVL look, check out these five.

LVL Alternative #2: Solid Wood

The second LVL alternative is our solid wood tables. We hand-sand and hand-stain each and every solid wood table. We then apply a catalyzed polyurethane topcoat to ensure quality and durability. The topcoat also beautifully enhances the natural grain.

We use locally-sourced Maple, but we also source and work with other species as requested. If you’re looking for texture, our solid wood tables in Red or White Oak have a gorgeous rustic feel. Or, for something more luxe, our oiled Walnut is a gorgeous solid wood choice.

Solid Wood table - LVL alternative

Solid Wood Andy Table

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Solid Wood Walnut Table

If you’re still not convinced, here are a few more reasons to love solid wood tables:

Variety is the spice of life. Because wood is a natural product, color may vary slightly from one piece to another. For an ultra-modern space, this might be a deterrent. But for a restaurant looking to make patrons feel comfortable, variations—or rather imperfections—add a welcomed, lived-in charm. Grain variations also provide depth and richness to the overall interior.

Going au naturale. From QSR to full-service restaurants, diners want their food to be responsibly-sourced and as natural as possible. Match their expectations and choose furniture brimming with natural and locally-sourced materials. Our solid wood tables are an excellent way to reinforce a natural, fresh perspective.

Want to see more of our tables? Check out some of our most popular bases, here, here, and here.

finishes and options

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