What is the best material for a table?

Pros and cons of wood, resin and ceramic tabletops

When it comes to deciding on the best table top material, it is important to understand that there is no one material that comes out on top in every situation. The ‘best’ material very often depends on the intended use as each material has its pros and cons. For example, tile or ceramic are popular choices for kitchen tables or table tops because they are known for being easy to clean and heat resistant. Alternatively, wood is often considered to be the best option for dining tables because they look very high end and are long lasting - which most people consider to be worth the cost.

Below, we have compiled a list of the pros and cons for the top four best table materials: solid wood, engineered wood, ceramic/tile and resin.

1. Solid wood tables

Solid wood furniture is a very popular choice for many households and has been considered to be one of the best table materials for centuries. People often choose wood for kitchen, coffee or dining tables. Some of the most common types of wood used in furniture making are: walnut, oak, ash, teak and pine but many other types are also used. Consider a wooden table if you want a durable, high-quality piece.


  • Extremely durable if well maintained and can be used by families for generations
  • Natural wood pieces are considered to be one-of-a-kind because the pattern and grain of the wood varies from piece to piece
  • Wooden tables look very high end and sophisticated
  • Looks good with many different decor styles
  • Timeless and won’t go out of style
  • Wooden tables are considered to be high-quality pieces and retain their value


  • Wood will contract and expand in response to the amount of moisture in the air
  • Wooden tables can be expensive
  • Can become infested with bugs if not carefully and properly cared for
  • Exposure to sunlight or heat may affect colour, texture or shape
  • Damage like stains or scratches may not be easy to remove
  • Requires regular care and maintenance like the application of varnish or polish
  • Can be quite heavy


2. Engineered wood tables

Tables made from engineered wood are a common, cost-effective alternative to solid wood furniture. Engineered woods include materials such as plywood, MDF and particle board. These types of wood are made by either gluing together thin layers of wood veneer or combining wooden fibres with other materials like wax or resin in order to create wooden boards.


  • Does not contract or expand due to fluctuations in temperature or humidity
  • Not known for cracking, warping or getting bugs like solid wood
  • More cost effective than other materials


  • Not as durable as natural solid wood
  • Is not water resistant
  • Easily scratched
  • Can look and feel a little cheap

3. Ceramic/Tile tables

Tile is no longer just for splashbacks, floors or countertops in kitchens and bathrooms! Tiled tables are becoming an evermore popular material choice for both indoor and outdoor tables. Ceramic tile table tops are known for being both gorgeous and durable. The variety of colours and patterns allows people to create a truly bespoke look.


  • They look stunning and stylish
  • Durable and long lasting
  • Easy to maintain
  • Lots of options to choose from when it comes to colour, texture and pattern
  • Heat resistant - no need to use trivets to protect surfaces
  • Waterproof - perfect also for outdoors


  • If heavy items are dropped on the tiles, they can crack
  • Replacing tiles may be difficult because the exact same tile may no longer be available
  • Need to maintain grout and reseal every year
  • Uneven surfaces may be a bit more of a challenge when cleaning

4. Resin tables

Resin is a great option for both indoors and outdoors as well as both commercial or residential spaces. Resin tables and table tops come in many different colours, patterns or textures. People often choose resin as a purse-friendly alternative to more luxurious materials such as solid wood, marble, granite or concrete.


  • Can be made to closely resemble many different types of materials such as wood marble or concrete
  • Extremely durable as resin is both scratch proof, waterproof and heat resistant
  • Easy to clean and maintain - just wipe down with warm soapy water
  • Lightweight
  • Great choice for both indoors and outdoors


  • May sometimes look cheap when compared to materials like solid wood or ceramic
  • Does not always look and feel like the desired material it is made to look like

We hope the above has helped you narrow down your choices and has brought you closer to picking the best table top material for your needs.

Find a table to express your style in the collections by Matrika. Built with local, high-quality materials and handcrafted in Milan, each table has its own unique style and personality.