We're often asked by our clients what the difference is between large slab and multi-plank table tops. While both table tops offer a beautiful connection with the natural world, crafted from responsibly sourced materials, sourced 100% in the United States, there are benefits and conditions to each.
THE LARGE SLAB TABLE TOP
The large slab top honors the tree. Each piece that makes up the table is from one tree, put back together again to live on with you. As a result, longer lengths with continuous grain are possible, as well as fewer joint lines. Thicker tops and spicier live edge profiles, depending on the species and slabs, are also available with large slab tops.
Larger slabs with fewer joint lines, spicier live edges and more character can be found in large slab tops
Because of all these variants, the choice of a large slab top also requires a custom slab selection process, which lengthens the specification timeline - a consideration for those on a tighter schedule. And, while large slab table tops offer a more detailed view of the wood grain - the cathedrals, the variegated tones, the natural characteristics - the additional work required to tame that life to fit, and last, indoors does add to the overall expense.
As you first lay eyes on your new large slab table; however, you can't help but be drawn to the beauty it presents. As a Senior Principal at MG2 Seattle states, "We are very pleased to have all these beautiful objects in our space. They make us stop every time to stroke the surfaces and take the time to really look at and appreciate them.”
THE MULTI-PLANK TABLE TOP
The multi-plank top is, as the name implies, a table top composed of several wood planks roughly 6 - 8 inches in width, depending on the overall table width. The slabs are uniform in width and length, unless otherwise requested, and, like their large slab counterparts, are available in live edge or square edge. One difference to note is the live edge is natural on Maple and carved by our team of craftspeople on all other species for multi-plank tables whereas both a natural live edge or square edge is available on all species for large slab tops.
As you can see, even with a milder live edge, more joints and less character, this multi-plank table is still gorgeous.
Continuous grain is available from end to end on tables that do not require a field joint. Those with a field joint, longer than 9 feet roughly, will have a break in grain pattern; however, we do our best to ensure the table top is composed with the best fluid and natural look possible. Individuals often celebrate this grain and color variation as a beautiful interpretation of the natural, living tree.
A great benefit to the multi-slab top is its easier workability and lack of slab selection process which both lead to a lower cost and potentially shorter lead time than large slab tops.
SO WHICH DO YOU CHOOSE?
Design aesthetic, budget and timeline all play an important role in the decision process with every purchase our clients make and hopefully this piece helps guide them in the right direction based on their project.
Additionally, we've created downloads to further illustrate the benefits and expectations for both table top options.