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Office Desk Buyers Guide

Office Desk Buyers Guide

Office Bench Desk with chairs
Looking to replace your old office desks or create a new workspace and not sure where to start, follow our simple guide below for the things to look out for and the types of office desks that are available. 

Types of Desk:

Unsurprisingly as the way we work and the technology we use in the office has changed so have the desk we use to rest that technology on. Below are the main styles of desks available and there intended use, that's not to say you can't use them in a different way to suit your way of working but gives you an idea of why the desks were designed in the first place and the benefits of each design. 

  • Straight Cantilever office desks  -  Everyone will be familiar with this style of desk its the classic office desk, still as relevant today as 20 years ago. The strong metal cantilever frame is fixed directly to the modesty panel at the back of the desk and to the desktop creating a strong desk with little movement. The leg frames are typically powder coated steel which is durable and scratch resistant and by pairing the right leg and top finish you can create a look to fit most styles, for example pair a white leg with white top to create a minimalist simple desk that will just blend into the background of the office leaving other elements to take centre stage. This style of desk is generally very cost effective and available from stock for fast delivery.
  • Panel ended office desks - Similar to the cantilever desks the panel end design is synonymous with offices across the land, instead of a metal leg these desks feature an MFC panel for the legs, this can be in the same finish to the top or a contrasting finish such as a white. The panel end desks offer a little more coverage for the underside of the desk making them ideal for use in estate agents and similar set ups where the desk is customer facing, the panels allow you to hide away bags and other storage under the desk without it being visible from the front or side, these desks are also very cost effective and generally available from stock.
  • Goalpost leg desks -  These desks are essentially the same as the cantilever office desk except instead of a cantilever frame they feature a goalpost style metal frame, so two upright metal legs joined at the top by a metal cross bar, again these desks are super strong and durable and are available from stock in a range of leg colours and top finishes. 
  • Corner Office Desks - Although still popular today the corner office desks were originally designed to work with the deep backed monitors of days gone by, the L shape of the desk creates a deep section of desktop at the corner designed to provide space for a deep monitor. Although the deep monitors are a thing of the past the corner desk lives on and is still available from stock in a range of finishes. The corner desks are also available left or right handed, this refers to the side the corner section is on, so as your sat behind the desk the corner section can be on the left or right hand side.
  • Bench Desks - Bench desks are now a common sight in larger offices but often are met with confusion as to how to specify them. So what is a bench desk? simply its a desk that uses a shared frame work to support multiple desktops, so instead of two desks each having their own legs, with a two person bench desk there would be one leg frame that would support both desks. Bench desks come in to their own when creating longer runs of desks that could be 4, 6, 8 or even more desks in a single run, the shared framework removes the need for legs between each position so the users are free to move between positions and use the the full width of the desktops without legs getting in the way. The use of a shared framework also allows for better cable management with large shared cable trays and the easy access to run cabling the full length of the desk or down to the floor via the intermediate legs.
  • Height Adjustable Desks - Sometimes also referred to as sit stand desks these feature a height adjustable mechanism to raise the desktop from slightly lower than a standard desktop height up to a standing height or any height in between. Height adjustable desks are typically either manually operated by way of a crank handle which you turn much like a car jack to manually raise the desktop or the more popular option of an electric height adjustable desk which uses one, two or even three electric motors normally concealed within the legs to electrically raise or lower the desk at a touch of a button. Some electrically operated height adjustable desks also feature a smart control panel that can be operated via a phone app or store pre defined positions so you can quickly set the desk just as you like it. 
  • Executive Desks - For when you want something a little bit special to make a real impact, executive desks tend to be larger in size, often with supporting storage or matching storage and using more impressive materials, including glass, laminates and wood veneers. There are no set criteria for an executive desk it very much comes down to personal choice and budget, the sky really is the limit with these desks.
  • Home Office Desks - The name speaks for itself here, these desks are for use in the home, often more compact than traditional office desks and featuring in built storage these desks often feature a softer more home like design.

Desktop Materials:

Most commercial office desks are made of MFC which stands for Melamine Faced Chipboard, this material is hardwearing, durable and affordable its also available in a huge range of finishes and colours from wood effect finishes to flat colours making MFC a great choice for most office projects. 

Another popular material is Laminate, this is similar to MFC but often has an MDF or Ply core which is then laminated. There are a range of different laminates available from Formica to FORBO many are similar but some feature different properties such as FORBO which has a soft touch feel to the surface, this type of laminate is ideal for meeting and boardroom tables. Laminates are more expensive than MFC so often not ideal for use on larger projects due to cost constraints. 

Wood veneer, this once popular material is used a lot less these days as the laminates and melamine finishes have become so good they are hard to tell apart from a real wood, however real wood veneers are still popular on boardroom tables and executive desks where the craftmanship and quality of the finish add an extra layer of luxury.


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