Live edge tables are a sophisticated climax of functional art. Drawing inspiration from nature, they showcase the organic form of premium wood slabs, incorporating their raw characteristics into an elegant art form. To preserve the beauty of this luxurious focal point, and ensure its longevity, proper live edge table maintenance is essential. This guide will offer a comprehensive understanding of how to take care of your highlight piece, so it remains in pristine condition, ready to entertain family and guests for decades to come.
Considering live edge table materials
Depending on aesthetic preferences, owners can select from a range of hardwoods. The usual choices for a live edge dining table include walnut, maple, oak, and cherry, each with its different characteristics. To talk about live edge table maintenance is to understand how these different varieties change the requirements, given their unique specifications.
Walnut, cherry, and oak would require periodic application of oil to maintain their natural luster, whereas maple would need a specific line of wood conditioners designed for a lower degree of porosity. This is why finishing options dictate the choice of cleaning products and the reapplication frequency of protective coating.
Live edge table maintenance for
different finishing options
How you go about preserving slab wood depends on the protective coat. Understanding the intricate properties of particular finishing options will give owners a better perspective on how to care for their live edge tabletop. Oil-based finishes, for example, are strong enough to penetrate the wood and affect its visual characteristics. They require more frequent reapplication, especially when the surface appears dry.
Water-based finishes are an eco-friendly alternative that provides durable protection without altering color and texture. Refinishing is necessary only in the event of visible damage to the surface.
The lacquer finish provides a glossy appearance, representing a hallmark of luxury furniture. The coat is long-lasting and requires professional refinishing only after heavy use for a prolonged period.
Wax greatly enhances the natural beauty of most hardwoods, but it is less durable than alternative finish options. It can protect from moisture but requires frequent reapplication with a high-quality furniture wax or paste wax that is specifically designed for wood surfaces. The solution must be applied on a clean, dry surface, following the direction of the grain. After drying completely, the wax is buffed with a clean, soft cloth or a dedicated buffing brush, applying pressure where necessary.
Placement and environmental factors
Solid wood table maintenance requires proactive deliberation. To ensure the right placement, owners should avoid direct sunlight exposure, which is often detrimental to the surface. UV rays and temperature differences can cause the color to fade, or contribute to uneven drying, which compromises the integrity of your tabletop. To prevent damage, it is best to use window treatments such as blinds and curtains. Alternatively, the installation of UV-blocking window films will minimize exposure without obstructing natural light.
We often advise owners to consider periodic furniture rotations, as to ensure relatively even exposure or cover the surface with a UV-resistant cloth when the table is not in use. Depending on the location, seasonal changes can mitigate the need for precaution altogether.
Other environmental factors to be vigilant about include temperature differences, which are often caused by proximity to heat sources, and humidity. Owners should avoid placing their live edge table next to fireplaces and heating vents, and use humidifiers or dehumidifiers to maintain a relative humidity level between 40 and 60 percent. Not paying attention to heat and humidity can easily lead to swelling, wrapping, and joint separation, effectively ruining the table.
According to a study published in Science Direct, temperature differences can also increase diffusion and partition coefficients of volatile organic compounds in furniture by several-fold, thus heavily influencing indoor air quality. We employ the latest selection and technology standards to reduce VOCs, but it is good to remain mindful of this issue nevertheless.
Routine live edge table maintenance
Regular dusting will maintain the lustrous appearance of the live edge table, so it is best to habitually wipe the surface with a microfiber duster or a lint-free cloth. Abrasive materials can easily damage the surface so err on the side of caution.
For cleaning the tabletop, we must consider the finish. Oil-based finishes and waxed tabletops don’t need anything other than a damp cloth and some mild soap solution, whereas water-based and lacquer finishes are best cleaned with a dampened cloth only. After applying gentle movements, it is important to wipe the surface dry, to prevent damage as a result of moisture.
How to take care of spills and stains?
Spills and stains can easily damage the appearance of your live edge table, so it is best to absorb the liquid with a soft cloth or a paper towel. Water rings can be taken care of by using a hairdryer on a low setting, with at least 6 inches of separation from the surface, whereas more serious stains require additional deliberation. A soap solution is ideal for food stains, while ink stains require a very small amount of white vinegar or watered-down alcohol, applied to a soft fabric.
Oil-based stains are the most difficult to deal with, but the process is similar and straightforward. Absorb the spill without applying pressure, and use mineral spirits to dampen a cloth before gently wiping the area. Cleaning high-end furniture requires care and attention, so it is very important to know each step up front.
Periodic live edge table maintenance
to prevent damage
Signs of wear can occur gradually, so it is best to act right away before they progress. Early identification of scratches, fading or any other potential issue can help protect against extensive damage later on.
Table pads, cloths, and coasters can greatly prevent scratches and heat exposure, but some owners are reluctant to use them to retain the visual splendor of their dining tables. If you feel the same way, just make sure to be mindful of the surface.
Luxury furniture maintenance demands a degree of vigilance. Inspecting the table regularly, especially along its edges, will inform you whether you need a slight refinishing or a touch-up. We have worked with solid wood furniture for a long time, encountering many challenging projects. By employing our expertise, we can completely reverse any damage sustained from scratches or improper live edge table maintenance, restoring your statement furniture to its former glory.
With meticulous care and attention, your opulent piece will maintain its allure and utility. The guide above provides a nuanced process on how to take care of your live edge table, so it can remain a splendid visage for decades to come. There is nothing more satisfying than enjoying a family gathering around a memorable piece of furniture – an artwork that defies time itself, anchoring your experience to a familiar and cherished object. For more information and personalization options, visit our section on the custom live edge table. We can work with independent designers and in-house talent to produce a unique centerpiece worthy of recognition.