how thick should a wood coffee table top be

How Thick Should a Wood Coffee Table Top Be?

Whether you’re planning on building your own coffee table or buying a new one, it’s important to select or design a coffee table with the appropriate thickness for your needs.

Factors to Consider

Before deciding on the appropriate thickness for your coffee table top, you must consider:

  • Intended Use: Will the coffee table be used mostly to set drinks and food? Will it be used to display items or is it meant to serve more as a footrest?
  • Style: Are you looking for a vintage, contemporary, or traditional design?
  • Type of Wood: Hard woods, such as pine and oak, are more durable than softer woods, such as poplar, for coffee tables.

Recommended Thickness

Ideally, the thickness of a coffee table top should range between 1.5 to 2.5 inches thick. Coffee tables that are more than 2.5 inches thick may be too bulky and heavy, while coffee tables that are less than 1.5 inches may not be sturdy enough to handle everyday use.

If the coffee table will be used primarily to set food and drinks, opt for a thicker top that can bear heavier objects. Generally, the higher the density of wood, the thicker the top will need to be.

Finally, remember not to skimp on the quality of the wood and always use kiln-dried boards for added stability.


Choosing the right thickness for your wooden coffee table is an important decision that can affect the longevity, quality, and overall aesthetic of the piece. The ideal thickness should be between 1.5 to 2.5 inches and is largely determined by the intended use and type of wood. Make sure to choose a high-quality kiln-dried board for added stability.

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