Modular Office Furniture Materials Guide

Materials for modular furniture vary depending on the type of furniture and the budget level. The goal of modular furniture is to be durable, attractive, easy to assemble, and easy to move and reconfigure. Because of these many goals, you will often find manufacturers using at least a few different materials in one piece.

Here is a quick guide to the materials used for modular office furniture.

Desks and Tables

It is rare that you will find a modular office desk composed of solid hardwood. This is for two reasons: solid wood is very expensive, and it is also very heavy. This heaviness defeats one of the main purposes of modular furniture: that it is easily movable. Instead, you will find a desk with a hardwood fiber core and the veneer of the wood of your choice. Veneer offers a rich real wood look, but unfortunately brings real wood problems, too. Veneer can scratch and stain like real wood, but with a little care it can stay unmarred.

Another choice in wood covers is laminate. Traditionally, laminate has been regarded as a third class citizen in the world of desk surfaces. While it is durable, the look has usually been a bit on the cheap side. But lately companies have been using high-pressure laminate surfaces that have all the traditional durability, but also look almost as good as veneers.


At the heart of cubicles are cold, hard metal panels, unfinished metal hardware, and plastic widgets with mysterious purposes. Perhaps this is a bit of an exaggeration, but the point is that the outside of cubicles needn’t be as purely utilitarian as the inside. The most popular cubicle covering is probably a durable fabric. This allows workers to pin notes, memos, and personal belongings to the walls of their little corners of the world. These fabrics do not just come in institutional grey, either. More and more cubicle manufacturers are developing designs involving interesting colors, patterns, and fabrics.

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