5 Live Edge Wood Shopping Tips


When shopping around for live edge wood, beyond finding a piece that catches your eye, the quality of the wood slab is very important. As a custom shop, we choose the absolute best wood materials and provide exceptional craftmanship for your finished product. We are sharing 5 expert tips for shoppers on the hunt for live edge wood.

1. Kiln Dried

Much of the live edge wood sold today is “air dried” however not many of the slabs have had the multiple years required to air dry slowly enough to be usable. Faster than air drying is kiln drying which helps stabilize the wood. If the wood is not kiln dried, there is a high probability that the wood will warp. The moisture content of the wood should be between 6-8%. There are different types of kilns, but essentially, they are all the same. The importance is that the wood is not wet to create what you want with it.

2. Make Sure It’s the Size You Need

It’s important to understand the width, length and thickness needed for the use of your slab. If you’re planning on making a dining tabletop with the slab, you may prefer a solid wood slab 36” wide, 3” thick, 60” long. For a live edge floating shelf or mantel, you will want a smaller slab in length and width but thicker to hide the brackets in the slab to create the “floating” appearance. Slabs can also be glued together to create a custom width, or you can search for a solid slab that meets your criteria but may be cut down to size.

3. Faux or Natural

The true beauty of natural live edge comes from the sap of the wood. The raw, blonde, lighter colored edge is a quick way to distinguish natural live edge wood. Natural live edge gives the feeling of the tree it came from and the environment it grew in. Faux live edge wood typically has a smoother edge with the grain matching the rest of the wood slab. However, sometimes the sap/bark gets torn off the natural tree and it can be hard to difference between the two. The benefit of faux is that it can be made from any piece of wood and shaped into any size you want. Faux is a replication of live edge. Like looking at paintings or listening to a band. Looking at a replica of a Picasso is not the same as looking at the original painting.

4. Raw or Finished

You can buy a live edge wood slab without a finish, but it is always recommended to at least do a topcoat to seal and protect the wood. The topcoat also brings out the grain and beauty of the wood itself. You can do a topcoat yourself with a durable finish or take the wood to a finisher. The type of finish needed also depends on the intended use of the wood. For a live edge cutting board, use a food grade oil because some oil such as teak oil is not healthy to place food on. For a dining table, a conversion varnish will last much longer through numerous meals. While a polyurethane topcoat can be used for a bench or item that food is not being placed on.

5. Match Your Décor

Wood looks great with a simple black or white design. However, if you want to paint the wood another color, you should choose an open grained wood. Open grained species such as oak has a much larger grain than other wood species so when it is painted the grain will still be visible. Staining wood can change the color of the wood but won’t cover the surface. It’s a great alternative! A stain normally darkens the wood but can also alter the hue to make it lighter. A tanning solution, which we do exclusively in-house, can drastically alter the color of the wood making it black or different shades of red and brown.

Browse our live-edge inventory to find the slab you’re looking for, we also have more in our showroom!

Get Ready to Renovate with Wood Veneer


Wood is versatile – it ranges in color, shape, and size. Your piece of furniture starts as a tree, cut down by a lumberjack. The tree is sliced into logs by a mill and hand crafted into your dream piece. The process is exciting and challenging, now imagine slicing the wood to 2 mm thick making it as thin as a slice of cheese for a hamburger. The sheets can be as thin as 0.6 mm that can cover other surfaces instead of one solid piece of wood. That is veneer – a type of overlay decorative surface that can cover cabinets, dressers, counters, shelves, racks, walls…the list is essentially endless. Veneer makes the application of wood more flexible.

Natural Veneers

When you select a veneer that is sliced from an individual tree log and not repurposed in any way, it is a natural veneer. Natural veneer is more expensive, especially if it is a rare species that is cut down. With natural veneer, no one sheet is the same because no tree bark is the same. A trees’ reaction to growing conditions over time cause the color, depth, and curves of the grain to be unique. The uniqueness of the grain will be evident – often an easy way to distinguish natural veneer from reconstituted veneer. However, natural veneer can be sequence matched meaning that similar logs are used to maintain the overall effect of an uninterrupted grain and color.

Remarkable Veneers

At Woodstock, we have a private brand of reconstituted veneer called Remarkable Veneers. Reconstituted veneer is FSC certified, ensuring responsible stewardship for cutting trees and preserving rare species. A fast-growing species is cut down and turned into pulp, then resin and dye are added to transform the look of it into a rare wood species such as Ebony Zebrawood or Green Birds Eye Maple. The reconstituted wood is then put into a big block and sliced thin into veneer for use.

The pros of using a reconstituted veneer are the inexpensive cost, the multiple color options, and sustainability. The con being all the sheets of veneer may look the same because they are processed and replicated from the same log. Large commercial projects such as a hotel remodel, consider all the veneer being uniform, a perk. With a large order you can also get the full block of lumber to make moulding or trim that matches the veneer for a cohesive design.

Design Inspiration

Still don’t know what you can design with wood veneer? Here are a few examples to get your design juices flowing.
Adhere veneer panels to the bottom half of a wall for wainscoting design. Apply a full wall application with veneer architectural panels covering the entire wall. With Remarkable Veneers you can create almost any design! You can also renovate an entire kitchen mixing and matching veneer by using plain sliced oak, rift white oak and maple.

We have over 200 Real Wood Veneers at Woodstock for you to choose from. Book an appointment with our experts today to inquire more or get your project started!

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