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Things you should know when buying a Live Edge Wood Slab

If you’re looking for wood to work with, you may have heard of live edge wood.

This type of wood has many uses and can make stunning furniture, decor, and other wood projects. The natural look and feel of live edges can make any woodworker excited for their next project.

It is hard to skip past live edge wood furniture when designing a modern dining room or modern living room. Here are some information about live edge furniture, so you can be confident when you choose the live edge option!

What is a Live Edge?

Live edge wood slabs are pieces of wood that still have the natural edge from the tree they came from. Most of the time, this includes the bark. Slabs don’t sell in typical lumber sizes, like 1×2 or 1×3. The size depends on the width of the tree. Many admire the wood for its natural beauty. Live edge furniture keeps the natural edge of the tree intact. It can be made with a single slab or multiple slabs. Single slab stays true to the width of the tree it is milled from. This way, it is a direct piece from the tree and both edges are beautifully curved.

Why is it More Expensive?

Live edge products are more expensive than regular cuts of wood because they are so unique and labor-intensive. They cannot be made in bulk since each slab is cut at the same length as the log. Live edge furniture is expensive because it is more challenging to mill. Working with live edge slabs also proves to be more difficult for our production team than traditional pieces of lumber.

Which Table Styles Look Best with a Live Edge?

When it comes to designing a live edge table, it stylistically lends itself to more modern pieces of furniture. We usually don’t recommend pairing a live edge table top with a heavy base. Heavy bases distract from the live edge, and it also feels like design overload when the table base and the tabletop are competing for “most unique”. Really any table design with no apron works well with the live edge! With no apron, the live edge will stand on its own and make the statement it yearns to make.

Any Other Specifics?

Each live edge table is completely unique to whatever tree it was cut from, so no furniture maker can guarantee what it is going to look like. It is a little bit of a gamble to order a live edge table! The edge could be super wavy and dramatic, or very subtle.

For several reasons, these tables have recently surged in popularity, especially when made from walnut wood. First, if this isn’t obvious, the live edge table wastes much less of the tree when cut into lumber. In general, typical woodcuts produce 20-25 percent of tree waste, where live-edge cuts only discard 5-8 percent. Obviously, this should appeal to anyone with an eco-conscious sensibility. Secondly, given the unique combination of smooth-finished wood grains combined with an organically shaped edge, these tables are the most modern thing nature can produce. It’s also important to note that these tables have meaningful historical context as some of the earliest tables on record featured a live edge in their design.

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