Unique Ambrosia Maple wood tops for IKEA Besta

Posted by Joan Shumaker on

One of the most exclusive products in our collection is our solid wood tops in Ambrosia Maple. They come in two finishes, warm and cool shade, which is why we call them Ambrosia Maple Cool Wood Top, Ambrosia Maple Warm Wood Top.

Here's a photo straight from our woodshop, which displays how different the two finishes are, while using the same material.

Cool and Warm Ambrosia Maple Wood Tops 

Using MDF vs. solid wood

But before we go into the details about the Ambrosia Maple tops, let’s have a brief discussion about solid wood vs. solid wood. It’s a common misconception that high-end cabinets are made of solid wood. It’s extremely rare, and in fact, if you would make a door of solid wood, it would be incredibly heavy and expensive. It would run the risk of cracking and warping. That’s why we make our doors and panels out of MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard). MDF is the flattest and most structurally stable, wood you can get and it’s easy to work with, which is why it’s such a popular material. It’s made by made out of wood fibers that are bonded tightly together.

We have, however, been looking to add tops out of solid woods for a long time, to complement our cabinet components. But it was challenging to find something as unique, and frankly striking, like the ones made of Ambrosia Maple. The lighter version we’re offering can almost be mistaken for a stone surface.

Cool Ambrosia Maple Wood Top

Our tops are sourced regionally, which is in line with being eco-conscious while offering beautiful quality furniture. We’re committed to not having a larger environmental footprint than necessary, which is why we chose this locally and sustainably sourced solid wood from the Northeast, USA. Due to the character of the wood, the finishing process is essential, and that’s why all our tops are handmade to the highest quality by local craftspeople.

What is Ambrosia Maple?

Ambrosia Maple, also known as Ghost Maple, is a type of Maple that has been inhabited by the Ambrosia Beetle, leaving intricate and distinctive contrasting coloration on the wood. This locally sourced lumber, from the Northeast, has a unique brown and gray figure with small holes made by the beetle, which does not negatively affect the final performance of the wood. It was once considered undesirable, but due to specialty finishing techniques, we’re able to turn it into something beautiful, where every piece is unique. In the design arena of today, this discoloration and beetle hole pattern are highly desired. 

Cool Ambrosia Maple Wood Top

Every top is one-of-a-kind.

A common question we get is; Will all tops look like in the images on the website? No. Like with every type of natural wood, each piece is unique, and no two beetle striations are alike. This exquisite wormy pattern will not affect the final performance of the wood in any negative way. Each top panel shade would closely resemble the color of those in the images, and the beautiful organic patterns can vary from mild to denser.

Here are a few examples of how the warm top can differ depending on which tree it was cut from, and how the beetle treated the surface. The shade is similar, but the striations vary, which is what makes this product so unique. It is as far from cookie-cutter you can get. 

Warm Ambrosia Maple Wood Tops

Our Ambrosia Maple tops come in three sizes to fit the IKEA Besta cabinets with one, two and three doors. The cabinets can be used as TV stands, credenzas, nightstands, and more.

 

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