What is a Splice Board on Desks?

Do you ever scroll past a desk that has the word “splice board” in there and were left very confused? Me too.

In this article, we’re going to break down what these desks are along with their pros and cons. You may already know what these are but just haven’t heard the official word for it yet.

What is a Splice Board in General?

Splice boards refer to desktop or tabletop surfaces that have been joined or are designed to be joined. It comes from the word “splice joint” which is a method of joining two wooden members in woodworking.

When you see “splice board” online for different types of tables, this typically means that the tabletop is made up of multiple pieces. You may need to assemble the pieces together when you receive the table.

This is common for tables that need to be elongated.

Splice Boards on Desks

With regards to desks, manufacturers that advertise splice boards similarly are referring to the fact that the table surface is in multiple different sections. This means when you get your desk in the mail, you will have multiple desktop sections that need to be assembled.

The complete desktop surface is likely made up of two or three separate pieces that will be combined during assembly.

Many big brands will use wooden dowels on one side of the desk which is matched with holes on the other part of the desk. This way you can perfectly line up the desk surfaces.


This is followed by screwing the desk frame across all boards so they stay in place. This video illustrates a desk assembly example that uses a splice board.

Benefits of Splice Boards for Desks & Tables

So what’s the whole point with splice boards and desks? Why do manufacturers make them?

Enables Multi-Color Desk Surfaces

Because splice board desks use multiple desk surfaces, you can get pretty creative with the design. Each of the desk surfaces can be different colors!

Many splice-board desks combine a solid color surface and add wood appearance surfaces next to each other. The result is a pretty unique-looking desk compared to other solid color/material desks.

Here’s an example of a splice board desk on Amazon.

55 inch Splice Board Computer Desk

This 55-inch computer desk offers a strong construction with a large working space suitable for home office use. It comes with a small table for additional space, a splice board pattern, and is easy to assemble.

Buy On Amazon

You can clearly see the different surfaces being used on this desk. Checking the reviews on this product, the box it comes in is clearly smaller than the desk, confirming the different sections that need to be assembled.

Allows Desks To Be Shipped in Smaller Packaging

You might also see desks with no color patterns advertised as splice board desks. This is because the desktop is still split into multiple pieces, even though all pieces use the same material.

The reason manufacturers do this is to make the overall package size smaller. This saves manufacturers costs on every front.


Instead of a huge continuous tabletop which would need the packaging to be even larger, they break up the desk into a few sections.

Manufacturers can save costs on every front with this method. It’s cheaper to ship a bunch of desks to a warehouse, and it’s similarly cheaper to ship to us, the customers.

Typically Lower Cost

The last benefit of a desk that comes with a splice board surface is that it results in a cheaper desk.

When it comes to large items, shipping can become a huge part of the expense. When the size of packages gets smaller, the shipping cost reduces. Not only for the manufacturer but for us too.

Manufacturers can offer the same desk at a lower price if they have a splice board version. They pass on a bit of that savings to us as the consumer.

Drawbacks of Splice Board Construction Desks

Now that we discussed the benefits, let’s touch on the inherent drawbacks of these splice board surfaces on desks.

Visual Seam In Tabletop

If you have a multicolored desk surface, this doesn’t apply to you. For those with a splice board of a surface with the same appearance, you will be able to see the seam.

This might not bother most people, but it definitely will bother some people. Look closely at the desk in this Amazon link:

Electric Standing Desk 55 x 30 Inches

This is a height-adjustable desk, with a spacious and water-resistant tabletop, grommet holes, and a sturdy double-beam metal frame. It includes anti-collision technology, current protection, and 4 programmable memory presets. Have peace of mind with a 30-day risk-free refund and 2-year warranty.

Buy On Amazon

The seam is where the different boards come into contact with each other. The goal with these splice boards is to press the various boards together firmly so the seam is not very obvious.

If you don’t assemble the boards together firmly, you will see an actual gap which can be a huge eyesore.

Lower Overall Strength

Even though wooden dowels are pretty strong, a desk surface split into multiple pieces won’t be as strong as the solid equivalent. This means that most splice board desks could be weaker than the non-splice alternatives.

If you have a ton of gear on your desk, it’s worth paying attention to the construction of the desk and the load rating before you buy a splice board desk.

This does depend on a lot of other factors, however. It depends on what type of material is being used, and how the desk is assembled.

In some splice board desks, the frame supports the various desk planks and bears the load. In that case, the load rating might be equal to other desks with a similar same frame.

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I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!

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