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How Much Do Reception Desks Cost?

Reception Desk Prices

Your reception area is the first thing customers will see when they walk in the door. Make a good first impression by choosing a reception desk that is not only functional, but also attractive and well made.

Reception desks are available in a wide variety of sizes, configurations, and materials. The price depends heavily on the materials that are used, although factors like the size of the desk, the shape and the number of shelves and drawers also contribute to the total cost.

About Reception Desks

Reception desks can be made with laminate, plywood (also called wood veneer), solid wood, or metal. Within each category, there are varying levels of quality. Some laminates are sturdier than others, for example.

There are traditional rectangular-shaped reception desks, L-shaped desks, U-shaped desks, and rounded desks. Rounded desks tend to be the most expensive because they are the most difficult to build.

Shelving and drawers come in an almost endless number of configurations. You can opt for rolling drawers, open shelves, cabinets that swing open - or a mix and match of all three.

Reception Desk Average Costs

Reception desks begin in price at around $500 and can range upwards of $20,000. As with most products, you get what you pay for. A $500 desk might last a few years while a $5,000 desk could last decades.

Laminate reception desks are the least expensive:

  • A rectangular laminate reception desk typically costs $800 to $1,700.
  • A larger L-shaped laminate reception desk might run $1,000 to $2,100.
  • An L-shaped laminate desk with frosted glass panels would likely cost $1,200 to $2,800.

Wood veneer desks run slightly more:

  • An L-shaped wood veneer cherry desk would likely cost $1,500 to $3,200.
  • A L-shaped wood veneer cherry desk with a glass top costs $4,000 to $8,000

Solid wood desks are the most expensive:

  • A solid wood half-round reception desk might cost $6,000 to $12,000.
  • A three-quarter round solid wood reception desk might cost $8,000 to $18,000.

About U-shaped Reception Desks

Most U-shaped reception desks are made with one of four materials: laminate, plywood (wood veneer), metal or sold wood. Laminate desks are the least expensive while solid wood desks fall on the highest end of the price scale. Many desks are made with a combination of two or more materials, such as veneer and solid wood or metal and laminate.

With U-shaped reception desks, you have your pick of dozens of drawer and shelving combinations. Most offer a mix of rolling drawers, open shelves, hanging filing cabinets, and closed-door cabinets. You can also opt for a separate hutch to increase storage space.

Other popular features of U-shaped desks include electrical hookups, moldings, reception risers, and drop-front pullout keyboards. However, each of these features will add to the total purchase price.

U-shaped Reception Desk Average Costs

The price of a U-shaped reception desk depends on several factors, but the most important is the quality of materials. However, factors like the size of the desk and shelving configurations also play a role.

Laminate U-shaped reception desks are the least expensive, beginning at about $1,000 and ranging upwards of $3,000. If you're purchasing a laminate desk, pay special attention to quality. Look for a thick, high-pressure laminate for increased durability.

Wood veneer reception desks are the biggest sellers. They range in price from about $1,500 to $8,000. However, most fall in the $3,000 to $6,000 range.

Due to the high cost, solid wood desks are rare these days. They begin at around $6,000, but most fall in the $10,000 to $20,000 range. If you're looking for the appearance of a solid wood desk at a lower price, consider purchasing a laminate or veneer desk with a solid wood front. You'll save a significant amount of money over solid wood, but your customers won't be able to tell the difference.

About L-shaped Reception Desks

L-shaped reception desks are typically made from one of four materials: laminate, plywood (also called wood veneer), solid wood or metal. Laminate desks are the least expensive, while solid wood and metal desks fall on the higher end of the scale. You can also purchase desks that are a combination of two materials - for example, a metal base with a solid wood top.

There are nearly endless configurations when it comes to shelving and drawers. Most L-shaped reception desks offer a combination of rolling drawers, open shelves, hanging filing cabinets, and closed-door cabinets. You can also opt for a separate hutch to increase storage space.

L-shaped Reception Desk Average Costs

L-shaped reception desks can be purchased for as little as $500 or as much as $20,000. However, most fall in the $1,000 to $8,000 range. Generally, the more expensive the desk, the longer you can expect it to last.

Laminate reception desks are the least expensive:

  • An L-shaped laminate reception desk might run $1,000 to $2,100.
  • An L-shaped laminate desk with frosted glass panels would likely cost $1,200 to $2,800.

Wood veneer desks run slightly more:

  • An L-shaped wood veneer cherry desk would likely cost $1,500 to $3,200.
  • An L-shaped wood veneer cherry desk with a glass top might cost $4,000 to $8,000.

Solid wood desks are the most expensive. They begin at around $6,000 and can run $20,000 or more, depending on the size of the desk and the type of wood you select. If you want a high quality look on a limited budget, consider purchasing a laminate or veneer desk with a solid wood front. You'll save a significant amount of money over solid wood, but your customers won't be able to tell the difference.

Choosing a Reception Desk

Quality is an extremely important consideration when choosing a reception desk. It's not worth saving a few hundred or thousand dollars upfront if you find yourself having to replace the desk in two years.

To gauge the quality of any reception desk you're considering, follow these tips and tricks:

  • Examine the drawers. Do they slide in and out easily or do they get stuck? Quality drawers slide in and out on metal rollers and are assembled using an interlocking dovetail constructions. Drawers that are stapled or glued together are likely to fall apart quickly.
  • Use the length of the warranty to gauge how long your desk is expected to last. Mid-range models have an expected life of five to 15 years, while high-end models should last for decades.
  • If you opt for laminate, make sure you choose a thick, high-pressure laminate.
  • If you're buying a steel desk, make sure to examine the quality of the steel. As a general rule, higher quality steel desks will be heavier than lower-quality models.