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Office Furniture Guide

office furniture1Are you moving offices or just redesigning your space? Choosing office furniture can be a confusing and frustrating process, but Gregory Grier is here to help. Office furniture terminology is a whole new vocabulary, so in order to assist you, we have compiled a glossary of terms.


Approach Side

The approach side is the front part of the desk where office guests can be seated.


Box Drawer

A box drawer is small drawer that is typically found at the top of a pedestal and is about 6 inches high. This is typically where you store your smaller office supplies.

Bullet/Peninsula Desk

A desktop that is rounded on one side. Bullet desks are usually open underneath and do not have drawers. There is a squared end supported by a full end panel and a column supports the rounded end.


Burl Veneer

A veneer surface treatment made from wood at the point in the tree where the branch meets the trunk. This produces a swirling grain pattern.




The wheel on the bottom of office desk chairs or conference chairs are called casters.


It is the entire underside of a desk. It typically has a modesty panel, end panel, and corner legs.


A smaller work surface that typically sits behind the user is a credenza. It can match the width of the desk but is normally only 20 to 24 inches deep.



Diamond Veneer

A diamond veneer is divided into four quadrants and is matched at an angle to the quadrant lines, and the grain forms a “V” at those lines. It results in a diamond shape formed by the grain directions.


Dictation Slide

In order to help provide additional space for writing, some desks have a board that slides out from above the desk drawer. This can be on one or both sides of the desk.


Double Pedestal Desk

A double pedestal desk has pedestals on both sides of the desk.

Drum or Cylinder Base

This is the style of the table base that is in the shape of a drum or a cylinder. It is used to support a conference tabletop. The base may contain an access panel for ease in access to electrical wiring.



An egress is a path or opening leading to an exit. In commercial buildings, egress may refer to corridors that allow the passage of employees through the office space and out of the building.


The study of the relationship between workers and their environment, especially with the equipment they use. Recently, the focus of ergonomics has been on how to reduce static work and pressures on the body. Many chairs have ergonomic features allowing the user to adjust the seating to conform to their level of comfort. This can be seen with adjustable computers and keyboards. They can be adjusted so the user can stand while doing his or her work.




Front to back bars (FBB) are used in lateral files where front to back filing is required.



Grommets are holes that are cut into the top, side or back panel of a piece of furniture to allow the user to fish wires down to the floor.


Hard Casters

The wheels on the base of desk chairs designed to glide easily for tile or carpet.


An overhead storage unit that sits on the top of a desk, credenza or other storage unit is called a hutch. It may be an open shelf or have doors.


Knee Space Credenza

A knee space credenza is a credenza, which has drawer pedestals on both sides, leaving the center open for someone to sit.


Lateral File

A file unit that typically 30, 36, or 42 inches in width is a lateral file. And can be two to five drawers high. Lateral files can be used to file documents side-to-side or front to back.



Modesty Panel

A modesty panel is the front panel on a desk that is either a little bit off the floor or extends completely to the full to the floor, which allows the occupant’s legs to be concealed.



Typically found underneath your desk, a pedestal (or Ped) is a stack of drawers. A full pedestal extends fully to the floor.



A return is a side work surface that is attached to the left or right side of a main desk that creates an L-shape. They are typically 20 to 24 inches deep, and may contain a drawer pedestal.

Reverse Diamond Veneer

It is a rectangle surface that is divided into four quadrants where the grain direction goes from the center point to the outside edge in each quadrant. This looks like a series of “Vs” formed by the grain match at the joint lines, as they are pointed toward the center.



Soft Casters

Soft casters are wheels for desk chairs designed for hardwood floors.

Sunburst Veneer

Sunburst veneers are most commonly done with a high-quality wood, such as mahogany, and are generally round-shaped. It has a grain pattern that extends out from a center point.




A T-leg is a type of metal support leg that is commonly used on tables that looks like an upside-down “T”.

Table Desk

A table desk is a style of desk that is open underneath like a table. It is also referred to as a “writing desk”.

Tack Board

A tack board is a fabric-covered board that allows the user to tack photos or documents to the surface for easy viewing. They can be mounted to a wall or to the back of hutches. 



A veneer is a surface treatment that uses thin layers of wood that are applied to a sub-structure of desks and furniture that gives the impression of solid wood.


Work Surface

A work surface is an area of office furniture that the user can utilize to work.

We hope this guide helps you choose the best furniture for your next remodel! Best wishes from Gregory Grier.


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This entry was posted on July 6, 2015 by in Helpful Tips, Office Design and tagged , , , .
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