ProgressiveDesk Table Tops for Standing Desks
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You’ve head the phrase “you get what you pay for.” You don’t pay much for Progressive Desk tabletops, and sadly the saying holds true. On the other hand, if you are focused on supporting a Canadian brand, Progressive is one of your few options, and at very competitive prices.
|MSRP / List Price||$129|
Bamboo and Laminated MDF:
Laminates: Warm white, gray oak, dark cherry, roasted walnuts, ebony oak, bright beech, rustic hickory, light walnut, pure black,
|Competition||Compare to Other Desktop and Tabletop Surfaces|
|Where to buy||
Buy on Amazon
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Positives||Low prices will fit nearly any budget. One of the few cost effective options for Canadian shoppers. 15-year warranty is longer than most commodity-grade tabletop peers.|
|Negatives||Despite the long warranty, the quality is more in line with the low prices and is likely to chip, flake, stain, or other damage from pretty light use. Greenwashing of bamboo material that is pretty harmful to the planet. Too many exclusions in the warranty.|
While most people buy their standing desk as a complete system, i.e. getting the lifting base and the desktop together from the same seller, you may find yourself needing to acquire a new desktop on its own. For example, you may already own a standing desk but the top has gotten damaged, or you may want to upgrade to a different size and/or color. Whatever the reason, there are a mountain of options to choose from. Read our Guide to Buying A Tabletop For Your Standing Desk to ensure you know what to watch for when purchasing a standalone top for your desk or table.
In this review we explore the desktops individually sold by Progressive Desk, and discuss where they may excel and where they might fall short of consumer expectations.
A Cheap Tabletop Option For Canadians
If there is nothing else we could say about Progressive’s desk tops, we could at least say that by buying from them, you are supporting a Canadian company. That doesn’t mean that their products are made in Canada. On the contrary, they are sourced from China like most other brands. Still, if you want to support the workers in Canada, Progressive is one of your options.
Another possible positive aspect of Progressive’s tabletops is their price. They are what many people would term “affordable”, so they can fit almost any budget for someone replacing a damaged top or making their own DIY workstation, whether for a fixed height or standing desk. Though getting a tabletop for such a low price will come with some risks.
Despite having such a low price, they provide an impressively long 15-year warranty, where most manufacturers of desktops at that price only offer 1 or 2 years. Keep note of what the warranty covers though, because there are exceptions that might exclude what you would worry about for your desk. And be sure to read our guidance on how to compare warranties before purchasing.
Low-Grade Material in a “You Get What You Pay For” Desk Top
While the desktops are priced so low that almost anyone could afford them, they honestly are cheap, commodity-grade tops no matter which material you Progressive Desk uses, whether it is MDF, particle board, or “natural” bamboo.
Progressive’s tabletops made of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) or particle board with high-pressure laminated top and bottom and color-matched PVC edge-banding. This is pretty basic, decades-old, commodity-grade technology. Progressive Desk offers these tops in four sizes (42″ x 30″, 48″ x 30″, 60″ x 30″, 72” x 30”) and in 10 color finishes, depending on the size. To understand the variety of desktop surfaces used in modern standing desks read our primer. This is a pretty standard type of construction from China, making a desk that might look nice enough, which they can sell at the lowest price while staying under an acceptable number of complaints and returns.
Another indicator that their desks in general are pretty low in quality is seeing their reviews. On Amazon, nearly half of them were negative for damage in shipping or other defects they found soon after delivery.
Bamboo is among the options of desk top materials offered by Progressive, but as we go into in great depth in our article on Bamboo Standing Desks – Separating Truth From Fiction in Environmental Claims it is a very poor material to make standing desk work surfaces from. This is evidenced by the complete carve-out for “natural bamboo material defects” in Progressive Desk’s warranty details. A) there’s no such thing as “natural” bamboo wood, an B) we know it has a strong tendency to delaminate. In other words, you’ll be buying a new desktop as soon as it does, out of your own pocket; so just avoid it.
The particle board option is even weaker and easier to damage than MDF, but it is only available in the larger corner desks.
Touching back on the warranty for a moment, it also has some red flags. It excludes damage caused by “cleaning supplies.” As we get into in our primer on how to clean, sanitize and disinfect standing desk tabletops, low quality HPL and bamboo tops are notorious for degrading rapidly if you use strong cleaning chemicals, like those that janitorial crews use to kill harmful bacteria and viruses. The exposed glue seams break down quickly and pretty soon you find the edge banding peeling off. Without covering this kind of product failure, the “15-year” warranty basically only covers damage in shipping, which could be covered in a 1-month warranty.
The grommet situation is also a bit of an oddity. Most manufacturers offer the option for grommet holes and might let customers choose which side of the desk it is going to be on. Progressive puts a grommet hole in the center of their desks that are 48” wide and smaller. Desks that are 60” wide and larger have a large rectangular grommet for other kinds of accessories. These are non-standard locations and shapes for grommet holes, so consider whether they’ll work well with how you need to run your cables, install your monitor arm, etc.
Many standing desks come with grommets for some added conveneince. Check out our article on grommet holes, with everything you need to know about the different ways to use them to enhance your workstation, what to look for in your grommet holes, and where to find the desks with the best ones.
Progressive Desk is More Like a Step Back
Choosing a Progressive Desk tabletop is a legitimate option for a very limited number of customers – those that want to support a Canada based company, have a very limited budget, and don’t care about getting low-quality materials that will likely need to be replaced or fixed before too long. We really can’t see this applying to many people, so we can’t recommend these desk tops in good conscience.
As with most American and Canadian companies selling low-quality standing desks that are actually made in China, the main reason to list these tops for sale individually is to have a place to send customers to when their desktops fail and the warranty is bounced. They might offer a discount for existing customers in lieu of a warranty replacement, but it’s clear their “15 year warranty” that is riddled with carve-outs isn’t going to likely cover real manufacturing defects other than shipping damage.
See our reviews of Progressive Desks standing desks, including the Economy Ryzer, Corner Ryzer, Solo Ryzer and V Ryzer. Be sure to check out all our reviews of Canadian Standing Desks if that’s what you’re shopping for.
Don’t forget to learn all you need to know about finding the perfect desktop for your standing desk workstation in our primer – DIY Standing Desk: Choosing the Right Desk Top.
If you don’t already have a base and frame, make sure you know how to choose one of those as well by reading our guide to buying standing desk bases. Or skip the DIY project altogether and go for one of the better complete standing desk systems available today.