Staining Underside Of Wood For A Desk Top: Necessary ?

Hello:
Saw in HD the other day some 1-1/2 or so laminated, butcher block type, blocks that would make a really nice table top if stained.
Question: If I use Min-Wax poly on it, or something similar, is it a good idea, or necessary, to do the underside also ?
Why ?
Also: for a "hard" finish as it'll be a desk top, is Min Wax Polyurethane the best bet, or... ?
Thanks, Bob
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Robert11 wrote:

While not necessary, it is a good idea.

Of every piece that I have repaired or refinished, none have been finished on the underneath surface. This is the tradition. It may be desirable, however because it will further protect the wood. One purpose of the finish is to help prevent the expansion and contraction of the wood. One must assume that finishing the underneath would further aid in this goal. If you were making this in a factory or commercial shop then finishing the underneath would be unlikely. for your own personal project, it can quite certainly be done. It is quite a bit of extra trouble, however.

I am not knowledgable in the minute details of different finishes but I have had good experience with all of the poly finishes.
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I'd agree with the other reply - not absolutely necessary, but I would probably do at least one coat on all sides. Wood expands with temperature and humidity, and finishing at least reduces this movement. If only the top half is finished, it will move at a different rate than the unfinished portion, which could theoretically lead to warping or splitting. If it's just a stain, I wouldn't worry about doing the bottom, but with any kind of varnish, poly, or shellac, I'd try to do all sides. Good luck, Andy
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wrote:

It is a good idea to finish all sides of any wooden furniture or deck. Not only this protects the wood from all sides, but it helps stabilize the wood. For example, if the unfinished side is damp (and the other side is not) the damp side will swell and this will either cause a warped board or cause an internal stress. So, it is not necessary but recommended.
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