Sunday, April 23, 2017

Wood Countertops

A very popular trend today is to have wood countertops in your kitchen or on your island. Some people are apprehensive about using wood and afraid of what the maintenance or care might be. There are several different types of wood that can be used as a counter surface and several different ways to finish it. Let’s dive in.

Salvaged Wood: Maybe you have an old family barn that you can salvage some wood from and reuse. Or maybe your old tire swing tree has died. Or maybe an iconic building is being torn down and you want a piece of that history in your home. Whatever the case, salvaged woods tops can definitely add richness and personality to a space. Cost: Varies

Butcher Block or Plank Style: made up of smaller pieces of wood or wider planks, many different wood species are available. Maple butcher block countertops are common but we are also seeing a lot of walnut and heart pine being used today. Cost: $30 to $125 per square foot for the material only

Bamboo: Bamboo's best green feature is that it's a rapidly renewable resource, plus it's naturally stronger and harder than most other hardwoods. Be aware that most commercial bamboo comes from China, so a lot of energy goes into transporting the product to the United States. Cost: $30 to $40 per square foot for the material only.

Regardless of which wood you choose, remember, wood is more susceptible to damage by water and heat, so it's best located away from the sink, dishwasher and range. An island or bar top is a good option. It’s best to use Waterlox’s modified tung oil finish, which seals the pores of your wood countertop meaning water can’t soak in. Water and other liquids just sit on the surface and “bead up”. You never want to use bleach or ammonia on your wood tops. Know that wood tops will not look perfect forever and can look beautiful when worn over time.

Do you have experience with wood tops in your kitchen? What are your secrets for keeping it looking great? Email me at

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