Here’s an emerging trend to keep an eye on: wood countertops. Homeowners looking for a departure from the popular granite, engineered stone and solid surfacing options are turning to surfaces like wood that can feature “natural” or “living” finishes. Wood can be very durable, and species selection (pine or teak, for example) can work to effectively complement a room with natural warmth. Like granite, wood is naturally occurring, and each piece used in a countertop will be unique in texture and look. Wood’s true strength lies in its tendency to mature and age over time, showing signs of subtle changes in color and hue that can reflect environment and usage. I like the idea of a surface that shows its age—like homeowner, like countertop, I say. When considering purchasing a wood countertop, be on the lookout for finishes or stains that add water, stain or heat resistance. Craft-Art, one wood company, uses an organic tung oil on their wood countertops, which will resist staining to even red wine and mustard.
The finish on the Maple ButcherBlock counters above
08/11/2008 09:43 AM
The finish on the counters pictured above is non toxic food safe finish.
The counters pictured above are in my kitchen so I can tell you the exact brand.
And I can say it has held up well for three years so far. I did have to buff and reapply where water and the dish drying rack sat as the combinations of minerals from the water and slight movement from the rack scraped the surface Other than that is has been great and the fix without drying time took about ten minutes.
I used a product called Good Stuff by Bally Block and Michigan Maple Block Company http://www.mapleblock.com/detail/butcher-block-finishes-39/
In addition to traditional modern solid wood countertops, reclaimed solid wood countertops are worth look. Companies such as Antique Woodworks, Elmwood, and Craft-Art are offering reclaimed wood countertops. These countertops often have more character and interest than their modern counterparts. Old cracked white oak, tight grained heartpine, historic rock elm, and dark patina white oak are some of the varieties available.
If you like even more interest, consider a live, or natural, edge that follows the path, knots, and curve of the original tree. Great for bartops and more casual islands.
For finish, also look into a product called Rubio Monocoat. It's fundamentally a linseed oil base with catalytic driers and special waxes. Bonds to the molecular structure of wood. Provides great resistance to water and staining, but is also easily repairable!
Wood counters can be an attractive and trendy alternative. However, be careful on the pricing! Usually it is so much MORE expensive than granite that it isn't really worth it, unless you are dead set on wood. Just a thought.