Wood Countertops

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  • Intermediate
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What You'll Need

Wood countertops are best made from hardwood. Favorite types of wood include maple, cherry, mesquite, red beach, walnut, teak, and mahogany. Some of these have elegant colors that range in tones from a light tan to a maroon. Zebrawood, on the other hand, is handsomely striped or mottled.

Wood countertops may be made from one single block or made from wood segments glued together. The way wood segments are arranged and the visible grain of the wood determines the look of the wood countertop. The different grain types are referred to as face grain, edge grain, and end grain. A face-grained piece of wood offers a nicer floral appearance, but for a countertop, an edge-grained surface will render a harder and more durable countertop, although in appearance will only offer a lined grain pattern instead of floral.

The inherent properties of wood protect the countertop from bacteria build-up but there is also a risk of organic fats going rancid and posing a health hazard. Regular treatment with mineral oils is necessary, especially near wet areas.

Care has also to be taken to protect the wood from extremely hot cookware. If the degree of burnt submitted to the countertop, however, is not too severe, repair can be done by sanding the area with a 220 fine-grit sandpaper and some oiling. Wood countertops with special polishing and sealing require redoing the same way they were originally surfaced.

Available blanks for wood countertops are typically 1½ inches thick and 25 inches deep with lengths up to 12 foot. Custom wood countertops provide numerous options in edges, backsplashes and stainless steel grids for built-in hot plates.