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 maroon. Zebra wood, 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. Some imported wood countertops are constructed from fingers of wood joined together with miter joints.
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.
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 wood from extremely hot cookware. However, repair is easy requires nothing but 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.