Would You Choose A Wood Counter?

Well… WOOD you? Wood is a rich, natural material that can be used in most places of the home. Typically, any cabinetry you have in the home will be wood or a wood by-product. Your home is most likely framed in wood. And about half of you (if not more) have hardwood flooring. Once you start adding furniture, you realize you may have more wood than any other material in your home! It surrounds us! So, why not take it one step further and add this wonderful material to your counters? Having a wood counter has it’s own set of pros and cons, so we will investigate those today. Let’s go!

The Good

First and foremost, a wood counter just looks good! Regardless of the specific wood or finish you choose, you get a warm, rich, natural feeling material – because it is!  Appearance is probably the number one reason why most people ask for it in their home. Wood is also able to transcend styles and work with a traditional space as easily as a contemporary design. However, the look isn’t it’s only redeeming quality. Wood is great in a kitchen as a work surface (as long as it’s food grade!) because it doesn’t dull knives. It’s the perfect prep space. Wood counters are also eco-friendly and although they aren’t all made from recycled material, there are a number of places that will use reclaimed wood for your project, and it still looks fabulous!

The Bad

Wood and water don’t (always) mix – see the next section for more detail. So, wood will most likely expand or contract during different times of the year and is prone to splitting and cracking. There are ways to “deal” with this during install, so make sure your fabricator talks with you about this. Wood is also a “living” material, so similar to Marble if you are using it constantly, it will get a kind of patina. Scratches and dents are likely to arise over time, and depending on the hardness level of your wood, those may be more or less noticeable. Any wood counter will require a certain level of maintenance. You will want to find the right sealer based on your specific needs and use. Oiling it will also reinvigorate the look of the wood over time. Finally, wood can be a costly expense, especially considering the material chosen. Want that gorgeous Walnut? Hold on to your wallet.

The (Not So) Ugly

You also have a wide variety of materials to choose from, so you don’t stay limited. We have specified Maple, Cherry, Wenge, Teak, Ipe, Oak, and Walnut wood tops before. Check out the characteristics of these woods before choosing. Be sure to work closely with your wood fabricator/installer however to ensure that you are choosing something that works for where you are putting the wood. Woods with a high level of porosity, are likely not recommended for a kitchen, like Red Oak. Why? Liquids can easily make their way into the wood (think raw chicken) and are not easily expelled with cleaning, so they are “stuck” in the wood. And what about wood in a wet area? Some woods have more water resistance than others – like Cedar and Teak – so that should also be a consideration. There are also sealers out there to help less resistant woods – but still be mindful of where you are using those sealers. Not all are food grade!

Is A Wood Counter For You?

Do you love the idea of painted cabinetry but still want warmth somewhere in your kitchen? Don’t want to always pull out a smattering of cutting board while you are prepping? A wood counter may be a perfect solution! Don’t want to maintenance your counter every few months? Don’t want to deal with potential splitting or cracking and the expansion and contraction of natural material? Consider another material instead, like quartz. However, if you do decide to go the wood counter route, even if it’s just a little piece of the kitchen, we promise it will look amazing!

Need more countertop help? Check out the different countertop edges to choose from, and what considerations there are for your countertop overhang based on your cabinetry.