A warm alternative to cool stone, character-rich wood countertops are staging a comeback. Traditional wood surfaces often are reserved for lower-traffic applications, such as islands that double as eating areas.
True butcher block, made from strips of wood bonded together, serves as a work surface. It is the only countertop material appropriate for slicing and chopping. Most wood countertops are made from maple, though oak, cherry, walnut and teak are also used. Eco-friendly bamboo is gaining popularity.
What Is It? Butcher block countertops consist of strips of wood glued together to form a slab.
Thickness and Edges. Wood countertop thickness generally ranges from a three-quarter inch to six inches, and butcher block from two inches to 12 inches. A wide variety of edge options exist.
Grain Types. Choose from three grain options depending on the desired function.
Eco-Friendly Options. If you love wood countertops, why not consider a greener option? Reclaimed woodfrom old homes and barnsis a popular option, as is domestic wood from managed forests. Another popular alternative is bamboo, which is technically a renewable grass. The surface is extremely hard and sturdy, making it ideal for countertops.
Maintenance. Wipe the countertop with a soft cloth and warm water daily. Mild household cleansers are suitable. Wipe up spills immediately. Generally requires regular applications of mineral oil or beeswax or sealing with food-safe varnish.
The Bottom Line. Wood countertops cozy up a traditional or country kitchen. They're often reserved for a smaller work surface, such as an island, and aren't the best choice above a dishwasher or near a sink.
Durable and beautiful, tile comes in an infinite array of colors and styles for an eye-catching surface.
This hard-working surface can make a small kitchen look bigger.