Wood as the only countertop material, would you do it?

sumnerfanFebruary 10, 2011

Everytime I think we've got everything figured out another question/possibility pops up. I want to choose counters, backsplash, and paint at the same time to ensure that we don't 'paint' ourselves into a corner literally and figuratively.

We've been looking at various types of counters but leaning toward granite. Last night I off handly showed DH a picture of some lovely cherry countertops which led to some preliminary investigation.

Nearly every kitchen I've seen with wood uses it as a secondary material on an island. I'm wondering if any of you would consider using wood as your primary/only countertop material, or should we stick with granite?

Here are a few things that might help you guide me in the right direction. We are a family of four with a 13 yo daughter who loves to bake and decorate sweets (think lots of food coloring) and a 9 yo son who is learning to cook. We aren't super careful or extremely neat in our kitchen, I've been known to remove the hand mixer from a bowl too early, spill things, place the food side of open can tops on the counter without thinking, and spill grape juice, kool aid, and red wine. We want to enjoy and use our kitchen without fear of ruining it. We all like to get in the kitchen and help. I have also been known to cut something on my current crappy, flaking underneath laminate if I was in a hurry. I will set something hot on them in a pinch. I justify these actions because I know in my mind the laminate is on it's way out and there's just no other place to put it sometimes. But, honestly I've done it for years. Even when a remodel seemed perpetually out of reach and I knew I shouldn't. I invariably splash water onto the counters when I wash any dish, and generally am not a careful cook.

DH's only real life reference to wood countertops is a butcher block table top that lived in the bakery of his grandmother's grocery store. It had been cut on, cleaned with chemicals, and generally abused by people who had no vested interest in it. It had dings, scratches, stains and is not anything anyone would want in their kitchen. Yet, he remains open to the idea because he trusts my judgement (silly man), so I have to make a wise, well informed decision on this matter.

So what do you think? Should I just shut down this line of thinking entirely and find a granite we like and can afford. Or is wood something you think we might still be happy with ten years from now. Oh and one last thing, I haven't found a granite I love and probably won't in my price range, but there are some I like, just not LOVE. I really enjoy the warmth of wood in pictures I've seen but don't know anyone IRL that has them I can look at. My future kitchen will have antique white cabinets, brushed nickel fixtures, painted pine walls, and am a contemporary cottage look. I know either counter material would work in this setting.

Thanks so much for all your wisdom, guidance, and sometimes brutal honesty. I'm sure my future kitchen would look very different without you.

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I would, and I did, and I love it. The thing about wood is that if you do scratch it or whatever, you can spot fix it or renew the whole thing. Or I can anyway. I used pure tung oil laced with citrus solvent for a food safe, completely renewable finish. It's hard as nails. Water sits on it until it dries, leaving a "shadow" that easily wipes off. I've never stained my counters, but I don't use food coloring much, so cannot comment on that specifically. But tea, coffee, tomatoes, red wine and a memorable cranberry chutney explosion (don't ask) have left the counters unscathed. About once every 12 to 18 months, when I see the counters beginning to look a little sad here and there, mostly in the two spots where we prep the most, I just pull out the tung oil and do one coat and they look almost like new again. I do not cut directly on them...but we do roll pasta and do other sundry things on them. After almost five years I do think it's time to maybe give them a light sanding and oil. But it's patina not wear, and it's only in my perfectionist moments when I want them to look like they did day one. DH is like "um why?" As are our friends who think they look new. They don't, but they're exquisitely beautiful.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 11:19AM
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Wood has been and continues to be more widely used in European kitchens.
Plank flat cut(not quartersawn or rift cut) as apposed to end grain or edge grain tops show the figure of most species. Cherry is beautiful. It will darken with uv and its Janka hardness is 950. It is softer and can dent more than tropical species like bamboo-1300 Brazilian Ipe-3680 but not as soft as pine at 690. Hickory at 1800 is a good domestic species with figure similar to cherry. It does not have the color range.
Finish has an impact on looks and durability. From oil and a waxed or darkened wax finish like Briwax to catalyzed urethanes with various sheens there are choices dependant on the wood and use.
I've had ash plank counters for years, with a matching parquet table island(kitchen side one step down). The surfaces were pickled and brush finished with several coats of about 40 sheen catalyzed urethane. It could use refinishing, the the wood is undamaged but darkened. I would go with several coats of pure tung oil with a wax topcoat and more periodic maintainence today. I would stick with wood.

Here is a link that might be useful: Choosing a finish

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 11:58AM
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It's a good choice if you don't want to keep the counter pristine. Almost anything can be sanded or removed from wood, but you can feel the tiny waves this creates in the surface over time. Other than one accidental scorch mark that has proved difficult to remove, I love the patina that has appeared from the layers of sanding and oiling my maple island top over time.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 12:03PM
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I love the idea of wood, but if you don't go with that, how about stainless? Restaurant kitchens use it and you can beat on it and it looks fine.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 12:06PM
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ikea has wood.
Two thicknesses.
Spend less by getting wood and spend more on another object, or on a service.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 12:48PM
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Fori is not pleased

I wouldn't because I am lazy and sloppy and things don't get cleaned right away.

I've had a piece of wood counter in a kitchen (Ikea's oak) and it was great for the use it got. IT wore well and cleaned up nicely.

But it didn't get the abuse and neglect my regular counters get.

I love it in other people's kitchens, and it really works well for some people. Not me, but maybe you!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 2:10PM
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I had a mixture of wood and tile in the old kitchen and still trying to decide how much wood (island only or perimeters also) to have in the new kitchen. What is nice about wood: softer (no hard clangs when you put things down), not cold, renewable, and just looks mellow and warm. The only reason I'm hesitating is that our cabinets are gumwood, and I'm thinking it might be just too much wood. But if I had white cabinets I would almost certainly go for all wood. If the marble I want doesn't become available I still may go for all wood.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 2:32PM
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The way I figure it is that ikea bb counters will cost me something like $350 plus the cost of stain or india ink or whatever. At that price, I'm willing to give them a try. if it turns out to be a bad idea after a couple of years, I can freecycle them and I've still avoided a huge expenditure during the actual reno. I like the idea of postponing that expense, if it does become necessary to go to some other material.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 2:47PM
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I would do wood, I would! It's warm, it's gorgeous and very forgiving, but people don't usually give it a chance.

Walnut is my choice du jour.

Choices, choices - it's pretty overwhelming sometimes, isn't it???

All the best.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 3:37PM
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Fori is not pleased

Writersblock--it's very true that if you get the absurdly affordable Ikea wood counters, you can simply replace them later without much heartache. I almost put one down on my baking counter when it became apparent I wasn't going to pick out marble very quickly. I didn't do it partly because I knew I'd never get around to finishing the kitchen if I had something that nice down. (I have other less obvious spots that also need marble.)

Turns out I still haven't finished and I might as well have had something nice all this time.

Except for around the sink where I'd be tempted to get a big sink/drainboard combo, just about any damage a wood counter can get should be sandable. It's the puddles I always seem to have around my sink that scare me off wood. I don't see those puddles in the kitchens of others. Hm!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 4:16PM
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Thanks for all the replies. Particularly Pirula whose kitchen inspired this thread. No decision has been made, but it's nice to know that I'm not totally stearing DH in a bad direction. I guess I just always assumed that people with truly beautiful kitchens walk on eggshells while in them, or that you could have a working kitchen or a beautiful kitchen but not both.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 6:40PM
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collins design

IMHO, a working kitchen, with patina = a beautiful kitchen!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 7:10PM
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Fori- LOL! I'm glad I'm not the only one, who doesn't always get things cleaned up right away...and seems to have puddles by the sink...not to mention the rings left under the water glasses! :)

Even worse, my husband likes to make fries in his deep fryer and there's a thin layer of oil on the counter, when he's done. Of course, it's too hot to move right away...would this help or hurt the wood?

Sumnerfan- I worry about the food dyes, too. I have nieces and nephews, who love to come out and help me bake, especially muffins, cupcakes and cookies. Seems like we're always making frosting to go on top of something...and there's usually a demand for colored frosting!

I don't know how everyone else does it. While I'd love to get something 'beautiful' I don't want to have to replace my countertops every few years.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 7:33PM
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My sister's new house has antiqued white cabinets with walnut counter tops and its gorgeous!! She used tung oil on them I think. I love running my hand over those silky smooth counters. I personally would freak it someone made a scratch in it, but I don't think she stresses over that. I noticed she does have a couple cutting boards sitting there tho. Her wood counter was an afterthought - she had lots of walnut flooring left over and her builder said "hey we could make counter tops with this left over wood" and so they did. For like $400 labor. She has no island - just a large farm table in the center.

Again - they are gorgeous and I'd do it in a heart beat.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 9:12AM
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So I'm still thinking about this but I have two more concerns:
1. some of my counters will not be standard depth. I could order the wider (island) top from Ikea but then that leads to my second question

2. seams

My kitchen is a long L. Ordering from Ikea or Lumber Liquidators would mean I would probably have 2 seams in the long part of the L. How would that work?

Can I see a seam in your wood countertops?


    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 2:15PM
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sumnerfan --

It is definitely worth your while to check out Pirula's gorgeous counters on the FKB. The pics in her photobucket account show runnels, undermount sinks, what looks like a designated chopping area, and just about any option you would want with your counters.

And the pics were posted almost five years ago, so if she says she's keeping the look she wants with tung oil and citrus solvent, she has definitely given her approach the test.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pirula's finished kitchen

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 4:23PM
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sumnerfan - I don't have IKEA, but I do have a seam in my "L". Here's what it looks like:

Also, IKEA has I believe three different lengths in the standard counter depth - 46, 73 and 96 inches.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 6:04PM
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Thanks for the picture and the tips. Carrie Eileen, are you countertops the reclaimed lumber? Are they custom made? I know Pirulla's are custom as well. The kind of seam I'm talking about would be in the middle of the run. My longest leg of the L is almost 130 inches without any interruptions except the sink. Even if I didn't miter the corner like yours I would still have at least one other seam in the run.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 9:22PM
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Where do you look to find an installer of wood counter tops. I am loving the look of the dark color counters. I know that ikea is a good place to buy but do not know how to find a fabricator. The house we are buying is a small u shape kitchen. So there will be two corner seams and of course sink cut out.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 10:24PM
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I've posted about this a lot. I did a kitchen 9 years ago. I used a Stickley cherry table in the eating area, and in the prep part of the kitchen I had a 19' long cherry counter. Opposite the cherry counter was the run of counter with my range and sink. I wanted marble but was convinced to do granite and always regretted it.

The wood held up great. I did not cut directly on it, but I don't cut directly on anything , even granite. I used hot pads, but I even did that on granite. EqLiquids of any kind were never an issue. I didnt even use placemats. My kids are now 8, 9 and 11. The counter looks like new (oiled every few months) and the table looks used but still beautiful ... No rings or serious
ding or scratches.

I'm doing a kitchen in my new home. I am so in favor of wood that I am using hand hewn cherry on most of my counters, including the sink, with an integrated drainboard also in wood. The only place I'm using so something else is in my built in hutch, where the cabs sit on the counters and the reveal will be pewter. I have an antique zInc topped work table
and an island with marble.

I'm also using a wood counter in a powder room.

If you love wood, use it. Only in this country are we wimps about it.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 10:54PM
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sumnerfan - yes, they are custom made in reclaimed elm from a barn, and finished with Waterlox. Made by Minomin Resawn Timbers in Hugo, MN. I'm guessing there are places in your area that do this too. You also might start by asking at your local lumber yard.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 2:18PM
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Two good options in the Northeast are Brooks Custom and Grothouse

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 4:19PM
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Dont do it. There's no way you can keep it from molding near a sink. I've had it for 20 years and never cut directly on it, always using a mat or cutting board, otherwise it will always look dirty and messy. It's not good for rolling pastry or pasta dough because it eventually becomes uneven and doesn't stay cool. Two good things I can say about it as the only countertop in a kitchen: it does have a warm look--even with it's aged "patina" and it's soft, so when something inadvertanly falls out of the upper cabinets, it often just bounces and doesn't break. Heavy things also leave a dent or mark, often too deep to sand out.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 4:42PM
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I also love wood and I would consider it. But a friend of mine who has wood countertops and cabinets from IKEA told me that it cannot be removed without destroying the cabinets because it is glued down... If I knew there is a way to install it so that you can easily remove it in a few years I would definitely use wood... Does anybody know?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 4:49PM
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> it cannot be removed without destroying the cabinets because it is glued down

Actually, Ikea BB is supposed to be installed with the slotted brackets provided so that it can expand and contract with changes in the atmosphere. It needs to be able to breathe a little

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 5:32PM
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I use wood wherever possible, but Thinkfood has a point. No matter what how much you seal and work it, it used to be a tree. It can absorb water, expand and contract, etc. If you use it in wet places you're inviting trouble. At a minimum, be sure the people who build it really know their wood, and that you're willing to pay attention and maintain it over the years. If you have doubts consider something less organic, at least around sinks.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 6:54PM
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carrie eileen.. I love your wooden countertops AND the kitchen..

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 7:16PM
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Hi, there -- I am considering an island that is part wood and part granite. My architect and builder recommended the company Grothouse that puts some special finish on the wood that makes it super durable. (You can find their website at glumber.com.) The cost is around the cost of a mid-level granite. I was originally planning to do granite all over, so that price point didn't increase my budget which was okay. (I think regular wood countertops are relatively inexpensive.) I am not a neat freak and have 3 kids under the age of 7, so having the special coating would be important to me. Hope this info helps! Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 7:13PM
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I have to admit it's beautiful.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 9:23PM
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First, thanks everyone for the compliments on our kitchen.

Second, if you use wood near water without treating it properly, you are inviting trouble. If you treat it with tung oil as the Chinese did their ships, and you maintain it (once a year MAX) you are not inviting any trouble whatsoever. We're going on six years of wood counters, two sinks, spills galore, splashing everywhere, water left standing, and the counters are good as new.

Oh, and hardwood floors in the master bathroom. Same story. Zero water issues. You just have to know how to treat the wood.

Would it survive a flood? Probaby not. But unless you're planning to take a hose to your wood counters and walk away, I know from experience that you'll have no problems using properly treated wood in your kitchen. Anywhere in your kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 11:16AM
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I would totally do it, and it is our plan B if the solid surfaces we're pricing end up breaking our budget.

I really want dark brown, almost black on my perimeter countertops.. and did a lot of research on how to do it and keep it food safe. I would probably do an inexpensive block from IKEA and use milkpaint & tung oil to finish it. Tung oil alone is beautiful too.

Here is a link that might be useful: milk paint and tung oil.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 12:34PM
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Joy--interesting idea. And the milk paint is food safe? I'm considering a wood top for my large island where I will prep and using my Carrara on the perimeter.

Pirula--You said you are not inviting trouble if you "maintain it (once a year MAX)." What do you mean by that exactly? Oil? Sealing? Thanks! BTW, I admired your kitchen a year ago when I joined GW, and now, seeing pictures of it again, I get to drool all over again!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 6:03PM
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Hi breezygirl (great name!). Yes, I just do a new coating of tung oil and citrus solvent. Spread it on generously, leave it overnight to dry, buff it the next day. And that's it.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 11:14PM
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Well the milk paint is non-toxic. It doesnt specifically say it's food safe but it would be cured and then covered with tung oil. Supposedly regular wood stain and varnish is food safe once cured, so I'd imagine the milk paint would be just fine.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 11:31PM
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i hope it's okay i post this picture of pirula's kitchen. i came across it tonight in attic mag. you can see where the counters join near the farmhouse sink. it doesn't appear mitered, or are my eyes tricking me?

this is a really helpful thread, sumnerfan. thanks. :)

pirula's kitchen from atticmag.com:

Here is a link that might be useful: Attic Mag Article: Ivetteā€™s Cherry Counter Kitchen

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 1:58AM
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sumnerfan, why not skip all the suspense, and simply find the answer?

Get some pieces of your preferred wood. Not tiny chips. Pieces at least a foot or two long that will actually be useful for something (serving tray, cheese board, child paddler). Sand and finish them with properly applied tung oil, waterlox, whatever you were planning for the counter.

Then proceed to abuse them. Ketchup, red wine, food coloring, hot pots, standing water, every indignity that you're planning to inflict on your future counters. Even a light cut or two - although I really hope you break the habit of cutting directly on your counter. Even try out the process of re-oiling and re-sanding.

In a few weeks, you will have your answer, an answer specifically for you - your wood choice, your finish preference, your degree of slobby-ness, even your favorite food coloring.

For what it is worth, I move pots, pans, my hot pizza stone straight from the burners to my wood kitchen table. No trivets. There's been spilled wine and water left over night, messy Easter egg sessions with food coloring soaking through newspaper, oil sprayed and dough rolled. That's my version of the experiment I'm recommending to you.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 9:01AM
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I'm growling a little again...this process is so difficult!!

I love the look of wood countertops. As I mentioned somewhere else, carrie eileen's kitchen has sort of become my "go to picture" for so many things.

Obviously, we're working with a budget on our project. The # our guy gave us for countertops (he was totally thinking I would want granite) was about $70 per square foot. How do I compare that with a wood countertop? I've tried to Google it, but I can't find anything!! (I'm usually pretty good at finding info this way...)

Once I get past the price (if I do in fact get past the price) how do I convince them (builder and husband) that a wood countertop is OK by the sink. They are insistent that it will warp. Again, I've Googled that too, and I get lots of conflicting info. Read somewhere about something called "varnique?" that will make it really waterproof?

I'm not concerned at all about cutting on it - I never cut on my countertop. I never put raw food on my countertop. I'm really big on cutting boards - have quite a few and use them ALL THE TIME.

I'm not sure what can be said that hasn't already been said about the pro's and con's of having all wood countertops. I guess the price issue is my main sticking point before I even venture to discuss it with the guys. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 9:04AM
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Seriously considering the Ikea BB for both budgetary and aesthetic reasons....question re installation: do you apply your chosen sealer (tung oil/waterlox) to all surfaces, i.e. top & bottom and sides? Do you do this before installing? Or does one crawl 'into' the cabinets to seal whatever part of the bottom one can reach?

And is the countertop attached to the cabinets with some kind of L-bracket?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 11:45AM
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SusieQusie60... i don't know for sure, but the article i'm linking to says $75-150/sq ft, NOT including delivery

BUT, the ikea ones are very reasonable.

ALSO, google John Boos countertops, with the type of wood you want to get a feel for the price. that's the only "brand" i'm familiar with.

jw34... i'm linking to a This Old House article i just found. i think writersblock said the ikea tops have their own bracket.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to install a butcher block countertop

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 12:33AM
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John Boos apparently has dealers in every state. Contact one in your state for a starting point for price and questions. Also, I notice that Rhome410 hasn't jumped in on this post. She has a wood island made by her husband with a prep sink where she does all her prep. She cooks from scratch extensively every day for a large family. She speaks highly of her counter. Her email is accessible on her member page. She is very generous with her time here so I'm guessing she would be happy to answer your questions.

Have you searched for past threads on the topic? I was reading one that included a link to a fabricator in Washington, where I happen to live, that offered free shipping. There was a ton of info there too and pricing. One thing I remember is that it talked about what kind of finish you needed to use if the counter was around a sink. The finish, whatever it was, made the surface unusable as a cutting surface, but was perfectly safe with water.

I was thinking about the water issue while prepping dinner last night. I have a big Boos block that I use everyday for every meal. Wet produce gets set on it everyday and very often it has water on it for hours at a time because I don't dry it off after prep when we eat. Most of the time it sits like that until I clean up dinner much later after I put the kids in bed. I've had it for more than 16 years and only oiled it once. Even with all my abuse, the thing still looks good. From that, I extrapolate that a wood counter couldn't look worse. And I would take better care of it than my board.

After all the info on this thread, I feel confident that if I decide to do wood for my island top it will be beautiful and highly functional. I feel like I may have just made a decision.........!! ;)

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 1:13AM
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if anyone wants to do a dark stain ikea countertop, this is GORGEOUS.

lots of info and pictures in the gardenweb thread linked below.

there is also a lot of info at ikeafans about seams/joining, installation, etc. the countertop name is "numerar".

Here is a link that might be useful: Dark Numerar Countertop from IKEA

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 4:40AM
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FWIW Lumber Liquidators has butcher block. For comparison I would need to purchase $700.00 of BB and finish it for about a total of $750.00. Waterlox or other treatment is applied before installation to both the tops and bottoms.

For basic entry level granite I am looking at $1800.00 for the same sq footage.

I love the wood. Seeing Pirula's kitchen makes me swoon all over again.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 7:08AM
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If you or your husband are handy, you can make them yourself. My husband built ours (he did the entire remodel in fact, but that's another story). We paid roughly $1,000 for our counters for the entire kitchen. The cost of the wood, and a DIY installation. We had to plane it, saw it, dowel & glue it and install it Perhaps you can shop for beautiful wood and hire a good carpenter and see if that's any less expensive. It's another option. I treated them myself.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 1:17PM
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Wow! Now I'm even more impressed. You and your husband made those gorgeous countertops. I so want them. We've been talking granite again, but if it were completely up to me I'd get wood. I covet those dark, beautiful wood countertops. Do you have some DIY instructions for making them?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 6:14PM
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I found this blog post that is a very detailed account of staining, sealing and installing IKEA butcherblock. Thought it may be helpful for you. She also has a follow up linked at the bottom answering questions about how they are holding up.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wood Counters

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 10:05PM
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Carrie - how are you making out with those gorgeous counters? Any thoughts you can share on day to day crumb cleaning and such?

Do you and Pirula have any retrospect moments we should keep in mind as we plan for our own wood counters? Thanks. =)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 10:36PM
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CarrieEileen - Thank you for sharing that the wood countertops are reclaimed from an old barn. Tonight my husband and I drove by our family farm and noticed that an old barn "fell down" this week. For me to use the beautiful barn wood, this would be a tribute to my great-grandfather. He left his family in Ireland, came to the U.S. and worked in the mines so he could buy land in America. I can envision my soon-to-be 90 year-old dad's smiling Irish eyes when I tell him my plan. He is first generation and cherishes the land his family struggled to buy.

Pirula - GORGEOUS!!!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 12:17AM
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Thanks carrie eileen. I really appreciate the link. I think DH is leaning toward granite, but I'm still really interested in wood.

Motherof3sons: I love your story and can't wait to see your 'new' countertops. I'd trade that story for the most expensive counters in the world. Don't forget to post pictures.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 7:12AM
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never_ending - We're one month in, and we still love them. Because they are barn wood, they aren't completely smooth like butcher block, yet we haven't noticed a problem with them catching crumbs. We have them by the sink, and are normally pretty good at wiping down wet spots, and when we don't, there is a faint white spot where the water was that just wipes off. We're super happy with our Waterlox satin finish. There are some faint scratches or lines, but we knew that was coming and we're fine with them developing a patina. We don't want to baby them, we cook too much to think that hard. Plus, we can always throw on another coat of the finish.

motherof3sons - that is such a nice story! That would be a wonderful connection to have. I too grew up on a farm that my grandfather started. I think that would be very fitting and a great story to share.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 5:16PM
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Today has been a day for decision making. We decided to go with the butcher block counters. We felt they were a good purchase for the money and if in five years we don't like them we can replace them with something else. I'm excited because I really wanted wood, but was afraid he really wanted granite. Yay! One more decision made!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 6:05PM
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oh wow, that's great sumnerfan! how exciting!

what kind of wood did you choose?! where did you decide to purchase them?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 6:43PM
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Pirula- Your kitchen is beautiful! Amazing DIY work! After seeing your countertops...and that you only use the tung oil and citrus solvent...I'm going to try to find some samples and try it. I think a lighter butcher block would be wonderful and I want to thank you so much for the inspiration! Thanks to Sumnerfan, too, for posting this wonderful thread! :)

Finally...one decision made. Now, I need to go find some samples!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 10:22PM
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Reading all of this makes me so much more confident in our decision to do the island Walnut butcher block! Thanks everyone!

Pirula, Cool kitchen! I love the open shelves in there.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 3:06AM
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THanks guys!

summerfan: great choice and I hope you enjoy them for many years to come!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 8:37AM
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Thanks everyone. Now we are just trying to decide if they get stained or if the oiling will darken them some. My kitchen is coming together very quickly, and I am so excited to see it come to fruition.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 8:49AM
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I installed a Teak wood countertop composed of individual 1" x 1"s in my kitchen 40 years ago and treat it with teak oil occasionally. It has lasted very well, but occasionally it gets black marks if you leave a wet sponge or a wet pot on it for a day or so. It is also subject to getting burned black rings on it from placing very hot pots on it. Then I get out my sander and shortly the marks are gone so I treat it again with teak oil. A few years ago I built another kitchen and in that case used an easier method than screwing together teak 1"x1"s. I used teak marine decking for the countertops. They are about 3/8" thick and about 2" wide. They work well and are easy to install. In both cases I laid an approximately 16" wide section of ceramic tile on each side of both the sink and stove to provide a surface resistant to heat and water. The teak is beautiful, repairable and obviously quite lasting.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 12:53PM
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