Wood Kitchen Countertop

avadooneNovember 19, 2010

I have an ugly white laminate counter tops, and it has holes in it. I would like to the able to build a wood slat one (like I had at a previous house) that fits over the existing top. I understand things like needing a sink hole and have a plumber. I am mostly looking for suggestions for construction methods and most of all the finishing work. I know it sounds crazy ambitious, but I want to put it out there to see if I really want to do it.

Also if there is any tutorial online some knows of.

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aidan_m

throw away the old one first. nobody builds over a laminate counter top.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 2:07PM
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both

Check out IKEA and Lumber Liquidators. There prices on wooden counter tops are amazing. If you search on the kitchen forum you can see pics of it installed with different finishes. Ikea 8 foot of Oak, Birch or Beech 169.00 LL 12 foot of Maple or American Cherry for under 300.00

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 7:53PM
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aidan_m

The only thing that amazed me about the Ikea wood countertop is how high the thing crowned after 1 week in service as a food perp counter in a wine bar. The thing was fastened down to the base cabinet front and back with slotted brackets for expansion. The center crowned up about an inch and a half from wiping it down with water.

I could tell the thing was low quality by the number of visible defects in the lumber, and the thickness is barely an inch.

John Boos sells quality wood countertops, at a more reasonable price than Ikea. When I say more reasonable, this is based on the fact that the thickness is double and the quality of the wood is WAY better. So the John boos countertops have 2x as much wood and it is about 3x better quality wood. John Boos price is about $30/ square foot for Maple. At that rate, Ikea tops are worth about $5/ square foot.

The 8' is worth $80 and the 12' $120. Still a total rip-off

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 2:34PM
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avadoone

Thanks for the advice

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 3:14PM
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mongoct

Depends on the wood you use. Use a lesser wood and you'll need a film finish to protect it from moisture, stains, etc.

if a film finish (like polyurethane, for example) were to get dinged...a knife edge, a dropped object, whatever...it can't really be spot finished. It's usually a sand-the-whole-thing-down-and-recoat proposal.

If you use a durable wood that is naturally durable then you can use something like mineral oil on it. Anything happens and you just renew the oil with a wipe on, sit, wipe off.

When I use teak in a kitchen I'll use mineral oil.

For construction, if end-grain butcher block, I'll usually use epoxy. If edge-grain, plank-style, then I'll go to biscuits (for alignment and added joint strength) and titebond or epoxy.

Treat the top of the counter the same as the bottom (if you urethane the top, then urethane the bottom, for example) and you won't have uneven moisture, eliminating, or at least minimizing, any cupping or crowning.

I've had wood countertops in my kitchen for years. Zero issues. Undermount sink. Zero issues.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 4:35PM
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clg7067

I also plan on making a face grain wood counter. I'm going to have the lumberyard plane the edges for a good fit because I don't have that kind of equipment.

I'm using Titebond II on a flooring project right now. I'm glad somebody mentioned that or I'd probably use plain old carpenters glue.

The thing was fastened down to the base cabinet front and back with slotted brackets for expansion. The center crowned up about an inch and a half from wiping it down with water.

I, and many others here, have the IKEA counter tops.

If you want to use it as a wet surface you need to use a finish on it. Most people choose Waterlox.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 1:57PM
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both

I thought the IKEA wooden counter tops where 1 1/2" thick.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 10:47AM
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rjinga

Aidan, I also heard that you have to seal the IKEA countertops with several treatments before using it, they come raw/unfinished, is that true?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 11:15AM
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aidan_m

I don't work with that stuff. My observation came from a job where I had the contract to fabricate some bar tops and tables with a resin finish.

The customer wanted some butcher block counters installed behind the bar. She found the cheapest ones available and had another guy install them. The other guy and myself told her they needed a finish. She thought the oil from IKEA was the product they recommended.

The thing crowned in a few days, like i've never seen with a wood top. I'm not sure if she used the oil or not. It doesn't matter in my opinion; that is some lousy wood.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 6:40PM
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johnorange

I used granite near my sink and stoves but am currently installing wood around a bar area. I bought some 4" wide x 3/4" thick tongue and groove cumaru flooring. It is very hard and has an attractive color. I first made decking from 3/4" 7-ply plywood. I selected wood pieces with the most attractive pattern and then cut to fit my countertop. Once all pieces were cut and layed out on the counter, I traced lines to outline where each board would be so I would know where to drill pilot holes in the plywood. I drilled the pilot holes in the plywood right at the screw diameter. I installed the wood using Elmer's Wood Glue and Gorilla Glue (depending on how critical the adhesion was). After seeing how well Grilla Glue works, I am totally sold on it! I screwed the wood surface down to the plywood from underneath using the pre-drilled pilot holes. I used lots of clamps to hold the material in the right place and to close gaps between pieces. Since my surface wood (the cumaru) is so hard, I also had to drill pilot holes in it from underneath the counter. Even "self-tapping" Kreg Jig screws will split it.
Here are a couple of photos and you can see more pictures on my Photobucket album (link below)



Here is a link that might be useful: More Remodel Photos Here

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 4:55PM
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ghostlyvision

Beautiful job, John! I really enjoyed the pictorial.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 7:59PM
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jessicaml

I figured since avadoone's project was almost identical to my theoretical project, I might as well resurrect this thread instead of starting a new one...

The following link is to a project covering laminate countertops with 1/4" plywood. I hate my purple chipped laminate countertops, so I wondered if this could work.
If not, my 2nd theoretical soludtion was to get thicker plywood (3/4"?), hopefully in maple or walnut veneer and use it as a countertop (removing the purple laminate first). For either option, I planned to use solid plank edge boards.

Do either of these sound like viable options? Or do you have other economical ideas? I love the look of wood & hate our current chipped laminate, but my husband doesn't think we should put money into replacing counters in a mobile home we'll likely sell in 2-5 years. Ikea may be an option, too, if the others don't work...but not until fall, when the Denver store is scheduled to open.

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY Veneer countertop

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 10:48PM
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bobismyuncle

Personally, I'd not ever try putting plywood on a countertop. Veneers these days are whisper thin and the substrates are easily dented. In particular, the Chinese plywoods you are likely to find at the big box stores are absolute C R A P. I've seen them delaminate carrying them from the truck to a shop in a misty rain and get a corkscrew twist in them right after cutting a piece. Getting a big box store to cut plywood with any degree of accuracy is also a joke. I'd go at least an inch oversized and trim with a router.

If I were you, I'd look at installing some post-formed countertops, as long as they fit your application.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 12:30PM
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jessicaml

Thanks, bobsmyuncle! My husband works at a 'big box', so I've priced out cabinet-grade plywood there, but I'm also having my brother (a previous and sometimes-still carpenter) see what the local lumberyard can do. We can transport the usual 4x8 with no problem, so any cutting would be done by us...but if denting and delaminating happens so easily, I may have to rethink the whole idea...maybe hold off for the IKEA to open and look at other options.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 1:14PM
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