Wood Countertops: The How and Why
From granite and Formica to soapstone and marble, there are seemingly endless options when it comes to choosing building materials for kitchen counters. And while wood may be a less traditional option, it’s one that is rising in popularity. Since your kitchen counters see so much traffic and are an important surface in your home, it’s important to understand why wood is a realistic countertop option, how to install it, and if there are any disadvantages to using this material in your kitchen.
Advantages of Wood Countertops
The first advantage of using wood countertops is a simple one, it's for their appearance. Wood provides a natural feeling of warmth in any kitchen, and it’s something that looks quite unique from other countertop options.
Just as there's a wide variety of granite to install as countertops, there's also a wide variety of wood countertops to choose from. Maple, cherry, oak, birch, and teak are all viable options. Different stains and finishes give each type of wood a unique look, ranging from black to parquet. Edge treatments also finish the look, allowing you to completely customize the project.
Although most wood countertops haven’t been historically made from reclaimed wood, it’s becoming more common for wood to be salvaged and repurposed for this use. That means many of these materials are recyclable, which makes it another green-friendly option within your home.
Great Work Surface
Specifically in the kitchen, wood is an excellent work surface. The material is easy on knives, meaning it’s an ideal surface for chopping, carving, and cooking. Wood is also easy to clean and disinfect, which goes a long way in a kitchen as well.
Another undoubted advantage of this material is its longevity. Especially when used in a room that sees so much traffic, this is not to be overlooked. Wood countertops are not easily damaged, and if they do get dinged, stained, or gouged, they are easily refinished as a quick and affordable repair method.
Disadvantages of Wood Countertops
One downside of this material is that it requires proper sealing. If this step is skipped, the surface could be at risk for harboring serious germs and bacteria.
If the surface isn’t treated on a regular basis with mineral oil or another appropriate protectant, damage will occur when water sits on the countertop or if moisture seeps into the seams.
Wood countertops do take on wear and tear over time, which means that it may become necessary to refinish them. This means resanding the entire surface and then applying a finishing top coat. This typically occurs after 10 to 20 years of use.
An Overview on Installing Wood Countertops
Installing wood countertops is extremely simple and can be completed as an easy and rewarding DIY project. Most people find that cutting the wood in a home workshop or garage is easy, especially because the weight of the counters is much lighter than what it would be with other countertop materials.
Additionally, the corners of these counters don’t need to be mitered like they do with other materials. This means that there is no need to hem the corners to create the look of a fold that joins two pieces of material together seamlessly. While this can be a cumbersome process, it's generally not necessary for wood countertops.
Installing the countertops starts by measuring and cutting the pieces. Then, holes are drilled where appropriate to install the fasteners and buckles. With the pieces on a sawhorse, fasten them together as they will be installed. After that, the pieces need to be put into place. Harness the pieces to the counter by using the predrilled holes to install the buckles, tightening them underneath the counter.
Next, the faucet of your sink should be installed after drilling the main faucet and handle holes. This is done using a drill and Forstner bit. Finally, the sink is replaced and lifted up. Silicone should be run under the edges to seal it into position. From there, staining and sealing should be done to give your counters the look you want and to protect them.
Installing your countertops, as you can see, is a simplified process that is much less labor-intensive than installing alternate materials.
Wood countertops are a beautiful addition to any kitchen that has a wide range of benefits associated with them. Not only are they durable, but they’re easy to install and easy to keep clean and germ-free. Spruce up your kitchen with these counters and you’ll enjoy them in your home for a long time to come.