A lot of you are asking about wood countertops and whether or not we do them often. In our experience, people who request wood countertops represent a small part of the market segment. We typically put in about 10 solid wood tops a year, usually on a kitchen island or in wet bar area. It always surprises us when clients come in loving the wood counters but assume that the wood tops we install are going into those “for show” kitchens. They think the only people that would choose wood tops are those who really don’t use their kitchens or cook in them. Actually, quite the opposite is true. Wood tops seem to be most popular with large families with several kids. These clients added wood to give their island a kitchen table feel and to warm up the space. They decided to live with the little nicks and scratches that are going to inevitably happen as part of life with a wood counter… no different than your wood kitchen table.

If you have a real wood kitchen table that gets its share of beating up, is scarred, and has a few little dings, that is exactly what’s going to happen to a wood countertop over time. I happen to think those scars add character and charm to the space; however, others may not feel the same. If you’re one of those that want the counter to look pristine and have showroom-quality perfection, you really shouldn’t be buying a wood countertop. A wood countertop should be used, enjoyed, and have life happen to it. Love it and roll with the punches.

Of course, if it ever really gets trashed, the beauty is that you can take it out, have it sanded, refinished, and make it brand new. This is not something you’re going to do once a year, however. It’s going to be something you might do once in seven or eight years. Mostly people select the wood species based on the color or grain they’re trying to achieve more-so than worrying about a durability issue. Woods that hold up well to water like teak, walnut, and mahogany are the ones we put in our designs most often. We do occasionally put in maple, cherry, alder, and even bamboo, but it’s much rarer.

So, what do you think? Can you live with a wood counter? Here are some recent kitchens we did with wood counters. Do you like the look?




Posted by Grace Kelly in Kitchen Design, Countertops, Wood, Planning | Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly, Inc.

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