Kitchen island tops, wood countertops, edge grain counter tops and bar tops, end grain butcher blocks, worktops

By: Hardwood Countertops  09-12-2011
Keywords: Wood, Hardwood, countertops


Lafor Wood Products
supplies and 1-1/2, 2, 3 and 4 inches  thick.

All the standard sizes are shipped or delivered the same day you place the order.

In addition, custom lengths and custom widths up to 48 inches are also available, upon request. The lead-time for these custom orders is about 2-3 business days.

The wood that we currently feature include , , , , , and   African species: padauk, berlinia, avoura also available. Please visit our to discover the particular features of each of them and to find which one is the right one for you.

 Keep in mind, however, that all hardwood species, not matter how different from each other, share common features, some of which we would like to highlight below. 

First, the pros.. 

Why the solid wood countertops? 

 Aesthetics. 

Just how well is that going to look in my kitchen? 

There is an unmistakable, unique beauty to a solid wood surface. It is a blend of warmth, character, and tenderness that no other material, either natural or man-made, can match. Yes, marble and granite countertops can be quite exquisite, but their beauty is distant and cold. And yes, you can have all those crazy colors of the plastic laminate but let's be honest, don't they just scream artificiality? 

Wood can be cozy, rustic, austere, or aristocratic, but it is all always honest. Full of character or overwhelmingly intricate, wood is always friendly and undeniably familiar. Like a good, old friend it is always nice to see it and always good to have it around. 

 Sturdiness.

 O.K, it is called hardwood, but how hard should I expect it to be? It can't possibly be as tough as marble or granite, can it? 

Well, the hardwood is harder and sturdier than you might expect, because, unlike other materials such as stone, wood has elasticity, which allows it to absorb shocks much better. Think about this: You've seen martial artists breaking marble or granite slabs with their bare hands. Why do they choose stone for this demonstration of strength? Because stone lacks elasticity and therefore it is breakable. You'll never see a karate master attempting to do the same thing with a piece of hardwood. 

 Easy maintenance 

But wood scratches easier than stone, so it's not very practical after all, isn't it? 

 Easy installation. 

Can I do it myself? 

Durability.

 But wood, unlike stone, is an organic material, therefore subject to old age and natural decay and consequently, not very durable, isn't that so? 

Well, consider this: The black locust wood, one of the species we currently supply, can remain buried in the ground for over a hundred years without rotting. The same goes for the European oak. And we are talking here about unfinished and unprotected wood. 

As for the aging, it is well known that wood mellows with age and its appearance gets richer and smoother. Some wood species, such as black cherry and walnut, develop a very specific, antique-like patina that is highly prized. 

Sanitation. 

But I've been told that wood surfaces are not sanitary because they harbor germs in their pores. 

Step into any meat shop or restaurant. You'll find they don't chop the meat or prepare the food on plastic surfaces, but on the same good old butcher block made out of maple or a similar close-grained wood. What is their reason for that?

 While some claim that plastic chopping boards are safer than classic wooden ones because their non-porous, homogeneous structure, would not allow microorganisms to persist and thrive, the research proved quite the opposite. It was found that, on plastic boards, bacteria hid comfortably inside the cut marks and prospered, whereas on the wooden cutting boards, the same bacteria vanished within hours. The research demonstrated that the chemical structure of the wood itself possesses anti-bacterial properties and further postulated the existence of "good bacteria" within the wood fiber that actually kills the germs. 

One fact, however, is for sure: solid wood surfaces are a very good choice when it comes about food preparation. And, although wood countertops are not usually meant for cutting or chopping food directly on their surface, they display the same sanitizing properties. 

 And now, for the cons.. 

Ok, so are you trying to say that solid wood will make the perfect countertop? 

Each material has its pros and cons, and wood is no exception. It offers great value and undeniable advantages; but it also has its limitations. 

Wood, for instance, is a combustible material; so don't install a solid wood top too close to a heat source, such as a stove burner. For the same reason, it is also not advisable to place hot items directly onto your butcher block's surface. 

Wood is an organic material that can be damaged by acids and bases. Spilling corrosive chemicals on a wood surface can cause damages beyond repair. 

Wood is a fibrous material that reacts to extreme moisture or dryness by expanding or shrinking, especially when unfinished. And finally, wood surfaces, when oil-finished need regular maintenance. 

For each of these shortcomings, there are, nevertheless, specific remedies. But the point is, what makes a perfect countertop depends greatly upon your own needs and expectations. 

We have offered this brief overview hoping it will help you understand what wood can do for you and what it can't, and, thus, enable you to choose the material that best fits your requirements.

Keywords: Black Locust, countertops, Hardwood, Solid Wood, Wood,

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