Wood Countertop Review

Here's my wood countertop review which includes a run down of the properties and pros and cons of wooden countertops.  We'll also look at whether or not a wood countertop is right for your home.

This review is based on my research, talking to suppliers, and my own experiences with wooden countertops.

This page is part of the countertop designs series.

Wood countertop properties

This wood countertop reivew wouldn't be complete without going into the properties of wood in more detail...

Ask a good carpenter about installing a wooden countertop.

Aesthetic choice - There are many types of wood countertops from which to choose. Hardwood continues to be used extensively. Wood types include maple, cherry, oak, birch and teak. Bamboo offers another alternative. Stains and finishes complete the look, giving each one a customized appearance.

Stylistically, your options include butcher block, parquet, face grain or end grain planks, panels and other designs. Edge treatments are also made in a wide variety of looks. These types of countertops compliment all sorts of kitchens, from moderns to classic designs.

Seams - Since these countertops are built based on your dimensions it is easy to avoid joins. But consider this...  With wood, seams can actually add to the design appeal if creative use is made of the grain.

Stain resistance - Wood countertops need to be treated to make them less porous. Left completely unsealed the wood will stain easily, and even when sealed may still stain slightly with some substances such as red wine.

Most countertops are sealed with special wood sealers or using mineral oil. Some consumers choose to spray the countertop with epoxy coating for a prolonged life but which makes it more shiny.

Heat resistance - You will need to be careful with wood and hot pots and pans. Wood can easily be burned and damaged.

Scratch resistance - Wood countertops are definitely not scratch resistant. However it is your personal choice how you want to use your wooden countertops. You can use chopping boards in the usual way, or use your countertop as a giant chopping board.

One option is to have a small piece of wooden countertop installed to a a permanent chopping board in situ.

Cleanliness - Wood countertops are easy to clean and it is recommended to use a bit of soap and lemon juice while cleaning it.  Try to use natural cleaning agents.  It's important to keep the surface dry to avoid the surface degrading or marking up.

Cost - Cost of natural wood countertops can range from $30 to a whopping $200 per square foot depending on the type of wood used and the craftsmanship involved.

Wood countertop pros and cons

Wood countertop pros

  • Warm and comforting appearance.
  • Can be sanded and re-sealed to give them a new lease of life after a few years' use.
  • Wood is a softer material so doesn't chip.
  • You can cut straight onto the surface provided that you find the scratches that build up part of the charm.

Wood countertop cons

  • Period maintenance in the form of sealing required.
  • Heat resistance not as great as other materials.

Wood countertop review - My experiences with a wood countertop

My experience of wooden countertops comes in the form of a big chopping board that sits permenantly on our kitchen countertop.  It's not built it but it's big and it never moves. 

We keep it nice by applying sunflower oil.  I'm not sure this is the best thing to be doing, but it's always to hand!  In fact it's reached a stage of saturation over the years.  It's been a good while since I've put any oil on it.  It does stain sometimes if I cut beetroot or something, but the stain just comes out over the course of a few days. There are a few more stains caused by leaving lemons face down which I'll probably have to sand to get out.

The board must be wearing away slightly over time but we've had ours for over 10 years and any change in thickness is hardly noticeable.

Is a wooden countertop right for your home?

We'll finish off this wood countertop review by going over some questions you can ask yourself before deciding whether or not this countertop is right for your home.

A wooden countertop is a particularly good choice if you are cultivating a traditional and homely look for your kitchen.  If you want some of the advantages of other materials wood is a great candidate for mixing with another material in your kitchen.

Wood is a good choice for the green homeowner if reclaimed wood is used.

So that concludes my wood countertop review.  I hope you've found it useful.  See below for more countertop material reviews.

More Counterop Design

Countertop materials