Recommendations for wood countertops

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Forum topic by Martyroc posted 04-01-2012 03:46 PM 1406 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2712 posts in 2479 days

04-01-2012 03:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hardwood finishing tip question countertop

Looking for a little advice here. Fellow LJ member, ( bruc101) posted a great looking countertop, since I am remodeling the kitchen, I asked him some advice on the wood countertop. Now I would like to get some opinions on what wood I should use and what would hold up the best, including any finishing tips. I have done epoxy bar tops bur for my kitchen I dont want to go that route. I know bruc101 used cypress but I would like to see what else you guys think would be good so 2 questions:

1) what good strong hardwood do you recommend for my kitchen countertops?

2) what is the way you would finish it knowing this will be used every day? Not quite as much as a diner kitchen but still some serious usage.


-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

5 replies so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4153 days

#1 posted 04-01-2012 04:01 PM

Hi Martin;

One of the designers I used to work with would occassionally spec Teak for countertops. They did look beautiful. They were finished with oil.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View willie's profile


534 posts in 2628 days

#2 posted 04-01-2012 04:56 PM

I have done several wood countertops for customers. Most were maple butcherblock and finished with an oil finish made for countertops. We did one in solid black walnut that was beautiful to look at but I never saw it after we installed it so I’m not sure how it help up. I think a close grained wood would be a better choice than open grained just so there wouldn’t be places for food and dirt to collect.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3171 days

#3 posted 04-01-2012 06:05 PM

Well, as far as holding up the best to heavy use, I don’t know of anything that has beaten end grain maple butcherblock.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View Don W's profile

Don W

18988 posts in 2741 days

#4 posted 04-02-2012 12:33 PM

I have made several countertops/bars from everything from oak to SYP. My own kitchen is a very simple SYP T&G 1×6 with a marine varnish. Its about 20 years old now, never been refinished and is as good as the day I put it in. I would pick the wood type you like. Done right, almost any kind of wood will hold up to normal use.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2460 days

#5 posted 04-02-2012 02:15 PM

Will the countertop be near a sink?

I have a 3×7 foot island going into my kitchen remodel. The countertop is going to be bamboo. (3/4” bamboo plywood). It’s about $250 a sheet (4×8) so I’m going to cut 1” strips off the long side, laminate it to a piece of 9-ply 3/4” birch plywood that’s cut undersize, so I can apply the 1” bamboo strips to the underside of the top bamboo piece to make it LOOK like 2 pieces of 3/4” bamboo ply.

I have Boosblock surrounding my current cooktop and it’s held up amazingly well for almost 3 years it’s been in use. I only ever rubbed it down with mineral oil. I have a piece of the bamboo ply we’ve been “testing” and it’s been rubbed with pure tung oil (food safe) and the stuff is amazingly durable. I think it’s harder than the Boosblock.

I’m just a bit leary of putting wood around the sink. ANY wood. The sink we’ll be using is a 3ft wide farmhouse sink and the countertop will overlay the edges of the sink, leaving about 3/8 of the sink top exposed. (Think undermount, but the top of the sink isn’t completely covered by the countertop). Right now we’re looking at soapstone for the area around the sink, which will also be my wife’s “baking center”. I found a source for soapstone for $15/sq ft although I have to drive 6 hours to pick out the pieces. At that price it’s worth the drive.

If someone could tell me how to treat the exposed edge of (any) wood at the sink, I’d be listening :)

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