You Should Not Choose Wood for Kitchen Countertops
Most people like the look and feel of wooden countertops, especially for the rustic or country style of kitchen. It makes the kitchen feel homey and warm, and it is a natural material that ages gracefully with reasonable care. Many homes had at least some part of the kitchen countertops made of wood. It can even work with some ultra-modern kitchens to provide an interesting juxtaposition.
The best thing about wooden countertops is it is a biodegradable and eco-friendly option if you get it from a renewable source. That said, you should not choose wood over granite, marble, or engineered quartz for kitchen countertops. Below are some excellent reasons for this circumspection.
Lack of availability
Only a very few species of wood can work for kitchen countertops. These are mostly hardwood such as maple, teak, oak, Brazilian cherry, and walnut, and you will have a hard time finding sustainable sources for them as they grow slowly. Quick-growing trees are simply too soft for kitchen countertop use. Some species also work best for different types of uses, so you will have to choose the right one for a function. Hard maple, for example, is ideal for butcher blocks, while teak works best near the sink, as it has a high oil content and resistant to water.
Limited color range
Even if you find a sustainable source of an appropriate wood species for your countertops, you only have a small range of colors from which to choose. You can paint them any color you like, of course, but that would be defeating the purpose of choosing wood in the first place, which is for their natural beauty.
As a busy homeowner, you want your kitchen countertops to below maintenance and still stand up to a lot of use. This can be a problem with wood, which is an organic material particularly prone to warping, cracking, discoloring, and splitting. You can prevent these problems by giving the wood the appropriate care, such as applying a coat of mineral oil monthly and sanding on a regular basis. However, few people have the time or patience to do that, or the willingness to spend to get someone to do it for them.
Even if you are willing to go the extra mile in maintaining your wooden countertops, you cannot avoid some water damage, especially for areas around the sink and near the cooktop. Wood is extremely porous, and water is insidious. Even with the right sealer, prolonged exposure to water and humidity will take its toll. Heat and steam can also contribute to the eventual demise of your lovely wooden countertops. Over time, the wood will swell in some places, split in others, and you may even have wood rot in hidden areas.
Water is not the only thing about which you must worry. Any spilled liquid can seep through the seal, and if left long enough, get in too deeply to remove. You will have a permanent blot marring your lovely wooden surface that is never coming out. You can prevent this from happening by cleaning up spills as soon as they happen, but that is not always possible. In some cases, you can remove surface stains by sanding them out, but that will probably mean refinishing the whole thing before applying a fresh coat of sealer.
Unlike stone, most wooden countertops are not a solid length of wood. Suppliers cut costs by putting the wooden pieces together using finger joints. These joints represent weak points in the surface, which can eventually lead to damage. Sink and fixture cutouts may also expose these joints, which do not look attractive at all. You can hide them by choosing a drop in instead of undermounted sink, but that will give you more problems with potential water damage.
Shipping wood safely across long distances is challenging, because they are quite delicate and easy to damage. If you pay top dollar, some suppliers will encase the wood in sturdy crates to protect them from any damage during handling and transport. In most cases, however, the shipper will simply put the wood in cardboard boxes and hope for the best. You may end up with some serious damage on your wooden countertops that may be irreparable.
The cost of buying and installing wooden countertops will depend on the wood species you choose, and from where. In general, they cost about the same per square foot as natural and quartz stones. However, the various drawbacks of wooden countertops make it an impractical choice for most homeowners. They should look at more durable and lower maintenance materials such as natural stones and engineered quartz for their kitchen countertops.
You should not choose wood for your kitchen countertops because most homeowners today simply don’t have the time or energy to care for them. You are better off choosing hardier options such as granite or engineered quartz. They can be just as beautiful and warm in their own way, and they last much longer.
If you need a reputable contractor to help you with your granite or engineered quartz countertops, then you need to talk the professionals at KNC Granite. We have a large array of granite slabs from which to choose. You can check actual slabs at our showroom in Lanham, Maryland.
We are also experts at fabricating and installing kitchen counters or bathroom vanities and specialize in kitchen remodeling and bathroom upgrade projects. We deliver on time and on budget.
Aside from natural stones, we carry some of the top brands of engineered stone, including Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI, all of which come with manufacturer warranties.
Give us a call or email us for your free in-home consultation and quote.