Using solid wood for your kitchen counters may sound like a very poor idea. Hard to clean and a great place for germs to grow etc. but this couldn’t be further from the truth. And people are beginning to return to using them over other material on a consistent basis for some very good reasons.
Solid wood, as a material of choice for counter tops, exhibit many distinct advantages such as:
Let’s look at this one first because it may be the biggest stumbling block to many. For quite a few decades, plastic and laminate surfaces, due to their non-porous nature were considered much safer than wood for applications such as chopping meat or slicing vegetables. Wood has been thought to be an ideal surface for harmful bacteria like Salmonella, Staphylococcus or Escherichia coli to thrive because of its porosity.
However, a study undertaken by the microbiologists of the Wisconsin Food Research Institute in 1993 and another one carried out in 1998 at University of Florida discovered the strong antibacterial properties that wood surfaces exhibit. No other cutting surface appears to possess these properties. According to these studies and others that have followed, bacterial populations disappear quite fast without external intervention on wood surfaces. While on plastic surfaces they persist and actually multiply. Although these properties vary among wood species, the wooden cutting surfaces are increasingly accepted as the top choice of health-conscious individuals.
Wooden counter tops are a natural complement to any solid wood or veneered cabinetry because they give a warm, relaxing feeling. They go wonderfully together with hardwood floorings, moldings, cornices and mantels, establish a genuine sense of balance to your kitchen space.
Unlike the solid surface or laminate counter tops, wood tops have a minimum of chemical components, which make them extremely safe in contact with foods. Also unlike other countertop materials, any scratches that occur can be easily removed by sanding the area. Wood counter tops actually are the only known surface that can be renewed without employing special tools or requiring special skills. Other uses for a hardwood surface are they can be used as a kitchen island top, inserted sink covers, sections of countertop, or as butcher block hidden under the countertop that can be pulled as drawer or cart. I’m sure with your imagination you will find plenty of other interesting, visually attractive applications. And hardwood tops are one of the easiest to cut to templates and even easier to install.
If properly sealed and installed, a wooden top can literally last a lifetime. Unlike marble, granite or tile, the wooden tops have a great shock absorbing capacity that further assures considerable life span.
Hardwood tops are usually priced higher than laminate but are far less expensive than stone, granite, solid surface, tile or steel.
Hardwood counter tops come in several different woods, beech wood, cherry, walnut, oak, acacia, hard maple and more with a large variety of dimensions and grades. Using a little mineral oil regularly is one of the best ways to finish and preserve these counter tops.
On your next kitchen remodel consider the aesthetics, durability and functionality of a quality wood countertop to complete your brand new kitchen.