Best wood for kitchen worktops?

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As the title suggests, SHE is going to allow me to make our new kitchen tops.
Any preferences to wood type?
Ron
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I think you'd probably be better off with something other than wood. Not sure of your situation, but a wooden food-prep area requires a fair amount of maintenance in order to keep _you_ healthy. So maybe a faux wood laminate? Tom Someday, it'll all be over....
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I recently built counter tops for Mintlake Lodge. After much research, I chose 12" porcelain tile with Laticrete epoxy grout. The counters are wonderful, and even though I like wood as much as anybody, I just can't imagine why you use it for kitchen countertops. Durability and maintenance issues are HUGE drawbacks. Porcelain with epoxy grout never needs sealing and you can put anything right off the stove or out of the oven anywhere on your counter. Porcelain is nearly impossible to scratch, and in the event you drop a pressure cooker from the top shelf and damage the surface, chipped tiles can be removed and replaced for a 100% cosmetic and funtional repair. Color choices for tile / grout combinations are nearly infinite, and asthetics can be enhanced by adding borders and angles to your grout lines. Also, you can't cut yourself (short of damaging a finger nail) on a masonry wet saw.
I get my wood for free, but I will spend $4 or $5 a square foot to do procelain counters again and again on future projects.
Larry Church Mintlake Lodge
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Larry Church wrote:

Larry, Do you have pictures or a URL to see that composition
kees
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Nobody that does serious cooking ever wants tile countertops. They are difficult to clean, you cannot use a tenderizer on them, slippery, usually not level, and generally the grout will develop leaks and mold, a pain in the rear.
Just an opinion, but one backed by the last six years of cooking in a kitchen with tile.
JJ Cheap teak shipped to your door
Larry Church wrote:

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Agreed. When we added a new kitchen to our house, and had to choose what to put on our custom cherry cabinets, we looked at all the options, and it was essentially a tie between granite and Corian. We went with Corian. No regrets.
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Dennis M. O'Connor snipped-for-privacy@primenet.com



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wrote ...

I'm just curious, why corian over granite? In my neighborhood, the price was about the same and I went w/ granite.
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There was some concern over sealing granite, and granite is harder than Corian, so more things might break on it. Granite seemed more heat resistant, but then, you can pour boiling water on Corian to sterilize it, and for us that's good enough. But ultimately, it came down to appearance. We found a color of Corian that gave us the look we wanted, and nothing comparable was available in granite (or engineered stone).
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Dennis M. O'Connor snipped-for-privacy@primenet.com



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Jeremy wrote:

I agree, but why have only one surface?
Here from the beginning of the counter, past the sink and through the corner and ~ 1.5 feet of that leg gets tile, then there's a 2'x 3' cutting board. The rest of the wall will be a wood work bench to store the cast iron collection with a 'raw' top to set hot pans on. Then there's going to be an island with a heavy wood top that's urethaned.
Four surfaces, one for each occasion.
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Mark

N.E. Ohio
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Granite, man. Someday, it'll all be over....
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Ron wrote:

If you gotta go with wood go with maple--it's reasonably hard and maple sap is not only non-toxic but nutritious. There are coatings intended for bartops that let you use just about any wood, however they scratch and if they do somehow get a through crack they can leak which makes a stain that's going to be a bear to get out--doesn't happen often but I noticed the other day that it had happened at one of the tables at a local restaurant that used that technique so it's not impossible.
Best bet though would be one of the plastics, either laminate or solid surface--they're relatively low maintenance while not being hard on dishes--stainless or tile or stone are worse on dishes. Some granite tile around the stove would be good as a safe place for a hot pan to land.

--
--John
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wrote:

the classic wood is hard maple.
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and its one of the woods the fda approves for use due to its anti bacterial properties.
randy
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For overall utility it is hard to beat oak. For butcher blocks, sycamore is the preferred wood. As others have said, for normal kitchen counters there are materials that are more functional than wood. If I were to install new counters now I would probably turn to granite.
Dick

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In my home I have hardwood "butcher block" counters made from madrone. We love the natural dark reddish color and they have held up great under abuse. I ordered these counters through an environmental home center in Seattle. You may also want to check out the OS Hardwax Oil as a finish for your counters.
http://www.environmentalhomecenter.com/shop.mv?CatCode=PRODUCT&ProdCode=ENDURA_HARDWOOD
Usual disclaimer: I have no affiliation with these companies, I am just a satisfied customer.
Neil
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How about the best of both worlds... tile edged in a hardwood. In another post, Larry (from Mintlake Lodge) pointed out the advantages of using the tiles and I agree. I've done my own kitchen island and a 7' counter using 6" tiles edged with stained oak and they look as good today as they did when I installed them over 10 years ago.
There are certainly other man-made materials you can use and an all wood top looks nice - for awhile. Without an epoxy coating, it will most likely be a very high maintenance countertop that you'll soon be replacing. Think about it - when's the last time you saw a wood countertop being advertised?
Bob S.

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Granite..... wood.

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Thanks for all the replies so far.
It's gotta be wood as the worktops will complement a Belfast sink.
Anything else just wont do for the wife. It will be more decorative than functional.
In the woods defense it wont be getting a lot of abuse as my wife just doesn't do "cooking" in the biblical sense. It's qiuck and easy in our house.
Me personally.........I'd go for granite, but as SHE wears the trousers it's gonna be wood....Maple I think, due to the afore mentioned anti- bacterial properties.
Ron
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Ron notes:

Belfast sink? Whazzat?
I've seen countertops of every wood imaginable, from SYP to maple and walnut and cherry. If you're not going to abuse it (do NOT bet on this), almost any wood does just fine, as long as you plan on refinishing it every so often--periods between refinishes depend on use and the finish.
Pick your color. Pick your wood, the harder the better, and go. Avoid rosewoods because of allergens (and fiscal responsibility). Ebony is avoidable for financial reasons.
Charlie Self "Wars spring from unseen and generally insignificant causes, the first outbreak being often but an explosion of anger." Thucydides
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Charlie Self wrote:

Think water trough.
Small ones: http://search.kelkoo.co.uk/b/a/ss_Belfast_sink.html
Big ones: http://www.victorianplumbing.co.uk/mall/victorianplumbing/topic/topic-15008-1.stm
I would be concerned with rotting of the support structure/ cabinet. Even in a trophy kitchen.
Seems this sink would be a major factor in choice of materials.
--
Mark

N.E. Ohio
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