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Live Wood Countertops: Are they worth the investment?


Wood countertops are beautiful and opting to have that rugged live edge can add a unique aesthetic to your kitchen, but wood countertops do take a bit of maintenance to keep them in prime condition. So, are they worth the time and money that goes into them? The answer to that question is really up to the homeowner. There are many types of countertops that require regular maintenance, so if you don’t mind rubbing a little mineral oil on your countertops regularly, they may be for you. 

Wood Countertop Maintenance

The term “live” comes from natural edge grain that has become popular in recent years. In addition to kitchen countertops, you can commonly find live edge wood making an appearance as a living room coffee table, end tables, benches and more. Butcher block is also a popular countertop option. However when using wood as a kitchen countertop material, there are additional factors that need to be considered. 

First, you need to be sure to choose a wood variety and finish that is safe for food preparation. Popular wood species for kitchen counters include, Hard Maple, American Cherry, Brazilian Cherry, Black Walnut, Bamboo, Teak, Tigerwood, Zebrawood, Wormy Chestnut, and Hickory. All of these woods offer different tones and patterns for a stunning finish. 

 Wooden Countertops

Mid-Century Modern Kitchen

Speaking of finish, the next thing that you need to be mindful of is what you finish your countertop with. Many common sealers are great for the outdoors (i.e. decks, porches, etc.), but they are not food-safe. If you are going with wood in the kitchen, you need to choose a mineral oil or laminate that is both food-safe and help the wood be water resistant. Choosing the right finish also helps protect the face grain if you are using it as an active cutting surface. Oil finishes sink into the wood, while other finishes like Shellac dry on the surface. 

Choosing The Right Wood Countertop For Your Kitchen Design

At CQC Home, we have worked with many homeowners who chose wood countertops for their kitchen design. Our project team can help you choose the type of wood that will work well for your overall design plan, as well as function for food safe preparation. Some homeowners choose to do all of the countertops in wood, while others choose to just have a wood kitchen island as a focal point. You can also choose to use wood for a kitchen backsplash material. The options are really endless, and our team can help you use wood to design the kitchen of your dreams. 

Natural-looking Countertop Alternatives

If you are not sure that you can keep up with the maintenance of oiling a wood countertop, there are plenty of natural-looking countertop alternatives out there for you. We work with some of the best local showrooms and can guide you through the countertop selection process to make sure you get exactly what you want. For homeowners that are interested in a more natural look and feel, there are other materials out there to explore. Natural stone, concrete, recycled glass, and quartz all make use of natural materials that can add a bit of nature back into your design. Not sure where to start or what countertop might be right for your space? Reach out to us today. We always begin with an exploration process that will help you navigate the decisions involved in a kitchen renovation, including making a countertop selection.