Common Misconceptions about Wood Countertops

There’s a lot to love about wood countertops, from their warm tone to their eco-friendliness and the ability to renew the oil finish as they wear. The Southside Woodshop, BBR’s wood countertop fabricator, helps clear up common misconceptions about wood tops.

1.75" thick edge-grain American cherry tops with a sink cutout and custom edge treatment. Photo by The Southside Woodshop.

1.75" thick edge-grain American cherry tops with a sink cutout and custom edge treatment. Photo by The Southside Woodshop.

Wood can harbor and breed bacteria: False. Scientists at the University of Wisconsin have a well-known study that concluded the opposite. The New York Times has a nice summary article here.

Wood countertops aren’t very durable: Slightly false. All of the hardwoods we build tops from are suitable for use as a countertop, and we don’t hear complaints about durability. Stone (rock) is tougher than wood, but the normal wear and tear of daily life shows better on wood than stone. And if damaged, wood tops can be repaired to look like new.

Wood countertops require maintenance: True and false. This depends on the finish you select. You can choose a permanent finish that requires no maintenance of any kind for the lifetime of the top/finish. It is 100% waterproof, resistant to 99% of household chemicals and foods that can stain, and has acrylic properties that help resist scratching. If you choose a food-safe mineral oil finish, a monthly refresher coat of oil is recommended, but re-oiling a wood top is not in the same category of “maintenance” as cleaning the gutters or changing the engine oil in your vehicle.

Under-mount sinks are a no-no with a wood countertop: False. A waterproof, permanent finish is applied to on the sink rim and the area where the sink attaches to the top. Sink openings are cut with a negative reveal to avoid having a ledge that would allow water to sit against the sink rim.

I’m afraid my kids will destroy my wood countertop: True and false. It is true that a three-year-old can disassemble the backseat of your car with a sippy cup, but having children doesn’t disqualify you from owning a wooden surface. Consider your wood countertop to be part of your home and not part of a museum exhibit. Enjoy the beauty and warmth it will provide, and enjoy it for a lifetime.

Now that we’ve cleared that up—you can save 15% off Southside Woodshop cherry tops ordered by December 31, 2016. Cherry is simply a beautiful wood species, offering many benefits outside of the hardwood itself. Freshly machined cherry has a salmon-like, pink color that darkens quickly with age and exposure to sunlight to take on that well-known warm and friendly glow. Grown, harvested, sawn, and milled, and further fabricated by The Southside Woodshop, cherry is an American product that touches a lot of American workers.