Wood countertops get a lot of air time in the design world, but frankly, there are just better options out there. You may have specific reasons why you want a wood countertop, but here are some common arguments for wood countertops and our *counter* argument.
“Wood countertops are durable.”
That statement has a little bit of truth to it, but it’s not telling the entire story. Sure, wood countertops are durable in the sense that they are easier to refinish than stone countertops, but it’s not that easy. To begin with, wood is more susceptible to dings and scrapes because it is a softer material than other natural or synthetic options. Wood countertops are also prone to warping, cracking, and water damage if you let water sit on them, don’t seal them correctly, or neglect routine maintenance.
While you technically can refinish wood countertops on your own, it’s a labor-intensive process that is usually more than most homeowners want to undertake. So yes, it is easier to refinish wood countertops, but wood is more vulnerable to damage than other types of countertop material in the first place.
“Wood countertops are easier on my knives.”
First of all, you really shouldn’t be cutting anything without a cutting board, but yes, technically wood countertops are easier on your knives than counters made from granite or marble. That said, wood is also susceptible to cuts, which can lead to bacteria or mold growth in your counter if you don’t clean well enough. You can always set aside a small section of countertop specifically for use as a cutting board, but that section will require more maintenance and upkeep to keep things clean and looking nice.
“Wood countertops are low maintenance.”
Wood countertops are lovely in that they don’t necessarily require special cleaning products. A soapy sponge is all you need to keep your wood countertops clean, although you do need to use a wood sealer regularly to keep moisture and stains at bay. If you plan on doing any food prep on your wood counters, you also need to make sure that the sealer is food-safe and won’t leach back into your food.
Wood countertops require sealing every month for about the first year, then twice a year (at least) after that. Compared to a black granite slab that may never need resealing, that is significantly more maintenance. Wood countertops also are more susceptible to staining, discoloration, and damage from heat than natural stones, so you have to be hypervigilant to clean up any messes as soon as they occur and always use a trivet.
“Wood countertops are eco-friendly.”
If you shop responsibly for your wood countertops, they can be eco-friendly, indeed. Materials like bamboo (though not technically wood) are particularly eco-friendly and sustainable. However, you will have to do your research before purchasing, as not all suppliers harvest their wood responsibly.
Natural stone is just as eco-friendly as wood, if not more. It comes directly from the earth and needs minimal alteration or processing to make it ready for install. The earth makes more natural stone all the time, so there isn’t a question of depleting a natural resource the way there is with wood.
“Wood countertops go with any décor.”
Wood has a beautiful way of adding warmth and dimension to any space. Somehow it can blend seamlessly with classic, modern, and country chic even though all of those design aesthetics are completely different. There is no denying that wood is truly a magnificent material.
That said, natural stone countertops have a slight advantage because they come in different colors. Wood comes mainly in browns and neutral tans, but you can find natural stone in white, black, green, red, gold, tan, brown, grey, and blue. If you want a functional yet aesthetically pleasing countertop in your kitchen, natural stone is the way to go.
“Wood countertops are affordable.”
Solid wood countertops range from $60 to $200 per square foot with butcher block ringing in around $40 per square foot. On the other hand, granite ranges from $50 per square foot for level one granite to $100+ per square foot for higher grade granite. That means that butcher block is less expensive than granite but not by much, and you can get high-quality, exceptionally durable granite that costs less than many wood countertops.
At the end of the day, the countertops you choose for your home depend on your personal preferences and ability to maintain the material. Wood countertops are stunning but much more difficult to keep looking nice compared to natural stones like granite, marble, or soapstone. Wood countertops are also less heat-resistant, stain-resistant, and scratch-resistant than their natural stone counterparts. If you are having difficulty deciding between wood and natural stone, stop by our warehouse or website to browse through our available slabs. We are sure that you will find a gorgeous slab that fits all of your needs and wants.