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After being eclipsed by showy stones like granite and marble and maintenance-free engineered materials like quartz and solid surfacing, natural-wood countertops are enjoying a real revival. Constructed from pieces of hardwood laminated together with glue for strength and stability, they provide a warm, organic landing surface in a kitchen, one that is wonderfully forgiving, gentle on dishware, and able to absorb the noise of a busy household. Wood can also be revived if damaged; if it gets dinged, stained, or gouged, you can refinish it.
The majority of wood countertops are made from traditional butcher block, and while they may see some mild meal prep, they’re rarely used for chopping these days. A more durable option comes in the form of live edge slab countertops. While these are occasionally a pricier species, and most commonly used to top islands or breakfast bars, they provide a welcome textural contrast or a furniture-like finish, and make a stunning focal point when used in a kitchen.
The variety of woods available is impressive, from Monkeypod and Tigerwood, to Jatoba and Tempisque. Wood is a great choice for countertops, but it does require some attention. This post will ensure that the surface you select will look and perform beautifully for years.
Properly installed and cared for, wood countertops can last as long as you live in your home. Our exotic hardwoods sourced from a sustainable forestry program in Costa Rica offer varying amounts of hardness and durability, but all are a perfect alternative to solid surface countertops. With the proper care and attention, live edge slab countertops can last even longer than some of the most popular solid surface countertops.
For a matte look and a food-safe surface you can cut on, we use FDA-approved walnut oil. It seeps in to make wood moisture, heat, and stain-resistant and hardens to form an imperceptible film that will wear but won't peel.
For a water-resistant barrier, all cutouts, edges, and surfaces must be treated with your choice of finish to seal out moisture. Undermount sinks are ideal with wood countertops, but we are happy to work with other options as well. Cutouts that extend slightly beyond the sink lip and over the bowl prevent standing water from saturating the edge, making the counter easier to maintain.
Drop-in sinks work best with clear-coated or factory-finished countertops along with a flexible sealant beneath the rim to protect the wood. Avoid marine varnish; while water-resistant, this high-VOC finish is not food safe.
Interested in adding a custom live edge slab top to your island or bar, or as the countertop surface in your entire kitchen, but not sure where to start? Check out our blog posts on the different live edge slabs that we import from a sustainable forestry program in Costa Rica to determine which type of wood you are most drawn to. Then take a look at our gallery to see different uses and for inspiration. And finally, take a look at our online store to see which live edge slabs we currently have on hand. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions on the different woods we offer, installation, pricing, customization, or just want to chat about live edge slabs.
We know you'll be more than satisfied with your custom wood countertop. There is nothing like the grain that comes through a unique piece of wood when finished properly. Custom wood countertops add a natural element to your home while also serving as the perfect surface for preparing a meal. Custom wood coutnertops are a great conversation starter and our live edge slabs bring the magic of Costa Rica right into your home.