Wood countertops have regained some of their lost popularity recently. We have known for a long time that wood countertops are long lasting and sanitary if they are cared for properly. With the improvement in today’s modern glue, it is now possible that it is water resistant enough to work holding wooden staves or pieces together. The glue does a much better job today than in previous years. The new oils formulations for wood treating oils (mineral oils) are now safe when they come into contact with food. These oils assist in preserving the wood finish and will not contaminate food products.
If you are going to use solid wood for a countertop it will provide you with a number of distinct advantages:
Aesthetics and Appearance – A wood countertop can be an important component of your overall kitchen decor and decorative theme. It can be used to complement the wood finish of your cabinets and can provide a relaxing and warm environment. Wood countertops are also important when you match the counter appearance with the hardwood flooring, mantels, cornices, and the wall moldings. You may be able to produce a feeling of warmth and balance to your kitchen area.
Functionality and Adaptability – Installation of wood countertops requires a degree of expertise to install, but it possible to do some of the work yourself. Working with wood does provide a great sense of accomplishment and pride on a job well. Another feature of wood tops is that there are a minimum number of chemicals components that can become contaminated when coming into contact with food. This is quite different when working with laminates or a solid synthetic surface.
One of the best advantages of wood counters is the fact that repairing scratches is a snap and does not need any type of special tools. You can repair the counter by sanding the area and then retreating and finishing the affected area. You now have a countertop that is as good as new. This type of hardwood surface can be used in a number of different ways such as a kitchen island top, or it can be stored underneath another type of counter like a drawer and then pulled out to be used as necessary.
Durability of wood – If the wood counter is properly treated and sealed then it can last almost a lifetime. Wood also has great shock absorption unlike other counter materials like tile, granite, or marble. Wood counters will resist dropping pot, pans, and utensils on the counter and they can be repaired easily.
Hygiene with wood is misunderstood – For a number of years, laminate and plastic surfaces were thought to be more resistant to food contamination than the typical wood counter. This was due to the non-porous structure of these materials, especially when compared to a wooden counter. The wooden counter was believed to be an ideal breeding environment for bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus, and Salmonella. However, in 1993 teams of microbiologists from Wisconsin Food Research Institute and the University of Florida conducted a study and found that wood possessed antibacterial properties that other materials used in kitchen counters did not have.
According to these studies and others, it was found that bacterial populations found on wood surfaces would disappear often without any external cleaning or treatment. This was not the case for some of the other materials used in kitchen countertops. In fact, on some of the other surfaces such as laminates and plastics, the bacteria culture seemed to multiply and flourish.
There are different antibacterial properties found in different types of wood, all wood surfaces are gaining acceptance as being a healthy choice for kitchen countertops.
Price is a factor – Hardwood countertops are generally priced higher than laminate or plastic but they are much less priced than granite, stone, solid surface, tile or steel.
Originally posted 2018-05-07 19:52:27.