Recently on Instagram, I asked for opinions on wood countertops in the kitchen, and the response has been tremendous with over 700 responses! At the time this analysis was compiled, there were over 16,000 likes and 612 comments… 434 were positive, 111 were negative and 67 liked them but had concerns. Following is a breakdown of the commentary along with a plethora of beautiful kitchens with wood countertops for inspiration…
Of the 434 positive responses only 127 had personal experience or knew someone who had experience with a wood counter top. Of the 111 negative responses, only 25 had personal experience or knew someone who had experience with a wood counter top. Of the 67 responses that were generally positive but with reservations, only 9 had personal experience or knew someone who had experience with a wood counter top. Taken as a whole, of the 612 responses to the post, only 161 or 26% had any type of experience with wood counter tops. Therefore most responses were either overwhelmingly positive or negative or with reservations without actual experience with wood counter tops.
Examples of positive responses are “stunning”, “gorgeous”, “looks so extravagant”, “soooo beautiful”, “simply elegant”, “magnificent”, “homey feel”, and “classically beautiful”. Positive comments of people with some type of experience with wood counter tops suggested “easy upkeep” or “easy maintenance”. Some people had them 6 years, 12 years, 15 years, 18 years and 20 years with no major problems. The consensus seemed to be that success with kitchen counter tops was all in the sealant. Some indicated that if there was a problem, they would simply sand them and refinish. The consensus of those positive responders with experience was that they would not want anything else.
The most common sealant listed was marine type sealer, including boat shellac. Other sealers mentioned were lacquer, varnish, epoxy (like used on butcher blocks), Tung oil and mineral oil. Another important factor pertaining to kitchen counter tops was the type of wood used. By far the most common suggestion was mahogany, followed by walnut and maple. Also mentioned several times was teak. Other woods mentioned were cherry, oak, beech, and hickory. Again the most favorable experience with wood kitchen counter tops was with mahogany.
Examples of negative responses include “too much work to maintain”, “gets black around the sink and faucet with mildew”, “too susceptible to dings and scrapes”, “gets soft and yucky over the years”, “hot items cause damage to the wood”, “after 20 years mine are a disaster”, and “thumbs down”. Of the negative responses, most were concerned about “high maintenance required”, “durability”, especially when one has young children or is considering using them in rent houses since tenants might not do what was necessary for upkeep.
Examples of responses for people who liked them but had concerns are “beautiful but terrified of damage”, concerns about “upkeep” and “cost”, “resale appeal”, and “sanitation” and “hygiene”. Most concerns pertain to use of wood around the kitchen sink and faucet. Some suggested replacing the wood around faucets and taps near the sink with granite or marble. Some suggested use of cutting boards to protect the wood. Others suggested using wood only on the center Island and butler’s pantry. The final precaution mentioned was that if you are going to use wood counter tops, get a qualified and licensed contractor to install them.
Since most of the comments pertaining to use of wood on the kitchen counter tops are positive, the consensus seems to be that they were so beautiful that whatever maintenance was required was worth it, but obvious precautions such as the type of wood used and the type of sealer used is very important.
So what do you think about wood countertops? I think they are beautiful, and I would love to have them in a butlers pantry. A huge thank you to my parents for the hours they spent compiling these responses! To see all of the original Instagram commentary, please click here.