Wooden countertops give a special look to any kitchen adding beauty and warm to your home. They are extremely decorative and also functional. There are usually two main finishes types for these countertops, namely oils and waxes that are indeed food safe but unfortunately, provide a minimal moisture resistance. Instead, epoxies and polyurethanes offer a much better moisture resistance but are not recommended as food preparation areas.
Let’s see the main requirements of a wood countertop.
1| Wood Countertop Thickness
One of the most important things to keep in your mind about wood countertop is the ratio between the thickness and width. In other words, the wider your wood countertop, the thicker has to be for a good stability. For example:
– If your countertop is < 25-inch wide, it will require a thickness of 1 ½-inch thickness;
– If your countertop is > 25-inch wide, it will require a thickness of 1 ¾ or even 2-inch.
2| Wood Countertop Installation
It is well known that wood is a material sensitive to humidity. It contracts and expands significantly in response to any change in humidity and moisture. Therefore, it is a really bad idea to fasten your wood countertop to the kitchen cabinets using glue or other “hard” methods. It would be disastrous.
You should install your countertop attaching it from beneath using screws. Drive these screws through some oversized or elongated holes in the cabinet bracing strips or corner blocks. This is in fact, the best way to install a wood countertop because will hold your countertop securely and quite tightly while still allowing it a little movement freedom.
3| Wood Countertop Protection
It is possible as a part of your countertop to be above a moisture or a heat source such as an appliance (wine fridge, dishwasher, etc.). Therefore, to prevent the contractions and expansions of wood, it is required to protect the countertop underside with a reflective aluminum layer. Generally, heavy-duty aluminum foil is used for this purpose that is apply using an adhesive.
4| The Right Sink for a Wood Countertop
You need to understand the special demands of your wood countertop. Although trends for a modern kitchen require to install an undermount sink, that could be not such a good idea when you are dealing with a wood countertop. Its exposed edge around an undermount sink is susceptible to humidity and moisture. However, you can still install an undermount sink if you keep the finish in this specific area all the time in a very good shape.
5| Wood Countertop Surface Finish
The best finish is a mixture in equal proportions (50/50 %) of “tung oil” and “citrus solvent”. Another good product can be “Waterlox”. Wsaterlox is also a tung oil finish product, in fact a polymerized finish product.
However, if you use citrus/oil mixture you need to reapply this finish at least two times on year to prevent the wood from twist and warp.