Topping off your Kitchen: Hardwood tops bring elegance and function to your kitchen
Kitchens are the focal points of most homes. They are the hub of everyday activity and should be designed with style and function in mind. There is perhaps nothing that combines utility with aesthetic appeal quite the way hardwood countertops do. Hardwood countertops and island tops from Baird Brothers are a great way to add warmth and beauty to your kitchen while standing up to the wear and tear of everyday use (Read our Hardwoods in the Kitchen Blog).
The ‘Americana’ Standard
Butcher block countertops are extra-sturdy hardwood pieces that are constructed to withstand a great deal of use and abuse. Butcher block countertops incredibly durable and versatile enough to fit into any kitchen style.While the classic butcher block top uses Hard Maple, Walnut can be used for a drop-dead gorgeous color and a grain that contrasts painted cabinets. Other common options include Cherry, Ash, and White Oak.
A Worthy Alternative
Plank tops are an alternative to the standard butcher block countertops. Plank style (or face grain) countertops are created by gluing hand-selected hardwood boards together side by side, displaying the broadest part of the board. This method results in a stunningly smooth, elegant surface, with only subtle grain variations. Each board runs the full length of the countertop or island to provide a clean, unbroken appearance that gives you not only a one-of-a-kind look but also offers you durability.
Avoiding a Costly Split
Whether you choose a plank or butcher block tops, there is one key concept to consider to avoid splitting of the wood in the future once it has been fastened in place. Wood naturally contracts and expands, usually due to fluctuations in temperature and moisture, and this movement needs to be accounted for. This is especially prevalent when the wood is fastened to something solid that won’t move, or to another piece of wood whose grain is in the opposite direction. This cross-grain situation will have the wood tugging in opposite directions and straining its integrity.
The most simple and effective way to combat this is to make the screw holes attaching the tabletop to its table base, cabinet, or any other point of attachment, slightly larger than is needed and use a washer. This will allow an adequate amount of space for any movement and will prevent any surprising splits.
No Wrong Choice
Hardwood in the kitchen has been gaining popularity for a while now, and it’s easy to see why. Hardwood surfaces bring an exceptional quality to your kitchen’s decor and are unmatched from a utilitarian standpoint. And with so many styles and options available, just about any kitchen can benefit from the unique attributes that hardwood kitchen islands and countertops bring to the table.
While you’re at it, add extra beauty and warmth with an Antique Oak floor to complement your new countertops.