looking for advise on a kitchen countertop - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-03-2015, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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looking for advise on a kitchen countertop

I made some changes in my kitchen and now I needed a new countertop. I could used Formica, I made the last one. I could order granite or marble.

Wth all that said, solid maple is calling me. My cabinets are oak (fake). I think oak would be too porus.

Question one - Is this just a dumb idea?
Question two - what would youu suggest for a finish?
I am concerned about spills of, say, red wine or pomegranate.
Question three - solid 5/4 or 8/4 maple joined with biscuits or dowels?
Some other kind of joinery.

Another width.

Question four - What finish?

Thank you

Andy

Thank You

Andy
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-03-2015, 10:58 PM
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You really have to want wooden countertops to maintain them. You pretty much have to quit using the counters as a work surface and treat them like you would you dining table. Still from time to time they would need to be touched up and recoated to maintain them. Personally I would go with a pre-catalyzed lacquer. It's not the hardest finish you could use but probably the easiest to come back and work on again. Another option would be a pour on epoxy or a conversion varnish. These are very tough finishes but are more difficult to touch up. With any finish what you will have to be careful of is sitting hot objects on the counter. Any finish is subject to blister.

If you make good joints with your maple you probably don't need either dowels or biscuits. Glue alone is enough. If you are going to use something you would get more strength with dowels than biscuits. Biscuits are so small they add little strength to the joint.
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-04-2015, 06:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Steve. All good advice, especially the statement that you really have to want them.

I would envision a lot more use of cutting boards for food prep.

Another point I would have to consider is what it would do to the resale value of the house.

Just thinking at this stage, but, i do feel them calling.

Thank You

Andy
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-04-2015, 06:37 AM
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It's not just the cutting board for actual chopping, we are always sliding stuff on a counter which would scuff and scratch the finish. Unless someone would treat the counters tenderly you could expect to have to mask them off annually and recoat them.

If taken care of I don't think it would hurt the resale value of the house. Anyone looking at the house wouldn't be aware of the maintenance.
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-04-2015, 07:25 AM
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I've done several wood countertops and usually use epoxy. That being said I had one customer who didn't want epoxy and after much research he decided on Waterlox.

http://www.waterlox.com/solutions/fi...od-countertops

Do one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-04-2015, 08:05 AM
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We installed an oak butcher block on our island several years ago because we couldn't find a match for our existing granite. Finished it with butcher block oil. My wife uses it for all of her prep work, and barely ever cleans it off. After the first several coats after installation I'll make her clean it off once a year to sand and recoat it. I can say that it's held up very nicely for the abuse it gets. The key is to wipe up spills immediately that could stain it like wine/vinegar. This past year though it's received a few spots of wine stains, a small burn mark, a glass ring from condensation, and crayon from my son. I cleaned it off yesterday. My last experience showed that sandpaper gums up quickly with the oil, but is workable. This time I used my card scraper. The scraper took out every stain quickly and easily leaving a smooth top. I applied butcher block oil mixed with bees wax this time and the thing looks as good as when we first installed it besides a shallow scratch I didn't work on long enough.

Overall I'm happy with it and it looks great. The key is to wipe up spills like I said, but recoat it more often then I've been able to. It does come with maintenance, but it's not difficult. We don't exactly baby our top so I'm impressed with it so far.

We bought that one from ikea, but they moved from solid wood to veneered particle board. Stay away from it! Lumber liquidators sells the same stuff though (solid laminated wood) for just a little more than what we got ours for, plus they have different size and color options.

Edit: I should add that my wife used cutting boards for prep work so most of the crap doesn't get to the top anyways. I forbade her from using it as a cutting board. But appliances like her stand mixer are on it often, spills from butter, dough, etc hit it often. Just wipe it down before they have a chance to soak into the wood.

Last edited by 27207; 03-04-2015 at 08:10 AM.
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-04-2015, 10:41 AM
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Here are a few photos. The bar top piece was recently added so I can't say how well it holds up. It's maple from lumber liquidators. The thing about their tops is the end to end joints have gaps. They try to fill them, but miss spots. I simply made a filler with sawdust and glue and it seems to work well. Plus their tops have narrower boards compared to ikeas old tops like my actual counter.
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-04-2015, 12:28 PM
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i agree w everything said so far. i maintain a customers ctop (i didn't make it). problem area is around sink. always gets bad first, as i don't think they wipe up every drop spilled.


it is about 5/8" laminated strips. i don't find it attractive.
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-04-2015, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by TimPa View Post
i agree w everything said so far. i maintain a customers ctop (i didn't make it). problem area is around sink. always gets bad first, as i don't think they wipe up every drop spilled.

it is about 5/8" laminated strips. i don't find it attractive.
I agree. I wouldn't put it in a wet area like around the sink or do a whole kitchen with it. But I believe it added a decorative touch to our kitchen as a whole. Sorry for the mess in the photo. Dinner is being made.
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-07-2015, 12:14 PM
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Some Pre- cat Lacquers cannot be touched up. Epoxy is the only one I would go with but then you have wood movement that can be a problem.

I did these solid walnut tops on Thursday for a local customer and I'll ask our finish department what was used...
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