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The Nut in the Cellar
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to replace the granite countertop on our kitchen island with a wood one. I searched this site and did see a question specifically for this application. The island is used for baking and serving, so no issues with knife use or the like. My first thought is hard maple, but am open to suggestions from others' experiences.
 

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Maple is a good choice, end grain would be optimal. I am sure you are already aware that wood does hold bacteria, but so does granite. If no cutting is going to be done I would consider finishing it with conversion varnish. If you are going to be using it as food prep the standard has always been mineral oil, which needs to be applied periodically.
 

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When our kitchen was built about a bazillion years ago, I made a butcher block top with ebony accent strips for the island. It looked like a million bucks.

About five years ago, we replaced the original tile countertops with granite. I couldn’t bring myself to trash my custom made top for the island.

In the ensuing years the maple has aged poorly. Now I kinda wish I’d done the granite.
Just something to think about…
 

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Imho... Kitchen counter tops and wood should not be used in the same sentence. Sure it looks great for a few years, but unless you're changing out counter tops every few years, don't do it.
 

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I think it comes down to maintenance. If you are good at keeping things up, then you'd be OK with maple or another appropriate wood. Friends who have stone counter tops tell me they require regular maintenance, like sealing, to keep their appearance, avoid staining, etc., so I don't see that being too different from using wood. I also think there is a difference between having all of your countertop(s) in wood vs a mix of wood and another material (like granite).
 

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I think it comes down to maintenance. If you are good at keeping things up, then you'd be OK with maple or another appropriate wood. Friends who have stone counter tops tell me they require regular maintenance, like sealing, to keep their appearance, avoid staining, etc., so I don't see that being too different from using wood. I also think there is a difference between having all of your countertop(s) in wood vs a mix of wood and another material (like granite).
Stone (at least granite) is set it and forget it in my experience.

I like sapele for wood counters myself.
 

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Termite
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Hardmaple is typical, but I've seen some pretty cool walnut, etc on Pinterest.. the more nuttier the grain the best I think...
 

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The Nut in the Cellar
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
We decided to go with hard maple edge grain for the island countertop. I'm having the local hardwood/millwork dealer that I buy wood from build it and I will install it. I'd make it myself, but I probably wouldn't have it done by the holidays (I'm slow), and at 50"x27"x2", it would challenge my shop and tools. Oddly enough the local countertop shops around here don't do wood. The rest of the kitchen tops will be done in a light quartz material. The granite we put in when the house was built is not holding up for us. A fair amount of chipping around the dishwasher and sink. Also getting tired of the black color of the granite making the kitchen dark. Walnut around here is obscenely expensive. Cherry would be too close to the cabinet finish and would darken over time to be darker than the cabinets. The oiled maple should contrast well with the cabinet color.
 

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The Nut in the Cellar
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Maple is a good choice, end grain would be optimal. I am sure you are already aware that wood does hold bacteria, but so does granite. If no cutting is going to be done I would consider finishing it with conversion varnish. If you are going to be using it as food prep the standard has always been mineral oil, which needs to be applied periodically.
I once read in a woodfinishing book the process for sealing a wood countertop:
1. oil the surface once a day for a week.
2. then oil it once a week for a month.
3. then oil it once a month for a year.
4. then once a year forever.
May be overkill. Planning to use Howard's Butcher Block Conditioner.
 
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The Nut in the Cellar
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, I ordered the top today at the millworks, but the fellow that does the quotations was not in. Have to wait till Monday for the $$$$ quote so I can pay for it. Should be interesting. I ordered hard maple. The shop suggested Rubio Monocoat for the surface protection and I also discovered Minwax Butcher Block Oil. Still researching coatings, along with the Howard's oil.
 

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Looking to replace the granite countertop on our kitchen island with a wood one. I searched this site and did see a question specifically for this application. The island is used for baking and serving, so no issues with knife use or the like. My first thought is hard maple, but am open to suggestions from others' experiences.
That would be mostly a personal choice thing. If the cabinets are stained wood I would be inclined to use that wood and stain color.
 

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Well, I ordered the top today at the millworks, but the fellow that does the quotations was not in. Have to wait till Monday for the $$$$ quote so I can pay for it. Should be interesting. I ordered hard maple. The shop suggested Rubio Monocoat for the surface protection and I also discovered Minwax Butcher Block Oil. Still researching coatings, along with the Howard's oil.
I would also recommend Rubio monocoat. I have used it on several furniture pieces and lathe turned bowls and have had very good results. It’s easy to apply, just read the directions. It’s a catalyzed wax that penetrates the wood down to the micro fiber level, according to their literature. It then hardens to provide a very durable surface. It has a very smooth and slick feel to it and repels water. It can be easily reapplied down the road if necessary.
Mike Hawkins
 

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The Nut in the Cellar
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well the quote is in for the countertop for the kitchen island. $732 with tax and 4 to 6 weeks for delivery. Over $200 less than the quote for a quartz countertop of the same size. Guess I should be glad SWMBO wanted the wood one. Now my uneducated question is how fine to sand it for oiling? It is supposedly going to drum sanded to 180 grit, but I'm thinking 220 would be better.
 
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