There are three basic construction styles available for your wood countertop: End grain, edge grain, or flat grain. Each style has its own distinctive look and application. Each particular style is outlined below.
End grain construction (shown at left) is the premium construction style and our recommended surface for direct food preparation. In end grain construction, small wood pieces stand vertically to show only the ends of the wood. This style of butcherblock is significantly harder to manufacture than other construction styles, requiring a level of skill and craftsmanship not found with most commercial suppliers. The pieces are generally random sized, although sizes will vary depending on the species and sizes of wood available at the time of manufacturing. Grothouse can also assemble a variety of patterns using end grain construction, such as borders, checkerboards, or stripes. End grain is the construction style of choice for upscale applications.
End grain is generally ten times harder than edge grain butcherblock and is ideal for applications where looks and functionality are important. Knives keep their edge far better when used on end grain tops because the blade slides between the the wood fibers much like cutting into a firm brush. An added benefit is that end grain does not show knife marks quite as readily as flat or edge grain tops. End grain tops are perfect for flanking a stove or cooktop!
In an edge grain top, the wood pieces are laid out with long strips running lengthwise along the top (shown at right). All strips will be continuous with no joints, unless the length of the top is excessive. In such instances we will discuss this on a case-by-case basis with you. The pieces are generally 1-1/2″ to 1-3/4″ wide, although widths will vary depending on the species and sizes of wood available at the time of manufacturing. This style of top is very stable and makes a great surface for counters. These tops are available in thicknesses of 1-1/2″ up to 8″ or greater. Heavier thicknesses are available but unusual.
In a flat grain top the wood pieces are premium-clear wide plank flat sawn boards. The pieces are generally wider in size (see image at left). Widths will vary depending on the species and sizes of wood available at the time of manufacturing and will be random sized unless otherwise specified. Table tops, desks tops, bar tops and select countertops are frequently manufactured using this method. These tops are generally preferred for a fine furniture aesthetic surface. These tops are available in a thickness of 1-3/4". Other thicknesses are available but rare; please contact us to discuss further.
Posted April 16, 2014
WHEN: May 9, 2014
Grothouse offers a one hour NKBA CEU certified course entitled “Intro to Wood Countertops”.
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Posted April 16, 2014
Be sure to watch Grothouse on the upcoming episode of This Old House®! Grothouse has the honor of being included in the renovation of an 1872 Italianate in the historic Boston suburb of Arlington - Episode 3324 (Season 33, Episode 24) of This Old House® called “Decorative Details.” Learn More About This Project »