The Grothouse History of Wood Countertops, Butcher Blocks, Bar Tops and Tables
ABOUT THE OWNERPaul Grothouse founded The Grothouse Lumber Company in 1994. His exposure to woodworking began at an early age as his father—a highly respected period furniture maker—restored their 18th century home on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay.
As a teenager, Paul purchased a portable sawmill to finance his college tuition. The work taught him a great deal about wood species, proper sawing and drying techniques, and creating quality wood. He earned an Engineering degree at Virginia Tech and was quickly promoted to Quality Manager at Lutron Electronics, a leader in high-end lighting controls. During this period he continued to mill custom sized lumber on weekends for local craftsmen, build custom furniture, and create custom wood butcher blocks to customer requests. The tremendous demand for the product quickly led to a new career. The butcher blocks increased to include custom wood countertops, bar tops and tables. The unsurpassed quality, design and construction capabilities of Grothouse are a result of his extensive experience in woodworking and engineering. Paul is committed to educating young craftsmen and developing quality wood workers for future generations. He serves as Chairman of the Cabinetmaking and Millwork Occupational Advisory Board for Lehigh Career and Technical Institute, one of the largest career and technical institutes in the United States.
About the Company
Grothouse was modeled with a common sense approach to business that is constantly innovating and striving for perfection. Not only will the quality and beauty of our products exceed your expectations, but the customer service you receive before, during and after your order will be of the absolute highest quality and professionalism. We operate on four basic principles:
Produce the highest quality and innovative products possible
Provide above average customer service and the shortest lead times in the industry
Conduct business with honesty and integrity
Manage the growth of the company to ensure quality and service are never compromised
The team is committed to providing our clients with exceptional customer service and producing the best wood countertops available. Our employees have an outstanding work ethic and they function as a cohesive team to ensure all orders are of the highest quality and ship on time, as promised. Our master craftsmen take pride in creating Made in USA products and are always modernizing equipment and methods to ensure the highest quality possible. The facility is located on a 50 acre farm where wildlife roams freely and we are mindful of our ecological impact. Grothouse is an environmentally friendly company and has many green products and initiatives, for more information on our green products see out Green Initiatives page.
Leading the Wood Countertop Industry
Grothouse is young and innovative, setting the standard by which others follow. Our relentless pursuit of excellence maintains client confidence in our inventive products that never become dull or dusty. Our pioneering spirit raises the bar for the wood countertop industry, ultimately creating a positive market for the entire trade. Below is a list of our doctrines and industry triumphs.
We quickly established ourselves as the experts in end grain butcher block construction. Due to our extensive engineering and proprietary construction methods, we construct end grain pieces previously unavailable on the market. We can construct end grain pieces 36″ thick, well over 20 feet long and practically any size that can be transported. Our largest piece required a dedicated flatbed tractor trailer to transport.
Not satisfied with the wood countertop finish commercially available, we created our own proprietary wood countertop finish Durata®. It is FDA approved for food contact, and the most chemically resistant and water resistant wood finish on the market. Durata® is simply the best wood countertop finish and is used in commercial restaurants and bars as well as residential homes.
Grothouse products are covered by the most comprehensive lifetime warranty in the industry.
We developed proprietary methods to seal wood around sinks. For years, sealing wood around sinks baffled wood craftsmen. Grothouse developed methods to completely and safely seal wood countertops with sinks. Grothouse Wood countertops with under mount sinks are covered under our lifetime warranty.
Grothouse is the only wood surfaces manufacturer to offer laboratory custom stain matching services.
The shortest lead time in the wood surfaces industry, shipping our custom wood countertops in 10 to 15 business days.
December 2003The December 2003 edition of Kitchen & Bath Design News lists Grothouse’s custom butcher blocks and wood countertops as one of their most asked about products for 2003.
December 2004An eight alarm fire engulfs and destroys the Grothouse first production facility. The Grothouse team quickly regroups and begins producing and shipping wood countertops and butcherblock countertops one week after the fire. Grothouse production moves to the current location, appointed with cutting edge equipment and staffed with master craftsmen.
January 2005Grothouse becomes a member of the NKBA. The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is the premiere association for kitchen and bath professionals. Nearly 50 years after its inception, the NKBA has a membership of nearly 40,000 members and is the proud owner of the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS).
July 2005Grothouse develops proprietary methods to seal the wood around sink openings, regardless of the surface finish. Sinks can be safely used with butcher blocks and wood countertops, even if they are sealed with food safe mineral oil. Grothouse creates wood countertops with over mount and under mount sinks daily, each arrives with a comprehensive lifetime warranty.
August 2005Grothouse is the first wood countertop manufacturer to offer laboratory created custom stain matching for wood countertops and solid wood bar tops. Custom stain matches will be produced within a delta E of 0.5 or less. Durata® finish is required with all stains.
September 2006Grothouse works directly with manufacturers in China to engineer a bamboo countertop that is built to last a lifetime. Grothouse adds bamboo countertops to the many eco-friendly and innovative surfaces. Bamboo is suitable for table tops, countertops and butcherblocks. They can be finished with food grade mineral oil or Durata permanent finish. Every bamboo countertop arrives ready to install, cut to shape and is endorsed with a lifetime warranty.
April 2007Bravo TV’s first Top Chef Winner Harold Dieterle chooses Grothouse tables for his landmark New York restaurant Perilla. Harold had a short list of must haves for his restaurant Perilla, and distinctive custom solid wood tables was essential. Durata® wood countertop finish was chosen to protect the surfaces from heavy daily use. The Zebrawood tables are exceptional and unlike those you will find in typical restaurants. Perilla is located at 9 Jones Street New York, NY 10014.
March 2008Taking cues from Luxury Yacht builders, owner Paul Grothouse engineers the Durata® finish. “We aspired to offer a wood finish equal to the integrity of our lifetime warranty.” Our clients require a maintenance-free finish that is waterproof, durable, and impervious to most household chemicals. This finish is designed to exceed our customer's expectations. Durata® is perfect for kitchen or bathroom wood countertops. Butcherblock countertops care is virtually eliminated when sealed with Durata®.
October 2008Grothouse Debuts Wood Surfaces Training Seminar for Design Professionals. The comprehensive educational session covers Wood Countertops, Butcherblocks and Bar Tops. The program, led by company owner Paul Grothouse, offers an in-depth examination of various wood species, lumber processing techniques, types of wood countertop finish, construction styles, eco-friendly products and L.E.E.D certified products. The seminar is certified by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) and each participant is eligible to receive 0.5 CEU credits for attending the program.
January 2009Grothouse was featured on This Old House. Grothouse was chosen to craft a custom butcher block island for the kitchen and a Custom stain-matched dining table for the 1897 Shingle style home in Newton, Massachusetts renovated on the Emmy Award-winning PBS televisions series This Old House. This Old House master carpenter Norm Abram’s tour of The Grothouse production facility was featured in one episode, while a separate episode showed owner Paul Grothouse installing the butcher block and custom table in the home with the host of the show, Kevin O’Connor.
January 2009Impressed with the waterproof qualities of Durata wood countertop finish, Designers begin requesting custom wood sinks. Grothouse crafts solid wood sinks, made waterproof with Durata® wood countertop finish. The custom wood sinks can be constructed from over 60 wood species, and in any shape imaginable. Custom wood sinks are suitable for use as bathroom countertops, and are a popular feature with wood bar tops.
March 2009Grothouse Expands with a second Eco-Friendly Facility. The new 12,000 square-foot facility was designed by owner Paul Grothouse using a range of energy efficient materials and systems. From its highly insulated construction techniques to a heating system powered by scrap materials, nearly every aspect of the new facility has been designed using energy conserving techniques. Integrated solar panels generate 30% of the electricity needs, the equivalent of providing a day’s worth of power for thousands of homes.
April 2009Grothouse Introduces New Laser Engraving Feature. The new option allows customers to have even the most intricate text or images etched into custom wood countertops. Clients can submit photography, digital drawings and custom text to be digitally engraved on any of the more than 60 wood species offered by Grothouse. The size and depth of the engraving can be altered to client specifications and applied to either the side profile or top of the piece. The engraving can be protected with the food grade oil finish, stained, or sealed with our waterproof Durata® wood countertop finish.
April 2009Grothouse Unveils Serpentine Wood Bar Tops. The serpentine-shaped solid wood bars can be embellished with our custom Chicago Bar Rail, which is formed to follow the curves of the bar top. The curved bar tops are ideal for designers that are seeking a unique, progressive look for upscale interiors. Serpentine wood bar tops are suitable for commercial bar tops and residential bar tops alike.
May 2009Grothouse wood countertops and solid wood sinks are featured on HGTV Kitchens and Baths 2009 special. The show, produced annually, highlights the hot items and exciting new products displayed at the K/BIS Trade Show. Grothouse products, including wood sinks, serpentine bars and custom wood countertops were selected to be part of the show.
May 2009Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford features Grothouse wood countertops on their episode covering KBIS: Kitchen and Bath Industry Show 2009 By: Danny Lipford Grothouse bar tops and wood countertops were some of the cool, innovative items that Danny and Jodi discovered at this year’s show.
November 2009Grothouse wood countertops on Saturday Night Live television show. The 11/14/2009 episode includes a set of Grothouse Santos Mahogany countertops. January Jones hosted the skit, posing as a homemaker forging ahead with a misguided plan to prepare for a holiday gathering. The skit was filmed in a New York studio outfitted with Grothouse kitchen countertops.
January 2010Grothouse is featured on This Old House®. The episode marks the third appearance for the Lehigh Valley based wood surfaces manufacturer. Grothouse was selected to manufacture a wood island countertop for a renovation project in Newton Centre, MA. The project, located just west of Boston, involved the complete renovation of a 1915 Dutch Colonial Revival home as part of the This Old House® 30th anniversary season.
February 2010Grothouse Announces Debut of Paul Grothouse Table Collection Handcrafted tables and food preparation surfaces pair exquisite design with exceptional craftsmanship. Vincent Cappello and Scott Stutz are the visionaries for the design aesthetic. Choose from our exquisite pre-designed Tavolo Series or select individual components from our Infinite Series to design a table that reflects your unique design and style. Or select one of our functional, stylish Taglio food preparation stations to make the most of an interior's available space. Best of all, each item is available in 3-4 weeks.
May 2010Plain and Fancy Cabinetry selects Grothouse wood butcher block to feature in their fall advertising campaign. The custom butcher block is constructed of solid Sapele mahogany. Food safe mineral oil is chosen for the wood countertop finish.
September 2010Grothouse Santos Mahogany wood kitchen countertops with Durata® wood finish serve as the backdrop for celebrity chef Bobby Flay and Lori Laughlin at the Hellmann’s Back to School event.
March 2011Grothouse introduces Live Edge Wood Countertops Clients can select from many species of wood, and range in style from earthy Black Walnut or iridescent Sapele Mahogany. The characteristic slab shapes, figure, cracks, mineral streaks and wormholes, ensure each piece is unique, as it is in nature. Each surface is meticulously sanded and finished. The result is a distinctive, yet functional art form. By adding Live Edge Wood Countertops into the Grothouse family of products, Grothouse can ship the finished surfaces in a staggeringly short lead time of 2 to 3 weeks. All this is combined with Grothouse’s second to none fabrication, finishing, quality and service.
July 2011Grothouse was chosen by House Beautiful magazine for its annual “Kitchen of the Year.” Grothouse products were featured in both the indoor and outdoor cooking environments. Tyler Florence, noted chef, Food Network host and House Beautiful contributing editor, designed this year’s kitchen. The indoor kitchen featured a Sapele Mahogany Grothouse work table, designed by Tyler Florence. The butcher block table features a 4" thick chopping surface with integrated knife slots and five drawers for convenient storage. The functionality of the butcher block table is optimized by rolling casters, permitting the solid wood table to be positioned anywhere in the kitchen and used to serve tableside. The table secures to the kitchen island with magnets. Tyler added a personal touch by including an engraved Latin phrase from the patron saint of Chefs.