Grothouse Island Countertop featured in Episode of This Old House

This Old House NewtonGrothouse was a proud participant in a THIS OLD HOUSE® renovation project in Newton, MA.

The homeowners had located the perfect house, but the property needed major renovations to create the house of their dreams. Part of the renovation focused on creating a completely new kitchen, with a large working island that included an adjacent seating area. The design was conceived by Venegas & Company of Boston, MA.

Grothouse built and installed a 3" thick end-grain Burmese Teak island top that became the centerpiece of the kitchen. The island featured an undermount sink, Grothouse’s signature Super Double Roman Ogee edge detail and a food-grade oil finish. In addition, Grothouse constructed a table top to match some existing pedestal bases that the owners had in the family.

This Old House Teak Island Top During the episode, show host Norm Abram paid a visit to the Grothouse manufacturing facility in Germansville, PA to learn more about the construction process for the top. Owner Paul Grothouse then traveled to the Newton location to delivery and install the island top.

Click the picture at right to see a large version of the image.

Grothouse Wood Counters Launches New Website

Germansville, Pa. (December, 5 2008) — Grothouse, a premier manufacturer of custom wood counters, bars, and tables, has launched a compleetely redesigned website. The new website features a wealth of information to help both designers and retail customers specify and purchase custom wood tops.

A new contemporary design highlights the premier products offered by the Grothouse Lumber Company, while a reorganized navigation scheme helps site visitors quickly locate the information they need. The site brings added consistency to other marketing materials offered by The Grothouse Lumber Company.

"The custom nature of our business means that there are myriad of available options available on our wood tops," explained owner Paul Grothouse. "The goal of this website is to help our designers and other customers quickly and effectively review the options to determine the ideal wood top for their needs."

Grothouse Begins Construction of New 12,000 Square-Foot Facility

Germansville, Pa. (November, 2008) — Grothouse, a premier supplier of custom-built wood counters and bar tops, is proud to announce the addition of a new eco-friendly manufacturing facility to its Germansville, Pa. location.

The new 12,000 square-foot facility, scheduled for completion in late 2008, was designed by owner Paul Grothouse using a range of energy efficient materials and systems. From roof-mounted solar panels to a heating system powered by scrap materials, nearly every aspect of the new facility has been designed using energy conserving, “green” techniques.

“Part of what’s attractive about our product is the fact that it brings the beauty of nature indoors,” explains Grothouse. “We recognize that as a consumer of these natural products we need to nurture the environment to ensure the longevity of our operation and minimize our effect on the environment.”

Nestled in the rolling hills of Northwest Lehigh County in Eastern Pennsylvania, The Grothouse Lumber Company was founded in 1994 by Grothouse. The facility’s rural environs underscore the owner’s commitment to working in tandem with nature to produce custom-made wood counters, bars, and table tops. The new facility was an effort to expand without sacrificing those ideals and the countryside that the business and its owners call home.

A full array of solar panels will generate the electricity needed to operate the majority of the equipment used in the daily manufacturing process. Inside the building, electric consumption is reduced by a prototype automated three-phase electrical source, which activates as necessary. Typical three-phase power systems run continuously—even when not in use.

To minimize potential heat loss, the building has been designed using pre-formed insulated concrete forms, or ICFs. The ICFs form the exterior of the building and feature an insulation rating of R50. Additional R70 insulation throughout the roof will further minimize potential heat loss and reduce both cooling and heating costs.

In addition, wood scraps and sawdust produced during the manufacturing process will be used to operate a radiant heat system circulating throughout the facility. Additional excess sawdust produced at the facility is donated to local livestock farmers for use as animal bedding.

“We’ve worked hard over the years to obtain lumber from sustainable suppliers and minimize our impact on the environment both locally and globally,” explains Grothouse. “This new building is a reflection of the ideals we strive to meet in our production process.”

The environmentally-friendly approach doesn’t end with the buildings, though.
A significant portion of the 50-acre property surrounding the Grothouse Lumber facility continues to be farmed by local farmers, producing corn, soybeans and other grains.

And each year, Grothouse and his wife, Denise, work to plant additional trees across the property. In 2008 alone the pair has planted over 380 trees on the property.

“We’re focused on growing our business, but we want to be smart about the way we do it. This is our way of making sure that our growth doesn’t negatively impact the area we call home,” says Grothouse.

Installing a Wood Countertop by Grothouse in This Old House Magazine

This Old House MagazineGrothouse was in the September edition of This Old House magazine as part of a tutorial written by Jennifer Stimpson devoted to purchasing, installing, and maintaining a wood countertop. Paul Grothouse shared his intelligence with the This Old House crew on how to install a wood countertop. In a step by step weekend project series guide on installing butcher block countertops are six steps on how to template wood countertops. The article explains making a cardboard template, scribing the template, assembling the template, preparing the cabinets, and attaching the butcher block countertop. Along with the steps are helpful tips to give you further information that you may need. The project was considered to be fairly easy, but it does require precise measuring. It only took four hours over two days. It was priced between 75 dollars and 150 dollars per square foot, not including delivery costs. The four page spread also includes a handy shopping list. The list consists of a butcher block countertop, cardboard, painter’s tape, scrap wood, kitchen and bath sealant, 1 inch fender washers, 1-1/2 inch deck screws, and wood finishing oil. On the fourth page of the article is a buying guide. The buying guide exhibits a Grothouse butcher block countertop. Along with the butcher block is a mixed wood butcher block countertop made of Santos Mahogany, Zebrawood, and Wenge. Butcher Blocks are typically 2 ½ inches thick. A custom Walnut wood countertop manufactured by Grothouse was also featured in this edition of This Old House. To read the article, view photos, and learn more click here.