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Old 10-28-2020, 12:56 PM   #1
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Remodeling Kitchen

Counter top Question.
We are thinking of putting a wooden counter top not sure what type of wood I would line to do my bread and pie work on the counter top.
So would it stain the wood?
What would be the best wood?
Or would putting epoxy over the wood work?
Or just go with a laminate top?

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Old 10-28-2020, 01:20 PM   #2
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If you choose a wood countertop you will need a hardwood such as maple. Wood countertops are often sealed with an oil finish that you rub on and soak in. Any treatments you apply to the wood has to be food safe.That may limit your staining choices.

As an alternative, I'd recommend a stone top. Either granite or quartz. Quartz is a manmade stone top that is extremely hard and comes in a variety of colors and designs. It's also very durable and requires no maintenance other than cleaning.
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Old 10-28-2020, 01:24 PM   #3
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My work island is maple butcher block. It is about the hardest wood surface available without going to something really esoteric (and expensive).

As for finishing, there are two routes... a polyurethane (like Good Stuff brand), or a butcher block conditioner which is made up of mineral oil and wax (like you use on a traditional cutting board).

When I built it I finished using a polyurethane, but a decade later when it was time for refinishing it involved sanding it all out and I decided I only wanted to do that once. After prepping the surface for refinishing, I went with Howard's conditioner. It gives a more natural look, and it does not require sanding for reapplication. It does require a bit more maintenance as it needs to be reapplied and buffed out regularly, and like a cutting board develops it's own character over time. It really is a great look.

I use the surface for baked goods and pasta, and there are no issues there. Depending on the last time I reapplied conditioner, water and oil can spot/color the surface. It is not a big deal to me as it just adds a patina character, and having a 4 foot by 8 foot butcher block cutting board with a bar sink/garbage disposal in the middle at my beck and call is worth it.

I did my countertops in black dyed concrete, and if I had it to over again I think I would have done those in butcher block as well (I just would have stained them darker).
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Old 10-28-2020, 01:33 PM   #4
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Yeah like Andy said, granite quartz, and even concrete are essentially zero maintenance. But you can't cut on them, and I find the wood is a lot less sticky, and requires much less flour when working with doughs.

It all depends on what your favorite work surface is, and how much maintenance you're willing to perform.
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Old 10-28-2020, 01:34 PM   #5
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For sure wood would be my choice. Think of the old wood butcher's blocks and how they've survived the years of knife work... Can't get any better than that for your bread! and yes, maple.

and while you're at it, how about a smooth cold piece of granite or marble slab for your cookie and pie dough rolling out. Also great for when you take up working with chocolate!
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Old 10-28-2020, 01:53 PM   #6
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If you are talking about all wood countertops rather than a butcher block section that makes a difference. Wood marks easily and a hot pan could burn it. Cut marks may look OK on a butcher block section but not all over.
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Old 10-28-2020, 02:26 PM   #7
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So Roby, you'll have to consider carefully.

A variety of surfaces are perfect for.... each a different thing.

The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker - each need a different surface.
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Old 10-28-2020, 02:27 PM   #8
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We have a granite countertop, which I love. It's great for pie and cookie doughs because you need to keep them cool. For bread, I put a silicone mat in a sheet pan and work the dough on that; my oven has a proofing setting, so I just move the sheet pan to the oven for that. I use an old spice jar with a shaker top to keep flour in for dusting. This uses less flour than throwing it on the counter. I have a nice wooden cutting board for cutting and chopping things. It's easier to maintain a board than an entire countertop.
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Old 10-28-2020, 03:34 PM   #9
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If you are set on wood take a hard look at Richlite which is an epoxy and woodpulp mashup. It's durable, sandable if damaged and comes in a lot of colors. This is the same stuff that epicurean cutting boards are made from.

https://richlite.com/pages/applications#resident

It's not cheap (on par with stone) but installation can be a diy or carpenter project as this stuff can be milled like wood.
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Old 10-28-2020, 08:07 PM   #10
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I want to stick with butcher block and am thinking of using epoxy to finish the top.
But not sure of that.

Or just do it the old fashioned food grade mineral oil or what ever would be best.
Thinking of Hickory. It's harder than maple.
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Old 10-30-2020, 05:30 PM   #11
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We just totally remodeled Our kitchen and have quartz countertops which are perfect for making doughs because, like Got Garlic, said above, it’s important to keep the dough cool.

I couldnt imagine having to deal with mineral oiled kitchen counters .... so high maintenance and out of action while they are oily ....
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Old 10-31-2020, 06:37 AM   #12
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I have no problem dealing with wood counters, just part of the deal and you don't even think about it. That being said, I don't have any now (wish list) nor do I have a coveted marble\stone counter (more wish list).

Ideal would be 3 different areas, maybe even more. But seeing as that is unlikely to happen, you'll just have to make a pro and con list. There will always be that "ohhh, I wish I had sort'a done that after all" syndrome.
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