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Wood countertops can be built in many different ways but three distinct construction styles are the most prevalent – flat grain, edge grain, and end grain (butcher block).

Flat Grain Construction

Flat grain wood countertops are made with the face of the wood facing up/down. This is the traditional view of wood that we are used to seeing in furniture. We use only the highest grade, premium boards for our flat grain tops. We go to great lengths to select and assemble lumber that is similar in color and grain. We specify individual board widths of 4″ – 10″ and will use randomly sized boards to make up any given countertop.

Our flat grain countertops come standard as 1 ½” thick and can be built from 1 1/4″ to 2.5″ thick. Thicknesses beyond 1 ½” are not available in all wood species (for flat grain construction – there are no thickness limitations when building in edge or end grain construction).

Edge Grain Construction

Edge grain wood countertops are made with the edge of the board facing up/down. These long strips offer a grain pattern different than the face, or flat grain, of the board. These strips run the length of the countertop (no joints in the field) unless the overall length is unusually large (>12′). This method of construction offers more stability against seasonal wood movement than flat grain construction. We specify individual board widths of .75″ – 2″ and will use randomly sized boards to make up any given countertop.

Edge grain countertops can be made from 1 1/4″ to 6″ in thickness.

End Grain (Butcher Block) Construction

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End grain wood countertops are made with the ends of the board facing up/down. This type of construction is often referred to as “butcher block” construction. Since the end grain is much harder than flat or edge grain, it is the best option when the countertop is going to be used as a cutting surface. It will not dull knives as fast as the other surfaces and will not show knife marks as easily as your knives cut with the grain of the wood, slipping into the wood, rather than cutting across it, which can cause more wear on your top and knives.

The individual blocks are typically randomly sized but can be made square and form a checkerboard pattern. Randomly sized blocks are off-set so the individual joints do not line up and unintended patterns aren’t as easy to distinguish. The checkerboard pattern is particularly pleasing when contrasting woods are used.

Our end grain tops have a minimum thickness of 2.25″ (up to 6″ thick) and are the most expensive form of wood countertop construction.

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