Am I Going to be Affected by the Chinese Birch Plywood Tariff?

Am I Going to be Affected by the Chinese Birch Plywood Tariff
Chinese Birch Plywood Tariff

Russell Plywood, Inc. keeps us up to date on the progress of the U.S. Commerce Department and International Trade Commission (ITC) Tariff against Imported Chinese Birch plywood. Most recently, on November 14, 2017 there was a temporary ruling of 206% levied on those products with a final ruling date of December 1, 2017.

A tariff is defined as a tax or duty to be paid on a particular class of imports or exports. What the Chinese Birch plywood tariff means is that all Chinese Birch moving forward will have a 206% tariff on it.

Russell Plywood, Inc. estimates has Chinese Birch imports at approximately 7500 trucks per month. With the current capacity of our industry, 1000 trucks would be hard to get through production and will extend lead times out and force prices upward. This tariff puts Chinese Birch pricing approximately 25-30% higher than D-3 Maple.

Suppliers have stated that once their current stock is depleted, this item will no longer be available. At this time, there is no way for domestic mills to sell any of their products below Chinese pricing.

This tariff will impact the cost of cabinetry made in the United States that historically use Chinese Birch Plywood. We strongly encourage cabinet manufacturers inform and prepare their dealers and designers for the quick upward price movements and lead time extensions. Check back for further updates about the Chinese Birch Plywood Tariff.

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2018 Countertop Trends

As the new year approaches, we look forward to upcoming 2018 countertop trends. From floating counters with hidden supports, to exclusive curated woods, countertop designs in 2018 are bound to be even more beautiful and functional than in years past.

2018 Countertop Trends: Floating Counters with Hidden Support

2018 Countertop Trends Floating Wood Countertops with Hidden Support Brackets for Kitchens
Design by Neena Corbin Kitchens Inc.

Floating counters with corbels and angular support brackets are a thing of the past as we move into 2018. In 2017, about 40% of Grothouse wood countertops include some form of hidden support. Paul Grothouse predicts that this trend will continue to grow in popularity as we move into 2018.

2018 Countertop Trends: Kensington™ Wood

2018 Countertop Trends Kensington Wood Countertops for Kitchens and Bathrooms
Design by New Ravenna

Kensington™ Wood is the second in a series of specially curated woods, hand selected and sourced by Grothouse. The wood is noted for its darker colors with action in the grain. Its striking visual appeal and lustrous finish will make this one of the top wood choices for designers in 2018.

2018 Countertop Trends: Quiet Open Floor Plans

2018 Countertop Trends Wood Countertops Quiet Open Floor Plans for Kitchens
Design by Eva Andersen of Teakwood Builders

Homeowners are beginning to regret the open floor plans they have chosen. Though they love the look when they walk into the space, it tends to be loud and offers little privacy or individual spaces. This also requires expanding the floor plan in other areas to meet the needs not being met by the open floor plan.

Creative room dividers like glass cabinetry to separate spaces will be used more often in 2018. Sound absorbing materials are a way for designers to combat this issue. The best sound absorbing material is wood.

“Wood helps with quieting down a space because it eliminates sharp sounds when dishes and glasses are placed on it,” stated Jennifer Gilmer, CKD, of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, Ltd.

Stay tuned for more 2018 countertop trends as we enter the new year by liking Grothouse on Facebook and following @grothouseinc on Instagram!

#2018CountertopTrends #CountertopTrends #KitchenDesignTrends #DesignTrends #GrothouseThings

Kensington Wood Countertops by Grothouse

Kensington Wood Countertops exhibit a striking visual appeal and lustrous finish. Kensington is the second wood species in a series of specially curated woods, hand selected and sourced by Grothouse.

Kensington Wood Countertops, Butcher Blocks, Bar Tops, Tables exclusively available at Grothouse
Kensington Wood Counters exclusively available at Grothouse

The appearance of Kensington countertops are often described as a cross between Walnut and Zebrawood, with hardness and characteristics like Sapele Mahogany. Kensington wood countertops, butcher blocks, bar tops and tables are exclusively available at Grothouse.

Designing Kensington Wood Countertops

Kensington countertops can include any edge profile and any countertop feature. They can be crafted in any construction style. The type of construction style chosen may dictate the wood finish applied. End grain Kensington butcher blocks are always finished with Grothouse Original Oil™. Flat grain and edge grain Kensington counters may be finished with Grothouse Original Oil™ or Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish.

Kensington Wood Countertops crafted in Edge Grain Construction Style by Grothouse
Edge Grain Kensington Wood Countertops
Kensington Wood Counters crafted in Flat Grain Construction Style by Grothouse
Flat Grain Kensington Wood Counters
Kensington Butcher Blocks crafted in End Grain Construction Style by Grothouse
End Grain Kensington Butcher Blocks

Visit the Grothouse Countertop Image Library to see designs featuring Kensington Wood Countertops.

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Custom Wood Countertops for Narrow Kitchen Islands

Installing an island can enhance your kitchen in many ways, and, with good planning, even smaller kitchens can benefit with narrow kitchen islands. Narrow kitchen islands can be just as functional and effective as average-size islands, including food preparation space and plenty of storage.

Custom Wood Countertops for Narrow Kitchen Islands
Custom Wood Countertops for Narrow Kitchen Islands | Photography by Rodney Middendorf

According to Houzz, the average size of a kitchen island is about 3 by 6½ feet (1,000 by 2,000 millimeters). An island that size would typically have a surrounding clearance zone of about 40 inches (1,000 millimeters). However, an island’s size is usually determined by the distances around it, so larger kitchens allow for bigger islands.

Wood countertops custom crafted for narrow kitchen islands are uniquely designed to fit the needs of every client. They can be crafted as the entire surface of the island, or as the kitchen island end.

American Beech Wood Countertop for Narrow Kitchen Island Designed by J.S. Brown & Co.
Design by J.S. Brown & Co. | Photography by Rodney Middendorf

An American Beech wood countertop was designed by Brandon Okone and Monica Miller, MCR, UDCP, CMKBD of J.S. Brown & Co. for this narrow kitchen island located in Columbus, Ohio. The countertop, crafted in edge grain construction, was designed to be the entire islands surface. Finished with Grothouse Original Oil™, this top can be sanded and oiled to look like new after years of use.

Peruvian Walnut Cutting Board for Narrow Kitchen Island Designed by Griffey Remodeling
Design by Griffey Remodeling

Griffey Remodeling designed a 5 inch think Peruvian Walnut edge grain countertop for the end of this red kitchen island. The countertop serves as a cutting board and food preparation space away from the traffic between the sink and the cooktop, but close enough to be easily accessible.

Want to see more narrow kitchen islands with wood countertops? Like Grothouse on Facebook for weekly design inspiration!

#NarrowKitchenIslands #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodCountertops #GrothouseThings

Is Ash Wood Soon to be Extinct?

Is Ash wood soon to be extinct? Robert Dalheim of Woodworking Network reported on September 6, 2017 that the Emerald Ash Borer, referred to as EAB, is a threat to all North American Ash trees.

Emerald Ash Borer threatening Ash wood trees in North America
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) | Photo via Woodworking Network

Ash is known as the wood of choice for baseball bats. Its solid workability and overall strength makes it a fantastic choice for custom wood countertops. Ash wood countertops have a great shock resistance and has phenomenal staining potential.

Ash Wood Countertops for kitchens bathrooms offices custom made by Grothouse
Ash Wood Countertop

There are about 8.7 billion Ash trees in North America valued at more than $280 billion. The EAB has already killed approximately 50 million trees. Ash trees are marked with s-shaped galleries or tunnels found beneath the bark when infested by the EAB.

Ash trees are marked with s-shaped galleries or tunnels found beneath the bark when infested
Ash trees are marked with s-shaped galleries or tunnels found beneath the bark when infested | Photo via Woodworking Network

Wisconsin state officials have confirmed that the EAB has spread to five new counties as well as South Carolina. All Wisconsin counties will be quarantined, requiring that firewood and other wood products stay inside quarantined areas. EAB is now in 46 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, covering about two-thirds of the state. South Carolina is also enforcing quarantine initiatives that may cover all 46 counties in the state. Officials in both states are asking for the public’s help in limiting the movement of firewood.

In addition to implementing quarantines, efforts have been made to service logs of dead, infected trees into lumber and other wood products. Using a specialized heating chamber, researchers at Pennsylvania State University have discovered a way to kill EABs in wood for pallets and other shipping components.

Efforts to limit EAB’s scope have affected businesses that sell Ash trees or wood products, property owners and governments. Economic impacts are high for urban and residential areas due to the treatment and removal costs and decreased land value associated with dying trees.

The loss of Ash from an ecosystem can result in increased numbers of invasive plants, changes in soil nutrients, and effects on species that feed on Ash.

Ash Wood Countertops continue to be available at Grothouse and will be for the foreseeable future. We are keeping close watch on the supply to ensure Ash remains available at Grothouse.

Stay tuned for more wood news by liking Grothouse on Facebook and following @grothouseinc on Instagram! To learn more about Ash wood countertops, visit the Grothouse Countertop Design Guide.

#AshWood #EmeraldAshBorer #EAB #GrothouseThings

Source: Woodworking Network

Contemporary Kitchen Countertops

Contemporary style kitchens take form and function of modern and pair it with designs from traditional and transitional style. The same is true for wood countertops crafted for contemporary kitchens. Custom wood Contemporary Kitchen Countertops are often designed as Pastore™ countertops with waterfall legs, featuring simple edge profiles.

They are typically crafted with a darker wood specie, like Walnut or Peruvian Walnut, or a lighter wood is stained to be darker. Contemporary kitchen countertops crafted in Pastore™ style create perfect seating areas with plenty of leg room and space to entertain.

Contemporary Kitchen Countertops Designs

White Oak Contemporary Kitchen Countertops for Washington DC white kitchen
Design by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath

Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath designed this white contemporary kitchen for a home in Washington DC. The focal point of this kitchen is the large White Oak half Pastore™ table, also referred to as a Parsons table. The wood countertop features a simple 1/8 inch Roundover edge profile, matching the white Cambria Torquay kitchen island countertop for a nearly seamless effect.

Peruvian Walnut Contemporary Kitchen Countertop for a kitchen in Savannah, Georgia
Design by Lukejohn Dickson of La Source

Lukejohn Dickson of La Source designed this contemporary kitchen for a home located in Savanah, Georgia. For seating, he designed a Peruvian Walnut half Pastore™ kitchen bar top. The countertop features a 1/8 inch Roundover edge profile and adds a touch of warmth and interest.

Peruvian Walnut Contemporary Kitchen Countertop for a kitchen in New Holland, Pennsylvania
Design by PB Kitchen Design

A custom Peruvian Walnut half Pastore™ countertop was designed by  PB Kitchen Design for a kitchen located in New Holland, Pennsylvania. Complementing the darker wood colored cabinets, this contemporary wood countertop creates the perfect seating area.

Click here to visit the Grothouse Image Library to see more inspiring designs with contemporary kitchen countertops.

#GrothouseThings #ContemporaryKitchenCountertops #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodCountertops

North American Wood Countertops

One material that is – and always has been – environmentally friendly is wood. North America has an abundance of forests with beautiful woods used to craft high quality furniture, such as custom wood countertops. North American Wood Countertops are made from responsibly harvested wood that is harvested, replanted, and renewed to an almost limitless degree.

North American Wood Countertops custom crafted by Grothouse
North American Wood Countertops

North American Wood Countertops

Below are some of the most popular North American wood species used for countertops designed for use as kitchen countertops.

American Cherry

American Cherry North American Wood Countertops for kitchens, bathrooms, offices
American Cherry Wood Countertops

Cherry makes up 3% of the commercially available hardwoods in the United States. It is prominently used to craft high end furniture and cabinetry worldwide.

Ash

Ash North American Wood Countertops for kitchens, bathrooms, offices
Ash Wood Countertops | Design by Lisa Martin of Signature Custom Cabinetry

Ash makes up 4% of the commercially available hardwoods in the U.S. It is best known as the wood used to craft baseball bats due to its shock absorbency, but it is also used for furniture, flooring, cabinetry and other millwork.

Hard Maple

Maple North American Wood Countertops for kitchens, bathrooms, offices
Maple Wood Countertops | Design by Bunker Workshop

Hard Maple makes up approximately 8% of the commercially available hardwoods in the United States, and is prevalent in the northern and eastern states.

A small percentage of maple trees produce special figure such as bird’s eye or curly maple, which is sought after for its visual interest and appeal. Hard maple is very heavy and strong and has a fine, uniform texture with a close, straight grain.

Walnut

Walnut North American Wood Countertops for kitchens, baths, offices
Walnut Wood Countertops | Design by Stonington

Walnut makes up less than 1% of the commercially available hardwoods and grows throughout the eastern U.S. Walnut is one of the most popular wood countertop choices for kitchens today.

White Oak

White Oak North American Wood Countertops for kitchens, bathrooms and commercial restaurants
White Oak Wood Countertops | The Trolley Car Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®

White Oak trees grow across the eastern and southern U.S., comprising 15% of the commercially available hardwoods. White oak is used to make furniture, cabinets, flooring and millwork and is the preferred species for wine and whiskey casks.

To learn about more North American wood countertops and see other wood species available, visit the Grothouse Countertop Design Guide.

Like Grothouse on Facebook and follow @grothouseinc on Instagram for daily wood countertop design inspiration!

Source used: Northwest Hardwoods

Exposed Brick Kitchen Designs with Wood Countertops

Gone are the days when brick was carefully and meticulously concealed with more polished, modern finishes. Exposed Brick Kitchen Designs with wood countertops exhibit an architectural feature that enriches and beautifies modern spaces, blending unique textures, patterns, and colors.

Exposed Brick Kitchen Designs with Wood Countertops custom crafted by Grothouse nationwide
Exposed Brick Kitchen Designs with Wood Countertops

Exposed Brick Kitchen Designs

Exposed brick is versatile and suitable for many kitchen styles. It has a cozy, inviting ambiance and can offer a beautiful backdrop that lets various elements in the space shine.

Exposed Brick Kitchen Design by Chris Greenawalt of Bunker Workshop
Design by Chris Greenawalt of Bunker Workshop

Chris Greenawalt of Bunker Workshop designed a Walnut Pastore™ kitchen island countertop for this white kitchen with an exposed brick backsplash. The parallel wood countertop and brick add warmth to the otherwise all-white kitchen and add textural interest.

Exposed Brick Kitchen Design by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath
Design by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath

This wet bar designed by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath features an exposed brick backsplash with a Peruvian Walnut countertop. The wood and gold cabinetry hardware beautifully accentuate with the warm red tones of the brick.

Exposed brick in kitchen design by Griffey Remodeling with Maple countertops
Design by Griffey Remodeling

Griffey Remodeling designed Maple countertops for this light blue kitchen with an exposed brick wall and white subway tile backsplash.

Exposed Brown Brick in kitchen design with White Oak countertop
Design by KT Highland Inc.

KT Highland Inc. designed a custom White Oak kitchen island countertop to complement the exposed brown brick wall.

Exposed White Brick Kitchen Design by Chris Greenawalt of Bunker Workshop with Maple Countertop
Design by Chris Greenawalt of Bunker Workshop

Chris Greenawalt of Bunker Workshop also designed the kitchen pictured above. The kitchen island features a Maple countertop with a white brick base, matching the white brick on the wall behind the island.

Want to see more exposed brick kitchen designs? Check out the Grothouse Image Library and like Grothouse on Facebook!

#GrothouseThings #ExposedBrickKitchenDesigns #KitchenDesignTrends #CustomWoodCountertops

Wood Crush Wednesday | A Glimpse into the Grothouse Shop

Every Wednesday, we give a glimpse into the products and happenings going on in the Grothouse shop, called Wood Crush Wednesday.

Wood Crush Wednesday A Glimpse into the Grothouse Shop
#WoodCrushWednesday A Glimpse into the Grothouse Shop

Wood Crush Wednesday | The Team

Wood Crush Wednesday features members of the Grothouse team and projects they are working on. Below is craftsman Eric inspecting a batch of samples.

Inspecting a batch of wood countertop samples
Craftsman, Eric, inspecting a batch of samples

Craftsman Adam was caught organizing our shipping department and making room for a BIG top.

Custom Wood Countertop Shipping Department
Craftsman, Adam, making room for a BIG top in the shipping department

Even our Customer Service Team works with wood everyday, with a custom wood desk top. Here is Rich, hard at work on his Mahogany wood desk top!

Custom Wood Desk Tops for Customer Service
Our customer service team has custom wood desk tops

Our product engineer, Steve, and Director of Operations, Jake take a break for some afternoon silliness to cultivate creativity!

Creative Custom Wood Countertops
Afternoon silliness to cultivate creativity

Wood Crush Wednesday | Products

Wood Crush Wednesday also features the most unique custom wood surfaces, including tables, bar tops, Anvil metal finished countertops and more. Below are just a few of the wood crushes we have shared thus far.

Thousand pound large custom wenge wood countertop with Camelot edge profile
A thousand pound Wenge top with Camelot edge profile

Here is a 1,000 POUND TOP made of solid Wenge wood for a customer located in Canada. This top features one of our largest edge profiles, the Camelot.

Custom solid wood table with legs featuring intricate detail
Custom table legs with intricate detail

A custom table shows off its intricate legs for days.

Anvil Palladium Metal Countertop with Durata waterproof permanent finish
Anvil Palladium Metal Countertop

An Anvil Palladium metal finished countertop is ready to ship. This metal countertop features an undermount sink cut out, Rugen edge profile and Durata waterproof and permanent finish.

Stay tuned for more Wood Crush Wednesdays by liking Grothouse on Facebook and following @grothouseinc on Instagram!

#WoodCrushWednesday #GrothouseThings #CustomWoodCountertops #AnvilSeries #MetalCountertops

Distressed Solid Wood Island Countertops

As the hub of the kitchen, your island is a prep station, gathering spot and dining area. Why not make it a statement piece too? Distressed solid wood island countertops can be custom crafted to make a statement in any style kitchen.

Distressed Solid Wood Island Countertops for kitchen islands in any style kitchen
Distressed Solid Wood Island Countertops

Wood countertops can be distressed as lightly or heavily as desired. Grothouse offers five standard levels of distressing, but levels can be altered to achieve the desired look. The five levels include:

Level 1 Distressing:

• Lightly worn corners and edges
• Light dings

Level 2 Distressing:

• Moderately worn corners and edges
• Moderate dings
• Light drag marks

Level 3 Distressing:

• Heavily worn corners and edges
• Numerous dings
• Spotty worm holes
• Moderate drag marks

Level 4 Distressing:

• Very heavily and unevenly worn corners and edges
• Plentiful dings
• Clusters of worm holes
• Bountiful drag marks
• Termite tracks

Level 5 Super Distressing:

• Very heavily and very unevenly worn corners and edges
• Plentiful dings and notch marks
• Clusters of worm holes
• Abundant scratches and drag marks
• Waffle hammer dings and circular dings
• Heavy edge nicks
• Termite tracks

Any wood specie crafted in Flat Grain or Edge Grain construction style can be distressed. Distressed countertops can be adorned with any edge profile and include any features. Grothouse requires approval of a distressed sample prior to production to achieve the correct level of distressing.

Designs with Distressed Solid Wood Island Countertops

Pictured below, Diana Burton of Drury Design Kitchen & Bath Studio designed a Sapele Mahogany edge grain wood countertop for this white kitchen island. The countertop is distressed to level 4 and finished with a hand rubbed black glaze to accentuate the distressing. A small undermount sink was placed in the corner of the countertop, with an overhang on the opposite end for seating.

Distressed Solid Wood Island Countertops made of Sapele Mahogany
Design by Diana Burton of Drury Design Kitchen & Bath Studio

Showcase Kitchens designed a Walnut with Sapwood counter crafted in Flat Grain construction for the traditional white kitchen pictured below. The counter was super distressed and features the Grothouse Jericho Stock Stain (#04915).

Stained and Distressed Solid Wood Island Countertops made of Walnut
Design by Showcase Kitchens

Chip Tiber, CKD, NCDIQ, of Studio 76 Kitchens & Baths designed a Walnut with Sapwood counter crafted in Flat Grain construction. Distressed to level 4 and finished with a hand rubbed black glaze, this counter makes the island the statement center piece of this modern farmhouse kitchen.

Distressed Solid Wood Island Countertops made of Walnut
Design by Chip Tiber, CKD, NCDIQ, of Studio 76 Kitchens & Baths

Want to see more kitchen designs with distressed solid wood island countertops? Follow us on Instagram and like us on Facebook!

#DistressedSolidWoodIslandCountertops #DistressedWoodCountertops #CustomWoodCountertops #GrothouseThings