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

Walnut Wood Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top designed by Design Matters

Our Custom Wood Countertops Blog features the industry’s most talented and innovative designers throughout the United States and abroad. This featured design includes a Walnut Wood Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top designed by Julie Freeman Cavanaugh of Design Matters.

Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top designed by Julie of Design Matters
Julie Freeman Cavanaugh of Design Matters

About the Designer: Julie completed her education in Interior Design in 1998, achieved a CID licensure and became a professional ASID member in 2002. With an eye for spatial relationships and problem solving, Julie’s interiors bring functional sensibility and tremendous flow while achieving beautiful proportions. Not afraid to mix color, texture and scale, Julie’s homes provide unique and unparalleled “livable luxury”. 

About Design Matters: Design Matters provides unique, detailed and client focused design solutions. From architectural development, space planning, material selections, color and furniture specifications and more, Design Matters’ approach threads together comprehensive designs down to the last threaded detail.

Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top designed by Design Matters in Los Gatos, California
Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top designed by Design Matters

Design Details

Cabinet Manufacturer: Rutt HandCrafted Cabinetry

Cabinet Hardware: Top Knobs in Medium Bronze

Flooring: Arto Brick – Normandy Cream, 14″ Hexagon

Countertops: Kitchen Island – Grothouse End Grain Random Mix Walnut with Sapwood Butcher Block finished with Grothouse Original Oil; Perimeter – Raw Concrete

Sink: Native Trails Farmhouse Quartet in Ash

Backsplash: Blue Slide Art Tile

Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Twisted Oak Path in Matte

Stove: Thermador Pro Harmony Gas Range

Dishwasher: Thermador Built-In Dishwasher

Other Appliances: Thermador Professional Series Wall Mount Range Hood

Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top for a kitchen in Los Gatos, California
Walnut Wood Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top creates an inviting seating space
Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top located in Los Gatos, California
Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top provides plenty of food preparation space
Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top Roundover Edge Profile in Los Gatos, California
Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top features a Roundover Edge Profile

Follow Design Matters on Houzz and like their Facebook page to see more of their uniquely livable luxury designs. Check out the Grothouse Image Library to see more custom Walnut wood butcher block kitchen bar tops.

#CustomWoodCountertops #ButcherBlockKitchenBarTops #ButcherBlocks #KitchenDesign #GrothouseThings

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

Dark Wood Kitchen Countertop Ideas

A kitchen designer typically chooses a dark wood kitchen countertop when they are using the countertop as a statement piece or focal point. Dark wood countertops exhibit a striking beauty, especially contrasted against light colored cabinetry.

Dark Wood Kitchen Countertop Ideas
Dark Wood Kitchen Countertops

The two naturally darkest wood species available for countertops are Wenge and Peruvian Walnut. Peruvian Walnut wood is a deep chocolate brown in color and look great in any kitchen, commercial or residential. Peruvian Walnut is fairly easy to work with and polishes very well, which is why it is great for making wood countertops.

Wenge is a heavy wood that has an attractive appearance due to its strong grain and subtle color variation. The heartwood is a darker brown with black veins and white lines. Wenge has a high resistance to abrasion and a high bending strength. Wenge Wood Countertops are available FSC certified.

Lighter woods can be stained to look like a darker wood. Grothouse offers over 40 stock stains, which include an assortment of dark colors. Countertops can also be custom stained to match the dark wood on something else such as flooring.

Dark Wood Kitchen Countertop Designs

Dark Wood Kitchen Countertop with gray kitchen island and white perimeter cabinetry
Design by Janice Teague, CKD/CBD, of Drury Design Kitchen & Bath Studio

A Wenge wood countertop was designed by Janice Teague, CKD/CBD, of Drury Design Kitchen & Bath Studio for this gray kitchen island with white perimeter cabinetry. The dark wood complements the flooring and makes the island the focal point of the space.

Dark Wood Kitchen Countertop for a large kitchen island in a white kitchen
Design by Denise Quade, CMKBD, of Denise Quade Design

Denise Quade, CMKBD, of Denise Quade Design went with a Peruvian Walnut for the kitchen island in the white traditional kitchen pictured below. Offering plenty of food preparation space and room for seating, this dark countertop grabs all the attention.

Dark Wood Kitchen Countertop custom made for kitchen bar top seating
Design by Luxe Kitchens and Interiors

Luxe Kitchens and Interiors designed a Peruvian Walnut kitchen countertop as a bar top that wraps around a marble counter to create the kitchen island. The contrast of the marble and white cabinetry against the dark wood is stunning.

Stained Dark Wood Countertop for a table extending off the kitchen island
Design by Shawna Dillon of Studio Snaidero D.C. Metro

Shawna Dillon of Studio Snaidero D.C. Metro designed an Ash wood table top as a kitchen island extension. Naturally a light wood, the Ash was stained with Stock Stain (#12940 WS) to make it look like Wenge wood. Photographed by Gordon Beall Photography, this kitchen won the Kitchen & Bath Business magazine’s Showroom of the Year 2016 Award.

Visit the Grothouse Image Library to see other designs with a dark wood kitchen countertop. For more design ideas, follow Grothouse on Instagram!

#DarkWoodKitchenCountertop #DarkWoodKitchenIdeas #DarkWood #CustomWoodCountertops #GrothouseThings

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

Vessel Sinks on Wood Bathroom Countertops

Vessel Sinks on Wood Bathroom Countertops can be the most striking feature in a bathroom, adding style and value to any bath space. Vessel sinks provide an efficient space for your storage needs and bathroom preparation rituals.

They are often used for bathroom vanities in modern or contemporary style bathrooms, as opposed to more traditional drop-in or pedestal sinks. However, when paired with a wood countertop, the style can be custom designed to fit any space.

Below are inspirational wood countertop designs with vessel sinks.

Wood Countertop Designs with Vessel Sinks

Designed by Jennifer Gilmer and Meghan Browne of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath, a limestone vessel sink was placed on a custom teak wood countertop to create this Asian-inspired bathroom vanity.

Vessel Sinks on Wood Bathroom Countertops designed by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath
Design by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath

The four inch Sapele Mahogany wood countertop pictured below features a vessel sink and a wall mounted faucet. Cleverly designed by Vawn Greany CMKBD and co-designer Trisha Gaffney AKBD of Collaborative Interiors, the wall mounted faucet helps to free up counter space.

Vessel Sinks on Wood Bathroom Countertops designed by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath
Design by Collaborative Interiors

A Wenge Pastore counter was crafted for this large double vanity designed by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath as the focal point of this tranquil bathroom. The double vanity houses white vessel sinks, adding interest to the clean space and providing contrast against the dark wood countertop and accents.

Design by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath

Want to see more bathroom wood countertop designs with vessel sinks? Visit the Image Gallery on our website and like us on Facebook!

#BathroomWoodCountertops #VesselSinks #CustomWoodCountertops #GrothouseThings

The First Planned Kitchen Purchase: Countertops

According to RICKI – The Kitchen Think Tank, countertops are the first planned kitchen purchase that U.S. homeowners plan to buy in the coming year, and we can see why.

First Planned Kitchen Purchase are Countertops
The First Planned Kitchen Purchase: Countertops | Design by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs

Kitchen countertops are a huge part of your daily routine. Whether you start your day by eating breakfast at the kitchen island, packing your lunch or preparing dinner, you are utilizing your kitchen countertops. Because they are so crucial to your everyday life, it is important that you consider purchasing a countertop material that suits your every need.

Contrary to some beliefs, wood countertops make for very versatile surfaces. They are not only kind to fine china and crystal, but can be sanded and oiled to look like new. Knife blades stay sharper longer, and wood is a naturally warm surface to cozy up to during any point in the day. When crafted by Grothouse, wood kitchen countertops are covered under our lifetime warranty.

Another advantage to choosing wood for your kitchen countertops is that they can be customized to your unique, personal taste. Choose from an assortment of over 60 wood species and a huge variety of features and options like laser engraving or integrated fruit bowls.

Next in line after countertops, the first planned kitchen purchase, are kitchen faucets, refrigerators, lighting and backsplash. RICKI states that millennials are significantly more likely than their older counterparts to be planning to buy lighting for their kitchens, but we are hoping to have changed their minds.

To see how some of the best designers in the industry design kitchens with wood countertops, visit the Grothouse Countertop Image Library and follow @grothouseinc on Instagram!

#CustomWoodCountertops #KitchenTrends #WoodCountertops #WoodKitchenCountertops #KitchenCountertops