How to Identify High Quality Wood

Identifying high quality wood can be difficult with many furniture pieces looking great in the store, only to prove flimsy and cheap once you purchase them and use them over time. Here’s how to identify whether or not wood furniture pieces are high quality.

How to Identify High Quality Wood Furniture, Countertops, Desks, Tables
How to Identify High Quality Wood

Identifying High Quality Wood

The highest quality material for wood furniture is solid wood. Solid wood furniture is made from single pieces of wood or wood boards that are glued together to make panels. Trees, after all, are only so wide.

Solid wood comes in hardwood or softwood. Hardwood comes from trees that grow slowly. It is more dense and resistant to dings. Common hardwood species include Walnut, Ash, Maple and Cherry. Softwood comes from trees that grow fast. It is less dense than hardwood. A common softwood specie is Pine.

Why Choose High Quality Wood

When made with high quality wood and built with a solid construction, wood furniture can last for decades and sometimes even centuries. Solid wood furniture can be refinished and repaired easier than furniture made of other materials.

Solid wood furniture is typically sealed with a high quality finish, which helps the furniture to last even longer. Grothouse solid wood surfaces are either sealed with our exclusive Durata® Permanent Waterproof Finish or Original Oil™. Both are high quality finishes that keep the surfaces looking like new and protect them from everyday use.

Finding out if the furniture is made of solid wood is the best way to identify the quality. Be sure to find out if the solid wood was used to craft the entire piece or just certain parts. Another way to ensure you are purchasing a high quality piece is to shop at the right places, like Grothouse for example. Every piece crafted at Grothouse is made of high quality wood.

Learn more about the high quality wood surfaces custom crafted by Grothouse on our website www.glumber.com.

#GrothouseThings #HighQualityWood #SolidWoodFurniture

Wenge Raised Pastore Counter in Home & Design Magazine

Home & Design magazine featured a simple and serene condo renovation in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Written by Julie Sanders, the renovation included a kitchen design by Sarah Kahn Turner of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, Ltd. that features a Grothouse Wenge Raised Pastore Counter for the kitchen island.

Wenge Raised Pastore Counter in a Kitchen in Alexandria, Virginia featured by Home & Design Magazine
Kitchen Design by Sarah Kahn Turner of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, Ltd. | Image Source: Home & Design Magazine

Celia Welch, the interior designer, had a goal, given by the client, to make the condo comfortable, elegant, chic and urban. The client’s main priority was to have one flowing, light-filled space. Welch and kitchen designer Sarah Kahn Turner collaborated to redesign the outdated kitchen. To achieve these goals, the first step was to remove the wall that separated the kitchen from the open-plan living and dining room.

The open-plan created space for a long kitchen island featuring a quartz counter, over which the Grothouse Wenge Pastore counter hovers with waterfall sides and room for four stools.

Welch stated, “We didn’t want the traditional look of a two-level countertop. This adds a little extra dimension.”

Wenge Raised Pastore Counter

Wenge is a heavy wood that has high resistance to abrasion and high bending strength. Its strong grain and subtle color variation creates its dark, sleek attractive appearance.

The Wenge counter for this kitchen was custom crafted to feature a Roundover edge profile. The Roundover edge profile exhibits a simple look to contribute to the simple and serene feel of the rest of the kitchen. The counter is finished with Grothouse Original Oil™.

Click here to see the rest of this townhouse renovation. Visit the Grothouse Countertop Image Library to see more kitchen designs with a Wenge Raised Pastore Counter.

#GrothouseThings #CustomWoodCountertops #HomeandDesignMagazine #SarahTurner4JenniferGilmer

Counter Intuitive

A kitchen counter has long been a anchor of kitchen design, and can offer a dramatic focal point, splash of color, textural interest, sense of warmth or visual contrast.

Counter Intuitive Surfacing Material Traits and Trends
Counter Intuitive | Design by Sarah Kahn Turner of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath

Kitchen & Bath Design News magazine recently surveyed over 500 kitchen dealers and designers across the U.S. and Canada. The survey looked at material trends, including most desired surfacing traits, views on the importance of surfacing regarding design and functionality of the kitchen, and what percentage of their kitchen remodeling budgets dealers’ and designers’ clients devote to surfacing.

The growing role of the kitchen has expanded the functional role of countertops from durable food prep surfaces to multi-functional places for cooking, eating, entertaining and more.

77.6% of designers/dealers rate the importance of countertops to the look of the overall kitchen extremely important. 58.3 of designers/dealers rate the importance of countertops to kitchen functionality extremely important.

52% of the kitchen remodeling budget is spent on counters, as they are  increasingly being viewed as a worthwhile investment, particularly if they are beautiful, durable and long lasting.

What adds value to a countertop? The top three desired aspects are durability, beauty and ease of maintenance. Other desired countertop qualities cited included fits with overall design, color pattern options and a classic look that won’t get dated too quickly. Most desired aspects of surfacing materials include:

  • • Durability
  • • Beauty
  • • Low maintenance
  • • Affordability
  • • Fits with overall design
  • • Color/pattern options
  • • Classic look/won’t get dated quickly
  • • Fits with overall kitchen
  • • Unique look
  • • Trendy
  • • Creative fabrication options
  • • Flexibility

 

Clients’ top concerns with choosing counters:

  • • Price
  • • Damage from stains/scratches/heat/wear and tear
  • • Maintenance requirements
  • • Color/pattern going out of style too quickly
  • • Not getting something that looks unique/personalized
  • • Not looking “real”
  • • Natural imperfections
  • • Fabrication concerns

 

Wood is Counter Intuitive

Wood is counter intuitive because it contains all of the most desired aspects of surfacing materials including durability, beauty and low maintenance. Wood is trendy and classic at the same time. No matter how old a wood counter is, it looks right in the design. Durata® Finish can be applied to wood counters so no maintenance is required. Each wood countertop is custom made to the clients’ specifications, so each top is something unique and personalized. Visit glumber.com to learn more about wood counters.

#CounterIntuitive #KitchenBathDesignNews #CustomWoodCountertops #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.

#KensingtonWoodCountertops #KensingtonWood #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

Three-ton Solid Wood Bathtub

Is it possible to make a solid wood bathtub out of one three-ton mass of wood, without any glue or epoxy – and can it be done sustainably? The answer is uncovered in an article written by Bill Esler of Woodworking Network on August 7.

Three-ton Solid Wood Bathtub one of the latest wood innovations
Three-ton Solid Wood Bathtub | Photo via Woodworking Network

Timber Neutral fashioned this three-ton solid wood bathtub, along with other wood tubs, for Amelie & Max, a retailer in Toronto. “The goal was to make a 100% natural object and a reflection of the organic nature of wood and true to the spirit of the tree,” said Fiona French of Timber Neutral.

Timber Neutral states that there is something within the fiber of wood that no other material can capture – the vitality and uniqueness of an organic object. The tubs are said to be the fusion of high-tech craftsmanship and the originality and form of solid wood.

Each tub is made from a solid, single 6,600-pound block of wood that has been painstakingly carved down to create a two-person tub. Each tub is unlike any other, and is sold at retail cost of $34,000 at Amelie & Max.

Harvested in Columbian forests, the trees must be very large to produce such a large block of wood, so Timber Neutral goes to lengths to make the case that the harvesting is sustainable. Each tub is given an individual identification, bearing the personalized name of a tree, reflecting both the personality of the bath and its exotic origin.

While Timber Neutral has no plans to continue making these massive wood tubs, a few of the limited collection are available in North America and sold exclusively through www.amelieandmax.com.

Stay tuned for more wood innovations like this solid wood bathtub by liking Grothouse on Facebook and following @grothouseinc on Instagram!

#GrothouseThings #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodInnovations

Source: Woodworking Network

Wood Shelving for Creative Custom Storage Solutions

Wood shelving is a major design trend seen in spaces of all styles. Wood shelving can be designed for creative storage solutions out of necessity or decorative desire.

Wood Shelving for Creative Custom Storage Solutions
Custom Wood Shelving

Part of the reason for this trend is because wood is an excellent shelving surface due to its natural kindness to fine china and crystal. When finished with Grothouse Original Oil™, wood shelves can be sanded and re-oiled to look like new after years of use.

Wood shelves are often designed for use as open shelving because their open nature makes a space feel larger. Open wood shelves are a great substitution for traditional closed cabinets. Another popular design option is to use wood shelves for cabinets with glass doors. The shelves act as a beautiful backdrop to display dishes and other items.

Designs with Wood Shelving

Wood Shelving for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017
Wood Shelves for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017 designed by Jon de la Cruz

Jon de la Cruz was perfectly on trend with his design for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017. Custom black walnut wood shelves grace the 12-foot high walls. Exposed brackets anchor each wood shelf. Capturing the ethos of pared-down, timeless elegance, the shelves serve as a dramatic accent for custom pantry organization by Blisshaus.

Wood Shelving for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2016
Wood Shelves for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2016 designed by Matthew Quinn

Custom White Oak wood floating shelves gilded in Anvil™ Argentum metal finish were designed by Matthew Quinn for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2016. The shelves were designed to match the bar top.

With 8 Anvil™ metal finish colors available, shelves can be custom crafted and gilded to match the design and style of any space. Anvil™ finishes can be applied to any wood specie or a composite substrate. Click here to learn more about Anvil™ metal finishes.

Wood Shelves for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2014
Wood Shelves for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2014 designed by Steven Miller

For House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2014, Steven Miller designed custom Peruvian Walnut wood shelves to showcase bowls and other dishes in black cabinets with glass doors. The shelves were customized for organization perfection, with laser engraved labels on the front for bowls, drinking, dessert and more. Custom crafted to match the Peruvian walnut countertop, the shelves pop against the silver sparkling backsplash.

Shadow Box Wood Shelving designed by Signature Custom Cabinetry
Shadow Box Wood Shelves designed by Signature Custom Cabinetry

Another form of wood shelves is in the form of shadow boxes. Lisa Martin of Signature Custom Cabinetry designed two Sapele mahogany wood shadow boxes to complement the cabinet surround in this display. The shadow boxes make for some unique looking shelves with plenty of space to showcase decorative items.

Learn more about the specifications of each design featured in this blog by visiting the Countertop Image Library. Want to see more designs with custom wood shelving? Follow @grothouseinc on Instagram and like Grothouse on Facebook!

#WoodShelving #WoodShelves #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodCountertops #WoodInnovation

House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017 designed by Jon de la Cruz

House Beautiful is celebrating its tenth annual Kitchen of the Year 2017 at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, California. This year’s 625-square-foot kitchen was designed by Jon de la Cruz of DLC-ID. This being a 1904 historic home, the kitchen features amazing architectural details: 12-foot ceilings, open pantry shelves, a beautiful mix of new and old materials and many windows.

House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017 designed by Jon de la Cruz Breakfast Nook Pantry
House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017 designed by Jon de la Cruz

For the kitchen, de la Cruz focused on beautiful functionality by combining his expertise in cooking with his deep knowledge of design history. The space features multiple stations for cooking, baking, breakfast and family dining — as well as innovative storage and display ideas. This was a necessity for the family of 10 that live in this home.

House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017 Pantry Shelves
House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017 Pantry

Featured in the breakfast nook are vertical ceiling-high, open pantry shelves made of American Black Walnut Wood crafted by Grothouse. The Black Walnut Wood Shelves capture the ethos of timeless elegance, serving as a dramatic accent for custom labeled jars and superb pantry organization by Blisshaus – also referred to as The Pantry Detox.

Superb pantry organization by Blisshaus in Kitchen of the Year 2017
Superb pantry organization by Blisshaus

Taking customization even further, the shelves feature laser engraving on the front. Jon de la Cruz’s favorite part of the kitchen is the s’mores section, and we happen to agree!

Grothouse American Black Walnut Wood Pantry Shelves in House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017
Grothouse American Black Walnut Wood Pantry Shelves

This dream space was unveiled on April 29, 2017 and was open to the public until May 29, 2017. Click here to take a tour of the kitchen with Jon de la Cruz and House Beautiful’s Editor in Chief Sophie Donelson.

Be sure to pick up the October issue of House Beautiful to see the full kitchen. Join us on Instagram to see more of House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year 2017 and the San Francisco Decorator Showcase home via #HBKOTY and #sfshowcase.

Photography by John Merkl.

#HBKOTY #SFShowcase #GrothouseThings #HBloveskitchens #dlcid

Custom Wood Countertops designed for Laundry Rooms

Custom Wood Countertops designed for Laundry Rooms for extra counter space
Custom Wood Countertops designed for Laundry Rooms

Custom wood countertops are designed for use in many rooms throughout the home, including laundry rooms. They can be designed for the wash station area or for extra counter space. Wood countertops provide a naturally warm surface for folding and switching the wash. Some designers choose to combine an integrated mudroom and laundry room. For integrated spaces like that, a wood bench seat is often crafted for a warm place to sit.

Custom African Mahogany Countertops designed for Laundry Rooms
African Mahogany Counters for a Laundry Room

Collaborative Interiors designed this Seattle, Washington laundry room to include an African Mahogany wood countertop above the washer and dryer. Also designed was an African Mahogany bench seat for the built in cabinetry on the parallel wall. The warm, red tones of the wood compliment the cabinetry in the wash station area, as well as the wood ceiling beam.

Custom Wood Counters designed to complete Laundry Room Tasks
African Mahogany Counter for a Laundry Room

Standing out against the white wall of paneling and cabinetry, the counter makes for the perfect area to fold and stack clothing. It also provides extra counter space for laundry related items to be in reach.

Long Wood Countertop designed for a Laundry Room runs the length of the wall
Long Custom Wood Countertop designed for a Laundry Room

A bright laundry room with lots of efficiency was designed for this Hawaiian home. Archipelago Hawaii designed a countertop to run the entire length of the wall, offering plenty of counter space to complete laundry-related tasks. This large laundry room also offers an expansive run of custom cabinetry.

Custom Wood Countertop designed for an Ultimate Laundry Room with an expansive run of cabinetry
Custom Wood Countertop designed for an Ultimate Laundry Room

Interested in seeing more wood countertop designs for laundry rooms? Check out the Grothouse Image Library for more inspiration. Like us on Facebook for daily wood innovations.

#CustomWoodCountertops #WoodCountertops #LaundryRooms #LaundryRoomDesignIdeas

Walnut Kitchen Island Top designed by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath

Our Custom Wood Countertops Blog features the industry’s most talented and innovative designers throughout the United States and abroad. This featured kitchen includes Walnut Kitchen Island Top designed by Sarah Kahn Turner of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath.

Design by Sarah Kahn Turner of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath
Sarah Kahn Turner of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath

About the Designer: Growing up overseas, Sarah developed a passion for historical preservation. She graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Interior Design. She wrote her undergraduate thesis on Color Therapy and strongly believes that living amidst great design can positively affect your subconscious and inspire you. After working over a decade in the design/build field, Sarah found herself drawn to the nuance and detail of custom millwork. In 2014, this passion led her to Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and  Bath. Her award-winning work has been featured in HOME, Traditional Home, Better Homes and Gardens, Chesapeake Home and The Washingtonian.

A Tip from Sarah: Be realistic about how you cook and what your storage needs are. Do an inventory of all your largest and smallest gadgets. You most likely have more than you think! Now is the time to efficiently find dedicated space for everything from that colander to the smallest measuring spoons. We have innovative ways to maximize even the smallest spaces if we accurately know what your needs are. A collaborative project is the best kind!

Walnut Kitchen Island Top designed by Sarah Kahn Turner of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen Bath
Walnut Kitchen Island Top designed by Sarah Kahn Turner of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath

Design Details

Cabinet Manufacturer: QCCI Quality Custom Cabinetry

Countertops: Bratti Black Soapstone perimeter countertops; Grothouse Walnut with Sapwood kitchen island countertop finished with Grothouse Original Oil™

Backsplash: Silver Quartzite Edge Mosaic Tile

Stove: Wolf GR486G 48” Dual Fuel Pro Range with black knobs, six burners, and griddle

Refrigerator: Sub-Zero IT-36Ci Refrigerator with Ice Maker

Other Appliances: Hot rolled steel shelf with 3 puck lights

Additional Comments and Advice: We sourced a reclaimed beam from a barn in Pennsylvania and accented a custom hood with it to add character and warmth. Reclaimed wood also frames each of the doorways to extend the rough hewn wood texture. Soapstone and walnut wood was used on the countertops to add to the patina.

Walnut with Sapwood Countertop for a Kitchen Island designed by Sarah Kahn Turner of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath
Walnut with Sapwood Countertop for a Kitchen Island
Kitchen Island with Walnut wood countertop designed by Sarah Kahn Turner of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen Island with Walnut wood countertop
Undermount sink in Walnut wood countertop designed by Sarah Kahn Turner of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath
Undermount sink in Walnut wood countertop

View additional designs by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath on their website, Facebook, Houzz, Pinterest, and Instagram. Visit the Grothouse Countertop Image Library to see more designs featuring a Walnut Kitchen Island Top.

Photography by Bob Narod.

#SarahTurner4JenniferGilmer #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodCountertops