The percent of kitchen remodeling budgets spent on countertops is increasing, with less expensive materials trending downward as homeowners look to designers to help them select countertops that will be both durable and beautiful. Kitchen & Bath Design News conducted a survey that polled more than 220 kitchen and bath dealers and designers about how countertops fit into their clients’ overall project budgets.
According to the survey results, the value of countertops can be seen in consumers’ increasing willingness to invest in these materials. To that end, more than half of those polled invest 10-20% of their clients’ kitchen budget (55.9%) in countertops, with another 29.1% saying that countertops account for 20-40% of the project budget. Additionally, 7.3% note that their clients spend as much as 41-60% of their overall budget on the countertops (see Graph 5 below from KBDN).
Homeowners’ willingness to invest in countertops might be related to their view that countertops add both beauty and function to the kitchen. When asked whether their clients were more interested in aesthetics or durability/function/ease of maintenance, more than three quarters of those polled (77.7%) said their clients valued both equally.
This survey also polled which countertop materials are currently trending. The results released that wood countertops have the second largest percentage of growing interest, at 31.7%. The countertop material with largest percentage of growing interest is quartz/quartzite, and with the current mixed surface materials trend, this makes total sense. Designers often pair wood countertops with quartz countertops to create the perfect combination.
Senior designer Todd Wiley of Tru Kitchens in Michigan designed this beautiful transitional kitchen pictured above to feature a large kitchen island. A custom Grothouse walnut wood counter was crafted for the seating area. The counter was constructed so that the grain of the wood runs in 126 3/8″ direction. The wood counter was rabbeted to overlap a quartzite countertop, designed for the remainder of the kitchen island.
Currently trending and growing in popularity are beige kitchen designs with dark wood counters. Beige is a light, soothing neutral that is deeper than the traditional white kitchen. Beige also lets built-in accents, like the counters, really shine. Designers love the contrast of a dark wood against beige tones. The overall appeal creates a comfortable space with earthy tones.
Beige Kitchens with Dark Wood Counters
Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this transitional kitchen design is jaw-dropping. The beige cabinets are Poplar and White Oak Rift. Todd Wiley, Senior Designer, of TruKitchens designed a White Oak counter for a seating area around the kitchen island. Naturally White Oak is lighter in color, so Todd selected a dark stain application. The dark stained White Oak counter contrasts beautifully with the beige cabinets, while complementing the range hood and wood ceiling beams.
J Paul Lobkovich designed this kitchen to be on display at the Signature Custom Cabinetry Conference in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. He chose Peruvian Walnut for the kitchen counter. Since the wood is naturally like dark chocolate in color, there was no need for a stain application. The warm tones of the Peruvian Walnut counter bring out the grain and figures in the beige cabinets.
Past Basket designed this transitional, beige kitchen in Geneva, Illinois to feature a large Peruvian Walnut counter for the island. Perfectly complementing the bar stools and wood flooring throughout the space, the counter creates the perfect place to entertain, food prep, or just sit and enjoy a meal together.
Visit the Countertop Image Library on our website to see more beige kitchen designs with dark wood counters!
We would like to take the honor of congratulating the prestigious Matthew Quinn for winning Kitchen & Bath Business Person of the Year! The editors at Kitchen & Bath Business chose the Person of the Year and the six Praiseworthy Picks based on how they are leading the way and making a difference in our industry.
Wood Countertops by Matthew Quinn
Grothouse had the honor to work with Matthew Quinn on many occasions, including the prestigious House Beautiful Magazine Kitchen of the Year 2016. His designs are more than inspiration, they are truly unique innovations.
House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year designed by Quinn featured a Walnut wood table with an Anvil™ Magnum metal finished edging along the table and pedestal base.
Also a part of Kitchen of the Year was this White Oak Rift Sawn Blank countertop featuring an Anvil™ Argentum Metal Textured Finish applied to show the wood grain. Matching floating shelves were crafted in the same finish.
A 125″ Walnut Butcher Block Countertop was designed by Nikki Trivisonno of Somrak Kitchens for the large kitchen island in this gorgeous traditional white kitchen.
Redefined classic white kitchen cabinets create a timeless look in this kitchen. A white backsplash and perimeter countertops are seamless with the white cabinets. Crystal chandeliers and a white apron sink add farmhouse flair to the design.
The wood floors are complemented by the warmth of the large Walnut butcher block countertop, and contrast perfectly against the white cabinets, backsplash and countertops.
About the 125″ Walnut Butcher Block Countertop
The large kitchen island is complete with this 125″ walnut butcher block countertop. At 2 1/2″ thick and 55″ in depth this end grain butcher block is ready for some serious food preparation. In addition, it provides the perfect place for everyone to gather, while still leaving the chef, or chefs, plenty of room to still prepare.
Walnut is one of the most popular wood species selected for kitchen countertops. Walnut is a prized cabinetmaking wood, noted for its beautiful, slightly open and straight grain. It can also show a wave or curly figure. Walnut is hard and tough, which gives it moderate crushing and bending strength, as well as medium stiffness. Finished with Grothouse Original Oil™, this Walnut butcher block can be sanded and oiled to look like new after many uses.
“This paradise in the pines needed a total refresh with new flooring, doors and windows throughout,” stated Jillian Clark. “Wolf appliances are surrounded by soft teal “Carolina Gull” custom color cabinets in the kitchen by Urban Effects Cabinetry in their Foxfire door style. The Blanco Ikon apron front sink in Cinder is complemented by a Newport Brass Vespera faucet.”
Caesarstone engineered quartz counters in “Georgian Bluffs” on the perimeter and portion of the island. A random blend mosaic backsplash tile blends beautifully with the walls, cabinets, wood top and flooring.
Ash Wood Kitchen Island Countertop Details
The Ash Wood Countertop crafted for this kitchen island is 1-1/2 inches thick. It is 88-1/2 inches wide by 66-1/2 inches deep. Featuring a custom stain application, this countertop was sealed with our proprietary Durata® waterproof permanent finish in matte sheen.
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 Countertop Room Divider designed by Eva Andersen of Teakwood Builders.
To serve as a divider between the kitchen and living room of this home, Eva designed white cabinetry with a Grothouse Walnut wood countertop. The countertop features a Small Classical Bead and Cove edge profile and stain application (stain # 03004). It was finished with Durata® permanent finish in matte.
Other Items, Comments or Advice: We brought this luxurious stone and glass mosaic to the crown molding, functioning like a beautiful wallpaper behind the sink and the range. Often it’s better to continue one material versus having choppy delineation between areas. While this is usually a more contemporary way of treating the backsplash in this case it worked beautifully in this traditional kitchen because of the materials.
This home office features cabinetry by DeWils Custom Cabinetry, Lakewood door style in Walnut stained “Nutmeg”. Grothouse crafted a beautifully matched radius Walnut wood countertop for the office desk top.
All together this customized built-in desk design provides a large work are, creating storage opportunities with the book shelves and the space underneath the desk. The area underneath the desk also offers a place for trash cans, paper shredders and other various items that should be tucked away.
About the Designer
Jillian Clark specializes in designing and creating uncommon kitchens, baths, and home spaces that completely reflect an individual ‘s discerning tastes and style.
“The kitchen is not just a place to prepare food, it’s a family gathering spot, entertainment hub, homework area, the list can go on!” – Jillian Clark
Want to see more designs by Jillian? Like Kitchen Studio of Monterey Peninsula Inc. on Facebook and follow them on Instagram! Visit the Image Library on our website, glumber.com, to see more designs with a Walnut Desk Top.
The upper level of the kitchen island is a raised bar, composed of a three inch thick flat grain Walnut with Sapwood bar top. The character found in the wooden ceiling beams was complemented by distressing the bar top to level #4, which was then enhanced with a hand rubbed black glaze. Adding further character, the bar top features a Medium Roman Ogee edge profile.
The kitchen island features a lower level with a Random Mix End Grain Butcher Block with a Cherry field and a three inch Walnut Border. A custom edge profile was created by reversing the Chamfer with a step on the bottom edge.
A custom flat grain Walnut with sapwood backsplash was designed to connect the two tiers of the island. The design features a matching outlet cover. The backsplash was also distressed to level #4 and enhanced with a hand rubbed black glaze to match the upper level Walnut bar top.
The custom wood countertops and backsplash on the two tier kitchen island were the perfect addition to match the wooden ceiling beams and the wood fireplace mantel.
Our Custom Wood Countertops Blog features the industry’s most talented and innovative designers throughout the United States and abroad. This featured kitchen includes an Anvil™ Palladium Metal Countertop designed by Jacob Evans Kitchen and Bath in collaboration with Wildman Chalmers Design.
Grothouse crafted a flat grain Cherry with sapwood countertop that features a 1/2″ Chamfer edge profile. To achieve an appearance similar to cast or rolled metal, Anvil™ metal finish was applied in the coating color Palladium.