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

Butcher Block Knife Slots

Butcher block knife slots are a popular feature selected for kitchen counters. Knife slots are built-in knife storage custom crafted into a wood butcher block countertop.

Butcher Block Knife Slots for easily accessible knife storage and organization
Butcher Block Knife Slots

The term “butcher block” is used by Grothouse when referring to wood countertops built in end grain construction style. End grain is the premium construction style and our recommended surface for food preparation. Knives stay sharper longer when used on butcher blocks because the knife blades slide between the wood fibers, much like cutting into a firm brush. An additional benefit is that butcher blocks don’t show knife marks as readily as wood countertops crafted in edge grain or flat grain construction. Knife slots can be integrated into a butcher block crafted out of any wood specie available at Grothouse.

Knife slots free counter space by eliminating the need for a knife block. They are designed so that knives are easily accessible, but also safely tucked away so that young children cannot reach them.

Knife slots take many different forms, from a single slot to a series of slots that fit different size knives. Knife slots designed to be one long singular slot are more universal, as they fit different size knives. Designing butcher blocks with knife slots of different sizes may be a problem if you change your knife set in the future. Removable knife slots are also available and can be replaced with another piece when you update your knife set.

Designs with Butcher Block Knife Slots

Random Mix Walnut Butcher Block with Knife Slots in Irvine, California
Random Mix Walnut Butcher Block with Knife Slots

Cabinets Plus designed a Random Mix Walnut with Sapwood butcher block to include knife slots. The knife slots were cleverly placed behind the sink, making the knives easily accessible but also out of the way as to not interrupt the food prep space.

Visit the Grothouse Image Library and follow @grothouseinc on Instagram to see more designs with butcher block knife slots.

#ButcherBlockKnifeSlots #ButcherBlocks #KnifeSlots #WoodInnovation #GrothouseThings

Countertop Design Trend: Wood Countertops and Apron Sinks

A current countertop design trend is pairing a wood countertop with an apron sink. This is a timeless combination that is popular in any style kitchen, especially in traditional and transitional kitchens.

Wood Countertop Design Trend Wood Countertops and Apron Sinks
Countertop Design Trend: Wood Countertops and Apron Sinks

The type of wood selected for the countertop varies, but the most popular species is Walnut. Various types of apron sinks are used, from a classic white to copper and patterned sinks.

When sealed with Grothouse exclusive Durata® permanent finish, the countertop is completely waterproof and safe from water damage. Durata® is available in different sheen levels, and the sheen level chosen varies based on the look the designer is striving to achieve.

Durata® Satin finish is a sheen level of 35 and has an appearance similar to common household furniture and dining tables. Satin sheen is the most popular selection. Durata® Semi-Gloss finish is a sheen level of 55 and is the best application for a kitchen countertop with a glossy finish. Durata® Matte finish is a sheen level of 10 and has an organic appearance similar to natural oil finishes.

Countertop Design Trend Inspiration

Countertop Design Trend Cherry Wood Countertop with Copper Apron Sink in Farmhouse Traditional Style Kitchen
Cherry Countertop with Copper Apron Sink

Kelly Bailey of Coastal Cabinet Works designed a Cherry All Heartwood kitchen island countertop to feature a copper apron sink. The countertop is finished with Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish in Matte sheen.

Countertop Design Trend Walnut Wood Counters with Apron Sink in Traditional Style Kitchen
Walnut Counters with Apron Sink

Walnut wood counters were designed by Chris Black-Puckett Design for the perimeter of this traditional kitchen. The walnut counters include a white apron sink with beautiful detailing on the front. The counters are accentuated with Level 2 Distressing and finished with Durata® Permanent Waterproof Finish.

Countertop Design Trend Walnut and Cherry Checkerboard Butcher Block with Apron Sink
Walnut and Cherry Checkerboard Butcher Block with Apron Sink

Showcase Kitchens designed a Walnut and Cherry checkerboard butcher block for the island in this traditional style kitchen. Although this is a butcher block, an apron sink was still able to be incorporated into the design. The wood butcher block is still safe from water damage.

Want to see more kitchens featuring this countertop design trend? Visit the Grothouse Image Library! Be sure to follow @grothouseinc on Instagram to see more design trends.

#CountertopDesignTrend #CustomWoodCountertops #ApronSinks #GrothouseThings

The Ultimate Combination of Beauty and Brawn

Walnut Counters with Cove Edges are the ultimate combination of beauty and brawn – a strong, durable wood complete with a bashful edge profile. We have seen this combination used time and time again in different style kitchens. This combination is one of the preferred choices of leading design professionals worldwide, especially for white kitchens. Kitchen styles including this combination vary from traditional to transitional and even modern.

Why Walnut Counters with Cove Edges?

Walnut Wood for Custom Solid Surfaces crafted by Grothouse in Germansville, Pennsylvania
Walnut Wood

Walnut wood counters are naturally rich in textural details and produces a large variety of figure types. Walnut is a prized wood that is noted for its beautiful grain and warm, chocolaty brown color. The sapwood in Walnut varies in color from white and yellow-brown.

Cove Edge Profile for Custom Solid Wood Surfaces crafted by Grothouse in Germansville, PA
Cove Wood Countertop Edge Profile

The Cove edge profile is a simple edge profile that is typically selected for the top horizontal edges of counters. Not only is it bashfully beautiful, but the Cove edge profile is also very easy to keep clean. In order for a countertop to include a Cove edge, it must be at least 1-1/2 inches thick.

Designs Featuring Walnut Counters with Cove Edges

Walnut Countertop with Cove Edges design by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs in Madison, New Jersey
Walnut Countertop with Cove Edges designed by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs

This white transitional kitchen was designed by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs for a home in Madison, New Jersey. The large kitchen island features a Walnut with Sapwood edge grain countertop with a 3/4″ Cove edge profile on the top horizontal edges. The bottom horizontal edges and vertical corners feature a 1/8″ Roundover profile. The simplicity of the Roundover enhances the detail in the Cove on the top edges.

Walnut Countertop with Cove Edges designed by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs
Walnut Countertop with Cove Edges designed by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs

The natural Walnut wood characteristics are magnified and protected by  Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish in Satin sheen.

Walnut Counter with Cove Edges designed by The Cabinetry Kitchen & Bath Design Studio
Walnut Counter with Cove Edges designed by The Cabinetry Kitchen & Bath Design Studio | Photography by Tara L. Callow

The Cabinetry Kitchen & Bath Design Studio designed a white traditional kitchen for a home located in Hingham, Massachusetts. A large kitchen island takes the focus of this space, featuring a flat grain Walnut with Sapwood counter with a Cove profile on the top horizontal edges.

Walnut Counters with Cove Edges designed by The Cabinetry Kitchen & Bath Design Studio in Hingham, MA
Walnut Counter with Cove Edges designed by The Cabinetry Kitchen & Bath Design Studio | Photography by Tara L. Callow

The rich browns in the wood contrast beautifully against the antique white cabinets and creates the perfect seating area for four. The Cabinetry Kitchen & Bath Design Studio selected Durata® permanent finish in Matte sheen for this counter.

Visit the Grothouse Countertop Image Library in the Countertop Design Guide on our website to see more kitchen designs featuring Walnut Counters with Cove Edges.

#WalnutCounters #CoveEdgeProfile #CustomWoodCountertops #KitchenDesignTrends #GrothouseThings

What Edge Profile Should I Use for My Kitchen Countertops?

The edge profile of your kitchen countertop may seem like a mundane detail when looking at your kitchen as a whole. However, it can make a world of difference to the look and function of your countertops, as well as the kitchen overall.

With over 40 edge profiles available for application on Grothouse solid surfaces, it can make deciding on an edge profile a difficult decision. Industry Designers typically select a profile that reflects the style of the kitchen.

Simple Edge Profile

Simple Edge Profile Kitchen Countertop
Kitchen Countertop with a Simple Edge

A simple profile, such as the 1/8” Roundover, exhibits a simple rectangular edge. Designers typically select this profile for countertops in contemporary or modern kitchens because it gives a minimal, modern appeal. Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath designed this modern kitchen to feature a large Peruvian Walnut countertop. The countertop features a 1/8” Roundover edge profile to match the sleek lines throughout the rest of the kitchen.

Ornate Edge Profile

Ornate Edge Profile Kitchen Countertop
Kitchen Countertop with an Ornate Edge

More ornate profiles usually carry a traditional air and a sense of warmth and personality. Venegas and Company, Boston designed this traditional kitchen to feature a White Oak island countertop with a French Baroque edge. The French Baroque edge is a very ornate, elegant profile structured as a stacking of a cove and bead and cove. The classical style of the edge complements the rest of the kitchen and enhances the old-world feel.

Designers may also select a profile based on the intended use of the counter. If a butcher block is being designed for a food preparation station, Roundover profiles are often preferred so that the edge profile does not take away from the function of the countertop.

Ultimately, selecting an edge profile for your kitchen countertops is a decision that comes down to personal priorities and preference. Check out the Countertop Design Guide to learn more about designing a solid surface.

#CustomWoodCountertops #EdgeProfiles #KitchenCountertops #GrothouseThings

Most Popular Feature to Upgrade in a Kitchen Renovation

Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design, surveyed more than 1,700 homeowners doing a kitchen renovation as part of its 2018 U.S. Kitchen Trends Study. In addition to other things, the study asked what features homeowners are upgrading in their kitchens.

Survey respondents had completed a kitchen project in the previous 12 months, were working on one or planned to start one in the next three months. Their responses provide insight into what is currently trending in American kitchens.

 

Most Popular Feature to Upgrade in a Kitchen Renovation are Countertops
Major Upgraded Kitchen Features | Image Source: Houzz

As this graph shows, the most popular feature to upgrade in a kitchen renovation are the countertops. Countertops are the most common splurges during kitchen renovations, whereas homeowners tend to save on flooring, backsplash and lighting fixtures. This makes sense, as countertops are so much more than just a surface. Countertops create spaces for entertaining and spending time with family and friends.

Butcher blocks and wood slabs rank third in the top five popular choices in countertop materials, following natural stone and engineered quartz. However, these materials are often mixed together to create the perfect kitchen countertop flow.

While stone and quartz are beautiful in appearance, they are naturally cold, hard surfaces. Wood is a naturally warm, comforting material that is commonly used for food preparation or seating areas.

Countertop Materials in a Kitchen Renovation include a Walnut Butcher Block and Marble
Design by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs

Designed by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs, this kitchen features a Walnut butcher block for a food prep station and a marble countertop for the kitchen island.

The countertop design guide on our website includes an image library, showcasing countertop inspiration for a kitchen renovation by some of the industry’s best designers. Click here to view the library!

#KitchenRenovation #Houzz #Countertops #CustomWoodCountertops #ButcherBlocks #GrothouseThings

Wood Bath Surrounds

Wood is naturally a warm, comfortable material, which is why some of the industry’s best designers choose custom wood bath surrounds for luxurious master bathrooms.

Wood Bath Surrounds Custom Designed for Master Bathrooms
Wood Bath Surrounds

The most popular wood specie selected for wood bath surrounds is Teak. This is due to its natural waterproof high natural oil content. Teak is actually one of the most common woods used for yachts.

Designs with Wood Bath Surrounds

Wood Bath Surround designed for a traditional style master bathroom with white cabinetry
Wood Bath Surround | Design by Echelon Custom Homes

An elegantly traditional master bathroom designed by Echelon Custom Homes includes a custom Teak wood bath tub surround. It was designed as an accent piece to cover only the top of the tub.

Wood Bath Surround matches hutch and complements marble floor in traditional master bath
Wood Bath Surround | Design by Echelon Custom Homes

The wood was finished with Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish in Satin sheen. Matching perfectly with the hutch aside of the tub, the wood also complements the marble floor and white bathroom cabinetry. This bright bath has a spa like feel. While it is spacious, it still remains warm and calming.

Wood Bath Surround designed for an Asian-Inspired style master bathroom with white cabinetry
Wood Bath Surround | Design by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath

A contemporary Asian-inspired master bath designed by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath includes a wood bath surround. Wood baths are popular in Asian-inspired spaces, as they reflect a calming, spa-like appeal.

Wood Bath Surround matches vanity countertop and divider wall in Asian style master bath
Wood Bath Surround | Design by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath

The entire tub itself is made of Teak wood. Grothouse crafted a custom wood countertop and divider wall to match the tub. The wood was stained with Grothouse The Favorite Stock Stain (#03012) and finished with Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish in Matte sheen.

Visit the Grothouse Countertop Image Library and like @grothouseinc on Instagram to see more custom wood bath surrounds!

#WoodBathSurrounds #WoodBathroomCountertops #CustomWoodCountertops #GrothouseThings

Custom Table by Grothouse for Liebherr Booth at KBIS 2018

A Custom Table crafted by Grothouse was designed by Richard Anuszkiewicz of Alt Breeding Schwarz Architects for the Liebherr Booth at KBIS 2018.

Custom Table designed by Richard Anuszkiewicz for KBIS 2018 Liebherr Booth
Design by Richard Anuszkiewicz for KBIS 2018 Liebherr Booth

This booth unveiled the groundbreaking Liebherr Monolith – a refrigerator built for the future with whisper quiet operation and advanced technology. 84 inches from top to bottom, this impressive monumental wonder of German engineering takes food preservation to a new level. With superior food-saving advancements and energy efficiency, Monolith is a fusion of technical genius and practical ingenuity.

Custom Table Details

Custom Stained White Oak Table Top features a Chevron Pattern and Brass Inset Screws
Custom Stained White Oak Table Top features a Chevron Pattern and Brass Inset Screws

The three inch thick table top was crafted out of White Oak. It features a chevron pattern and inset brass screws down the center of the table top. A custom stain was used to achieve the white color. An eighth inch Roundover was selected for the top, bottom and vertical edges of the table top for a sleek look.

Custom Anvil™ Ferrum Metal Finished Table Base and Base Foot
Custom Anvil™ Ferrum Metal Finished Table Base and Base Foot

The table base and base foot are coated in Anvil™ Ferrum metal finish with a Durata® Satin top coat. The Ferrum finish replicates the gray color of iron, matching the grays used throughout the rest of the design. The edges of the base were rounded a quarter inch to continue the sleek look of the table top.

Grothouse is honored to have crafted a table for the unveiling of this stunning Monolith inception kitchen. To see more custom tables by Grothouse, visit the Countertop Image Library on our website.

#KBIS #KBIS2018 #Liebherr #LiebherrUSA #Monolith #MonolithInceptionKitchen #NKBA #CustomTable #WoodInnovations #AnvilSeries #GrothouseThings

Custom Wenge Countertops designed by North Star Kitchens

Our Custom Wood Countertops Blog features the industry’s most talented and innovative designers throughout the United States and abroad. This featured design includes Custom Wenge Countertops designed by Peter Harms of North Star Kitchens.

Custom Wenge Countertops designed by Peter Harms of North Star Kitchens for a kitchen in Minneapolis, MN
Peter Harms of North Star Kitchens

About the Designer: Peter Harms has been designing kitchens and custom cabinetry for North Star Kitchens in Minneapolis MN for nearly 20 years. Peter loves to design kitchens in all flavors, but his favorite is soft contemporary. Peter strives to design beautiful kitchens that are both practical and functional. The use of integrated appliances helps to meld the kitchen into today’s open floor plans nicely.

Designer Tip: In this kitchen we utilized thick Wenge countertops to soften the kitchen aesthetic and provide a warm soft touch to the eating area of the kitchen island.

Custom Wenge Countertops

Custom Wenge Countertop for a Seating Area at a Large Kitchen Island in Minneapolis, MN
Custom Wenge Countertop for Seating Area
Wenge Wood Countertop for a Seating Area at a Large Kitchen Island in Minneapolis, MN
Wenge Countertop for Seating at the Kitchen Island

Design Details

Cabinet Manufacturer: Downsview Custom Kitchens – Horizontal Wenge Veneer

Cabinet Hardware: Custom Polished Stainless Steel

Flooring: European Rustic White Oak

Countertops: Grothouse Wenge, Cambria –  Newport

Sink: Custom by Mekal

Backsplash: Cambria – Newport

Hood: Polished Stainless Steel

Stove: Wolf 48″ Dual Fuel

Dishwasher: Asko – Integrated

Other Appliances: Sub-Zero Refrigeration and Freezers

Seating Area and Bar with Wenge Countertops for a home in Minneapolis, MN
Seating Area and Bar with Wenge Countertops

 

Wenge Bar Countertop with Laser Engraving for a contemporary style home in Minneapolis, MN
Wenge Bar Countertop with Laser Engraving

Follow North Star Kitchens 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 Wenge countertops.

#CustomWoodCountertops #CustomWengeCountertops #KitchenDesign #GrothouseThings

Anvil™ Metal Countertop Accents

Anvil™ Metal Countertop Accents are becoming increasingly popular in today’s luxury kitchens, baths and entertainment spaces. Metal accents take many different forms at Grothouse, like edging, rivets, and more. The design opportunities are limitless. The most common accent design is edging.

Anvil Metal Countertop Accents for Luxury Kitchens Baths Offices and Other Spaces
Anvil™ Metal Countertop Accents

Accents can be finished in any of the eight Anvil™ metal coating colors available: Axel, Kratos, Ferrum, Medallion, Exodus, Magnum, Palladium and Argentum. Chosen for its lustrous, brassy radiance, the most popular accent color is Magnum.

Designs with Anvil™ Metal Countertop Accents

Anvil Metal Countertop Accents for a Table Design by Matthew Quinn for House Beautiful Magazine Kitchen of the Year 2016
Design by Matthew Quinn for House Beautiful Magazine Kitchen of the Year 2016

Matthew Quinn designed the custom Walnut wood table pictured above to feature a Magnum metal band along the table top and along the table base. This table was designed for House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year 2016.

Anvil Metal Countertop Accents for a Custom Wood Bar Top Design by Audrey Newman of JW Kitchens
Design by Audrey Newman of JW Kitchens

Audrey Newman of JW Kitchens designed a custom Sapele Mahogany bar top with Palladium metal finished edges. Palladium gleams like white gold and adds a special touch to the bar top, making it stand out against the dark cabinetry.

Click here to learn more about Anvil™ metal finishes exclusively available at Grothouse. Visit the countertop image library to see more designs with Anvil™ metal countertop accents.

#AnvilSeries #MetalCountertops #MetalCountertopAccents #CustomWoodCountertops #GrothouseThings