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

Round Kitchen Counter Corners

Round Kitchen Counter Corners are an easy way to make your design unique, add a sense of smoothness to your space. In addition, they make the counter safe for families with young children in the kitchen.

Round Kitchen Counter Corners | Wood Countertops, Butcher Blocks, Bar Tops, Tables
Round Kitchen Counter Corners

Round corners can be achieved by designing a counter with a round shape, such as a circle, oval or with an arc or curve. Another way round corners can be achieved is by selecting a round edge profile for the top horizontal edges, bottom horizontal edges and vertical corners. The roundest edge profiles available at Grothouse include: ½” Roundover¾” Roundover1” Roundover1 ½” Roundover and Full Bullnose.

Designs with Round Kitchen Counter Corners

The designers of these kitchens found creative ways to ease the transition from counter to walking zone. It’s pretty standard for kitchen island cabinets to run in a straight line. But sometimes, that isn’t the smoothest route. These two kitchens employ clever usage of wood island countertops with round corners. Though the solutions vary, each makes the nearby passageway feel a little more smooth. Could this be a solution for your kitchen?

Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Island Countertop with Round Corners
Walnut Butcher Block with Round Corners

Haile Kitchen & Bath designed this transitional kitchen. Its large island features a Walnut end grain butcher block with an arched end. The edge profile selected for this design is an 1/8″ Roundover on the top horizontal edges and bottom horizontal edges.

Peruvian Walnut Kitchen Island Counter and Dining Table with Round Corners
Peruvian Walnut Counter with Round Corners

Kitchen counters with round corners are perfect for dining tables, like this one designed by Wendy Danziger of Danziger Design. This Peruvian Walnut edge grain wood countertop features a 1/8″ Roundover edge profile on the top horizontal edges and bottom horizontal edges. Click here to learn more about this countertop design.

Visit the Grothouse Countertop Image Library to see more designs with round kitchen counter corners.

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Breakfast Bar Tops

Breakfast bar tops are a brilliant way to add extra living space into the kitchen. They are the little perch where you start, and often finish, the day. Most designers choose a solid wood countertop for breakfast bars. Unlike stone and metal, wood is a naturally warm surface that is perfect for sipping morning coffee or enjoying ice cream.

Despite its name, a breakfast bar isn’t just a spot for morning coffee and a bowl of oatmeal. This handy feature, which can be as simple or ornate as your kitchen is, fulfills multiple roles: a cocktail party buffet, a kids’ homework station, extra dinner party seating and more.

Most breakfast bars are designed to sit higher than the kitchen countertops, but they have been designed to align with kitchen countertops as well as even sitting below them.

Designs with Breakfast Bar Tops

Custom Wood Breakfast Bar Tops for Kitchen Islands
Walnut Breakfast Bar Top

The cooking and eating zones on this kitchen island designed by Todd Wiley of Tru Kitchens have been ingeniously divided up, thanks to different worktop materials. It’s a simple trick that makes it instantly feel less like a workaday kitchen and more like a multi-functional space. For the breakfast bar, a Walnut countertop was designed to fit perfectly around the other countertop material.

Custom Wood Reclaimed Chestnut Breakfast Bar Tops for Kitchen Islands
Reclaimed Chestnut Breakfast Bar Top

Designer Alicia Saso, AKBD, of Drury Design Kitchen & Bath Studio used Reclaimed Chestnut for this raised breakfast bar top. The wood has tons of ramshackle character and adds organic charm to the space.

Custom Walnut All Heartwood Breakfast Bar Top
Walnut All Heartwood Breakfast Bar Top

This half-wall could easily have languished as wasted space. However, Kitchenscapes saw an opportunity and put it to work with a simple Walnut All Heartwood counter, fun blue tile and bar stools that creates the perfect spot for coffee or cocktails.

Custom Cherry with Sapwood Breakfast Bar Top
Cherry with Sapwood Breakfast Bar Top

This large Cherry with Sapwood breakfast bar top designed by Kubik Builders provides plenty of room for sitting and gathering out of the main food prep space on the opposite side of the kitchen island.

Want to see more designs featuring breakfast bar tops? Visit the Grothouse Countertop Image Library by clicking here.

#BreakfastBarTops #CustomWoodBarTops #BarTops #GrothouseThings

Kitchen Island Shapes

The most common kitchen island shape is a rectangle, but incorporating unique kitchen island shapes into your kitchen design can provide better traffic, more seating, entertaining, food preparation space and, of course, add style.

When designing a kitchen island with a unique shape, the materials used for countertops need to be considered. The luxury of incorporating a wood countertop into the kitchen island design is that wood can be crafted in any shape, style and design. Wood is not restricted like other materials, such as solid metal countertops.

Kitchen Island Shapes | Design Inspiration

L-Shaped Kitchen Island Design | Kitchen Island Shapes with Wood Countertops
L-Shaped Kitchen Island

An L-shaped kitchen island design takes the common rectangle kitchen island and adds some edge. Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath designed this modern kitchen to feature an L-shaped island. One part of the L is a White Oak Half Parsons Table, creating efficient seating space away from the busiest area of the kitchen. A Cambria Torquay countertop was designed for the other part of the L in this island, creating a food preparation space conveniently located near the range and other appliances.

Geometric Kitchen Island Design | Kitchen Island Shapes with Wood Countertops
Geometric Kitchen Island

Kitchen islands can be designed in geometric shapes, which can take the form of pentagons or octagons or some variation of the two. Auer Kitchens designed this kitchen island to make the most of the space while following the shape of the kitchen itself. The Sapele Mahogany wood countertop was designed for seating along one side of the island and food prep space on the other.

Unique Kitchen Island Design | Kitchen Island Shapes with Wood Countertops
Unique Kitchen Island

Richard Thomas Anuszkiewicz designed this truly unique kitchen island with three different sections creating the ultimate kitchen island. A custom White Oak wood table with an Anvil™ metal base creates banquet seating on one side of the island. Across the top of the bench is another counter, creating a bar area that may be used for food preparation or serving space. Adjacent to that is another countertop with a sink, which can also be used for food preparation. This kitchen was on display at KBIS 2018 and features Liebherr appliances.

Visit the Grothouse Image Library to view more designs with unique kitchen island shapes.

#KitchenIslandShapes #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodCountertops #KitchenIslandCountertops #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

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

Stained White Oak Countertop for Gold Award-Winning Kitchen

A modern prairie-style home in Grand Rapids, Michigan won a Gold Award for custom kitchen design at the NAHB Best in American Living awards. In addition to this gold award-winning kitchen design, the home was the headliner of the 2017 Spring Parade of Homes.

Award-Winning Kitchen for Modern Prairie Style Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan includes Stained White Oak Countertop by Grothouse
Award-Winning Kitchen | Photography by Chuck Heiney

The $1M-plus house is the result of a beautiful collaboration between Architect/Designer, 42 North – Architecture + DesignBuilder BDR Executive Custom Homes, Inc.Interior Designer Christine DiMariaInterior Merchandiser Tru Kitchens and Landscape Architect/Designer Twin Lakes Nursery.

Award-Winning Kitchen Details

Gold Award-Winning Kitchen Design Details for Modern Prairie Style home in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Gold Award-Winning Kitchen Design Details

The clients wanted the design of their home to emphasize its forest-framed views of the river. Understated earth tones, light colors, Fon du Lac stone and wood accents also play off the home’s surroundings creating a home that truly embodies modern indoor-outdoor living.

Stained White Oak Countertop Custom Crafted by Grothouse for Award Winning Kitchen in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Stained White Oak Countertop Custom Crafted by Grothouse

A custom Stained White Oak wood countertop was crafted for the kitchen island to accompany a quartz counter. The countertop was crafted 1-3/4 inches thick in Edge Grain construction style. Skillfully crafted so all the grain runs in the same direction, this countertop is finished with Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish in Matte sheen.

Visit the Grothouse Image Library to see more award-winning kitchen designs featuring custom wood countertops.

#CustomWoodCountertops #AwardWinning #KitchenDesign #GrothouseThings

Is 2018 a Good Year for Home Improvements?

According to a survey recently conducted by RICKI – The Kitchen Think Tank, American homeowners are poised to spend on home improvements this year.

66% of homeowners overall agree that 2018 is a good time to invest in their homes. This attitude is even more prevalent among younger homeowners, with 78% of millennial homeowners agreeing that this is a good year for improvements.

2018 is a good year for home improvements most popular feature updated are kitchen countertops
Is 2018 a Good Year for Home Improvements? | Design by Phoebe Steinhoff-Smith of Coastal Cabinet Works

Most Popular Feature to Upgrade in Home Improvements

The most popular feature to upgrade in home improvements for the kitchen are countertops. This data was found by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. Their 2018 U.S. Kitchen Trends Study surveyed over 1,700 homeowners.

In addition, 500 kitchen dealers and designers across the U.S. and Canada were recently surveyed by Kitchen & Bath Design News magazine for insight on most desired surfacing traits, views on the importance of surfacing and more. Survey says that 77.6% of designers believe countertops are extremely important to the overall look of the kitchen. Additionally, 58.3% of designers think countertops are extremely important to the functionality of the kitchen.

Countertops are seen as a worthwhile investment, and this view continues to grow. Specifically if the countertops are both beautiful and durable. This is why many homeowners choose wood countertops for home improvements in the kitchen.

View the Image Library for design inspiration for home improvements or visit the Countertop Design Guide to learn more about the copious wood countertop options available.

#HomeImprovements #RICKI #Houzz #KitchenBathDesignNews #KBDN #CustomWoodCountertops #KitchenCountertops #GrothouseThings

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