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.

#RoundKitchenCounterCorners #KitchenCounter #CustomWoodCountertops #GrothouseThings

Purchase Grothouse Original Oil on our Online Store

Grothouse Original Oil keeps custom solid wood countertops properly moisturized and ensures your countertops look as beautiful as the day you got them. This oil can be used on wood countertops, butcher blocks, soapstone, salad bowls, wooden utensils and more.

Walnut Butcher Block Countertop Finished with Grothouse Original Oil
Walnut Butcher Block Finished with Grothouse Original Oil™ | Design by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs

Grothouse Original Oil™ is a fragrance-free, heavy weight pure mineral oil. It does not contain nut oils, making it food safe and hypoallergenic.

The oil applying process is simple and easy. All you need is a paper towel or cotton cloth to spread a thin coat of oil over the surface. Be sure to oil the sides and the exposed bottoms of the wood countertop. For best results, allow the oil to soak in overnight. If you need to use your countertop or butcher block top right away, then remove any excess oil with a dry cloth and your piece will be ready to use.

Grothouse Original Oil™ should be applied once a week for the first month after receiving your wood surface. Thereafter, the piece should be oiled at a minimum of once per month or if the surface appears visually dry.

How to Purchase Grothouse Original Oil

Purchase Grothouse Original Oil Food Safe Finish for Custom Solid Wood Surfaces Soapstone Countertops Wood Utensils and More
Grothouse Original Oil™

Grothouse Original Oil™ may be purchased through our online Shopify store. We offer 3 types of bundles, single bottle, case of 4 bottles and case of 12 bottles. If you purchase one of the bigger bundles you could save up to $103.

Purchase Grothouse Original Oil to keep your solid wood surfaces properly moisturized to last a lifetime. Please contact us if you have any questions by giving us a call at 610-767-6515 or emailing glumber@glumber.com.

#WoodFinish #CustomWoodCountertops #ButcherBlocks #GrothouseThings

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

Custom Wood Kitchen Countertop History

While kitchen styles have changed from year to year, wood has always been a top choice for kitchen countertops. Wood kitchen countertop history dates back to the early 1900’s when all things house-related were taken over by an exciting wave of modernization.

Custom Wood Kitchen Countertop History in the 1900s
Custom Wood Kitchen Countertop History

The earliest countertop materials were stone and wood. Those who cooked over a fireplace or open flame used the fieldstone hearth as their countertop. Wood wasn’t far behind in the timeline of countertops, and was used just as early as the stone hearth. As cooks began to move away from the fireplace and into a dedicated kitchen, the earliest countertops were still made of stone and wood, the most available products.

Things changed when the 19th century rolled around, like countertops made of lush materials, such as marble, fine woods and occasional metals. These were often found in the most upscale kitchen pantries or serving areas. In the kitchen itself remained the domain of wood.

Wood countertops have had a long presence in kitchens and pantries in the form of work tops or wood tables. Pine, maple, and oak were top choices for worktops at the turn of the 20th century.

Wood Kitchen Countertop History

1920 Wood Kitchen Countertop History
1920’s Kitchen Photo courtesy of Sadro Design Studio Inc by Northlight Photography

This 1920’s L-shaped kitchen features a wood countertop, white cabinetry and beaded board panel backsplash. While this kitchen has countertops at the same height, countertop heights were far from standardized and there would be multiple heights in the same kitchen often.

1950s Wood Kitchen Countertop History
1950’s Kitchen

Many of the features that are standard to modern kitchens today were created during the 1950’s, like having a wood cutting board in close proximity to the sink and food prep area.

1960s Wood Kitchen Countertop History
1960’s Kitchen Photo Courtesy of Veterans United

In the 1960’s and 1970’s societal changes were taking place that impacted kitchen styles. The kitchen became a source for honing culinary crafts, displaying designer cookware and served as the hub for social activity. Wood countertops top of the lower cabinets and the kitchen table.

1970s Wood Kitchen Countertop History
1970’s Kitchen Photo Courtesy of Retro Renovation

The first kitchen islands were introduced in the 1970’s. Pictured above is a Dutch country style kitchen with a butcher block island, checkerboard wall paper, delft backsplash tile and yellow cabinets.

1980s Wood Kitchen Countertop History
1980’s Kitchen Photo Courtesy of Vintage Goodness

The idea of a completely open kitchen with appliances designed to show off came into being in the 1980’s. This kitchen features a large kitchen island with a wood counter and a stove with a cooktop created for display in addition to function.

Want to learn more about wood kitchen countertop history? Visit www.glumber.com. Be sure to like Grothouse on Facebook for daily wood countertop innovation.

#KitchenCountertopHistory #KitchenCountertop #History #GrothouseThings #WoodInnovation

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

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