Five Butcher Blocks for Aramark

Grothouse custom crafted five butcher blocks for Aramark global headquarters building in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Grothouse crafted Five Butcher Blocks for Aramark Global Headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jen Kell and David Hagerty of Grothouse with Walnut Butcher Block at Aramark Global Headquarters

Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) is in the customer service business across foodfacilities and uniforms, wherever people work, learn, recover, and play. United by a passion to serve, our 270,000 team members deliver experiences that enrich and nourish the lives of millions of people in 19 countries around the world every day.

Aramark Global Headquarters in Downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Aramark Global Headquarters | Photo via Phillymag

Situated along the Schuylkill River, the existing structure of where the headquarters are now, was originally built as a Hudson Motor Car Company plant in the 1920s. It was transformed into a modern, 600,000 square foot, nine-story building with an emphasis on innovation, sustainability and green space. Aramark occupies the top five floors and nearly 300,000 square feet as the building’s anchor tenant.

Large Custom Walnut Butcher Block Tables by Grothouse
Large Custom Walnut Butcher Block Tables by Grothouse

Each floor has an industrial tables, where the long part is almost 18 feet by 4 feet and the short part is 127 feet by 40 feet for ADA.

Five Butcher Blocks for Aramark | Details

Five butcher block tops were custom crafted in end grain construction style out of Walnut with Sapwood. The tops were designed by Boyertown Planing Mill Co. Each butcher block countertop is three inches thick and features a 1/8 inch Roundover edge profile. Grothouse Original Oil™ Finish was applied to each top before installation. This finish does require ongoing maintenance, however it is food safe and is the preferred finish for food preparation.

Five Two-Layered Industrial Tables with Walnut Butcher Block Tops
Five Two-Layered Industrial Tables with Walnut Butcher Block Tops

The butcher block tops were shipped in pallets, each weighing approximately 1600 lbs. Each butcher block top had to be delivered by crane to each of the five floors.

Walnut End Grain Butcher Block Tops for Industrial Tables in the Aramark Global Headquarters Building
Walnut End Grain Butcher Block Tops for Industrial Tables

Like Aramark on Facebook to keep up to date with company updates. Like Boyertown Planing Mill Co. on Facebook to see more of their designs. Follow @grothouseinc on Instagram for wood countertop inspiraiton.

#GrothouseThings #CustomWoodCountertops #ButcherBlocks #WoodInnovations

Walnut Countertop Room Divider designed by Eva Andersen

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.

Walnut Countertop Room Divider designed by Eva Andersen
Eva Andersen

Design Details

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.

Walnut Countertop Room Divider designed for a traditional kitchen and living room area
Walnut Countertop Room Divider

Cabinetry: Signature Custom Cabinetry

Cabinet Hardware: Top Knobs

Flooring: Porcelain tile in herringbone pattern

Other Countertops: Taj Mahal Quartzite

Backsplash: Walker Zanger

Stove: Wolf Cooktop

Dishwasher: Bosch

Other Appliances: SubZero Paneled Fridge

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.

Room Divider with Walnut Countertop and Wood Beams for traditional white kitchen
Room Divider with Walnut Countertop and Wood Beams
Walnut Countertop Complements the Wood Kitchen Island
Walnut Countertop Complements the Wood Kitchen Island

Want to see more designs by Eva? Like Teakwood Builders on Facebook! Visit our website,, to see more designs featuring a Walnut countertop room divider.

#GrothouseThings #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodInnovations

Bolivian Rosewood Pastore Countertops designed by Marcus Otten

Custom Bolivian Rosewood Pastore Countertops designed by Marcus Otten of Exquisite Kitchen Design are like the “cherry on top” of this classy, modern kitchen.

Bolivian Rosewood Pastore Countertops designed by Marcus Otten for a modern kitchen design
Bolivian Rosewood Pastore Countertops

All of the colors throughout this kitchen are complimentary. The tones in the Bolivian Rosewood countertops match the wood grained cabinetry. The dark stripes in the Bolivian Rosewood match the dark brown cabinets.

About Bolivian Rosewood

Bolivian Rosewood Pastore waterfall countertops for a modern kitchen island
Design by Exquisite Kitchen Design

Bolivian Rosewood is a rare, exotic, very dense and rich colored wood originating in Bolivia and Brazil. Other common names are Pau Ferro, Santos Rosewood and Morado.

It offers a variety of colors from medium to light browns to almost black brown and purple with black striping. Medullary rays are often visible in sawn lumber and furniture.

Bolivian Rosewood makes a nice choice for acoustic and electric guitars but is also used for anything from high end veneers for corporate jets to jewelry boxes and everything in between.

About Pastore Countertops

Bolivian Rosewood Pastore Countertops also known as Waterfall Countertops
Pastore Waterfall Countertops

Pastore countertops are also known as waterfall countertops. They are often crafted so the grain of the wood falls with the design of the top. As you can see in this design, the dark rays in the Bolivian Rosewood follow the countertop horizontally across the surface, and then downward on the leg. Pastore countertops make for a great seating area, as shown in this kitchen, while adding a level of luxury.

See more of the award-winning spaces by Exquisite Kitchen Design on Houzz, Facebook and Instagram!

Visit the Countertop Image Library on our website to see more designs featuring Bolivian Rosewood Pastore Countertops.

#GrothouseThings #WoodInnovation #BolivianRosewood #PastoreCountertops #WaterfallCountertops #CustomWoodCountertops

Walnut Desk Top designed by Jillian Clark of Kitchen Studio of Monterey Peninsula Inc.

The perfect home office was designed by Jillian Clark of Kitchen Studio of Monterey Peninsula Inc. featuring a Walnut Desk Top.

Walnut Desk Top for a Custom Built-In Home Office Desk with Walnut Cabinetry
Photography by

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,, to see more designs with a Walnut Desk Top.

#GrothouseThings #CustomDesk #DeskTop #WoodDeskTop #CustomWoodCountertops

2019 Kitchen Island Trends

2019 Kitchen Island Trends create gathering spaces for entertaining and increase functionality of space in the form of multi-level islands and movable islands.

2019 Kitchen Island Trends | Multi-Level Islands

Islands are being upgraded with dedicated dining space that is set apart by contrasting counters in different heights and materials, a table base and built-in banquette seating.

2019 Kitchen Island Trends multi-level islands with wood countertops for dining and granite for food prep
Designed by Karen Schone of Designers Point | Visual Memories Photography

Karen Schone of Designers Point designed this multi-level island to include a Grothouse Walnut wood countertop as the table top and a granite countertop for the other section. The wood top is perfect for dining and the granite for food prep. If needed, the wood top can also be used for food prep.

2019 Kitchen Island Trends multi-level islands with banquette seating wood table tops and metal bases
Design by Richard Thomas Anuszkiewicz for Liebherr Booth at KBIS 2018

Ahead of his time, Richard Thomas Anuszkiewicz designed this space featuring a multi-level island for the Liebherr booth last year at KBIS 2018. This island features a built-in banquette dining area. The table includes a Grothouse White Oak Bleached wood countertop with an Anvil Ferrum finished metal table base. The countertops on the other sections of the island were supplied by Kelya – Natural Collection by Dekton.

2019 Kitchen Island Trends | Movable Islands

Islands are handy as prep surfaces and extra seating, but they don’t need to be set in stone. In 2019, movable islands will grow in popularity as they offer flexibility when entertaining, and can be designed perfectly for small spaces.

2019 Kitchen Island Trends Movable Islands with Wheels and Wood Countertops
Design by Jon de la Cruz for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017

This space was designed by Jon de la Cruz for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017. Grothouse American Black Walnut countertops and metal frames create the slim, movable island. The island ties in the matching Walnut wood shelves. and adds warmth to the white and black design.

Stay tuned as we release more 2019 kitchen island trends by following Grothouse on Houzz, Instagram or Facebook! View more designs including Grothouse wood countertops on the Countertop Image Library.

#GrothouseThings #WoodInnovations #CustomWoodCountertops #AnvilSeries #MetalCountertops #2019KitchenIslandTrends #KitchenIslands

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

#GrothouseThings #HighQualityWood #SolidWoodFurniture

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 to learn more about wood counters.

#CounterIntuitive #KitchenBathDesignNews #CustomWoodCountertops #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

How to Prepare for Valentine’s Day Dinner

Preparing Valentines Day Dinner can be stressful, but with the right food preparation surface and advice your meal can be a success.

How to Prepare for Valentines Day Dinner with Custom Wood Countertops Butcher Blocks
How to Prepare for Valentine’s Day Dinner

The first step in preparing Valentine’s day dinner is to select the recipes you want to make as an appetizer, entree and dessert. Choose something that you and your date will both enjoy and that you have confidence to make to ease stress.

Allrecipes provides plenty of appetizer inspiration, from crab-stuffed mushrooms to brie cheese fondue. Country Living offers over 40 romantic dinner recipe ideas like butternut squash ravioli, bucatini with winter pesto, pancetta and brussel sprouts linguine and more. The Food Network made a list of decadent chocolate desserts perfect for the holiday, like chocolate raspberry mousse candy cake and chocolate cheesecake.

Once you have selected the recipes you are going to make and purchase all of the ingredients, it is best to ensure that you have all of the tools you need for preparation. The most important tool is the surface that you will be using to prepare the food.

Grothouse solid wood butcher blocks are the surface preferred by top chefs at home and in restaurants. Butcher blocks are very hard surfaces and knives keep their edge far better because the blade slides between the wood fibers much like cutting into a firm brush. Grothouse Original Oil™ Finish is a heavy weight pure mineral oil used for lasting protection that is food safe and  hypoallergenic. It does not contain any Tung oils. You can prepare your meal with no concerns if your date has any nut allergies.

One of the best ways to prepare Valentines day dinner is by cooking together! It is a fun and romantic way to start the evening and enjoy each other’s company. Together, you can start the night by preparing a delicious meal and end it by enjoying it together!

#ValentinesDayDinner #ValentinesDay #ButcherBlocks #GrothouseThings