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

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

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

North American Wood Countertops

One material that is – and always has been – environmentally friendly is wood. North America has an abundance of forests with beautiful woods used to craft high quality furniture, such as custom wood countertops. North American Wood Countertops are made from responsibly harvested wood that is harvested, replanted, and renewed to an almost limitless degree.

North American Wood Countertops custom crafted by Grothouse
North American Wood Countertops

North American Wood Countertops

Below are some of the most popular North American wood species used for countertops designed for use as kitchen countertops.

American Cherry

American Cherry North American Wood Countertops for kitchens, bathrooms, offices
American Cherry Wood Countertops

Cherry makes up 3% of the commercially available hardwoods in the United States. It is prominently used to craft high end furniture and cabinetry worldwide.

Ash

Ash North American Wood Countertops for kitchens, bathrooms, offices
Ash Wood Countertops | Design by Lisa Martin of Signature Custom Cabinetry

Ash makes up 4% of the commercially available hardwoods in the U.S. It is best known as the wood used to craft baseball bats due to its shock absorbency, but it is also used for furniture, flooring, cabinetry and other millwork.

Hard Maple

Maple North American Wood Countertops for kitchens, bathrooms, offices
Maple Wood Countertops | Design by Bunker Workshop

Hard Maple makes up approximately 8% of the commercially available hardwoods in the United States, and is prevalent in the northern and eastern states.

A small percentage of maple trees produce special figure such as bird’s eye or curly maple, which is sought after for its visual interest and appeal. Hard maple is very heavy and strong and has a fine, uniform texture with a close, straight grain.

Walnut

Walnut North American Wood Countertops for kitchens, baths, offices
Walnut Wood Countertops | Design by Stonington

Walnut makes up less than 1% of the commercially available hardwoods and grows throughout the eastern U.S. Walnut is one of the most popular wood countertop choices for kitchens today.

White Oak

White Oak North American Wood Countertops for kitchens, bathrooms and commercial restaurants
White Oak Wood Countertops | The Trolley Car Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®

White Oak trees grow across the eastern and southern U.S., comprising 15% of the commercially available hardwoods. White oak is used to make furniture, cabinets, flooring and millwork and is the preferred species for wine and whiskey casks.

To learn about more North American wood countertops and see other wood species available, visit the Grothouse Countertop Design Guide.

Like Grothouse on Facebook and follow @grothouseinc on Instagram for daily wood countertop design inspiration!

Source used: Northwest Hardwoods

Exposed Brick Kitchen Designs with Wood Countertops

Gone are the days when brick was carefully and meticulously concealed with more polished, modern finishes. Exposed Brick Kitchen Designs with wood countertops exhibit an architectural feature that enriches and beautifies modern spaces, blending unique textures, patterns, and colors.

Exposed Brick Kitchen Designs with Wood Countertops custom crafted by Grothouse nationwide
Exposed Brick Kitchen Designs with Wood Countertops

Exposed Brick Kitchen Designs

Exposed brick is versatile and suitable for many kitchen styles. It has a cozy, inviting ambiance and can offer a beautiful backdrop that lets various elements in the space shine.

Exposed Brick Kitchen Design by Chris Greenawalt of Bunker Workshop
Design by Chris Greenawalt of Bunker Workshop

Chris Greenawalt of Bunker Workshop designed a Walnut Pastore™ kitchen island countertop for this white kitchen with an exposed brick backsplash. The parallel wood countertop and brick add warmth to the otherwise all-white kitchen and add textural interest.

Exposed Brick Kitchen Design by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath
Design by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath

This wet bar designed by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath features an exposed brick backsplash with a Peruvian Walnut countertop. The wood and gold cabinetry hardware beautifully accentuate with the warm red tones of the brick.

Exposed brick in kitchen design by Griffey Remodeling with Maple countertops
Design by Griffey Remodeling

Griffey Remodeling designed Maple countertops for this light blue kitchen with an exposed brick wall and white subway tile backsplash.

Exposed Brown Brick in kitchen design with White Oak countertop
Design by KT Highland Inc.

KT Highland Inc. designed a custom White Oak kitchen island countertop to complement the exposed brown brick wall.

Exposed White Brick Kitchen Design by Chris Greenawalt of Bunker Workshop with Maple Countertop
Design by Chris Greenawalt of Bunker Workshop

Chris Greenawalt of Bunker Workshop also designed the kitchen pictured above. The kitchen island features a Maple countertop with a white brick base, matching the white brick on the wall behind the island.

Want to see more exposed brick kitchen designs? Check out the Grothouse Image Library and like Grothouse on Facebook!

#GrothouseThings #ExposedBrickKitchenDesigns #KitchenDesignTrends #CustomWoodCountertops

Wooden Car Parts

Wooden Car Parts are some of the latest wood innovations to reduce vehicle costs
Wooden Car Parts | Photo via The Japan Times

According to an article written by Robert Dalheim of Woodworking Network on August 17, Japanese car manufacturers are considering substituting wood for steel in order to make vehicles lighter. With wood pulp being 20 percent lighter than the weight of steel and five times as strong, wooden car parts are at the top of Japanese researchers’ considerations for reducing the weight of a vehicle.

As manufacturers move toward churning out electric cars for a mainstream consumer base, reducing the weight of a vehicle will be crucial. Automobile suppliers are hopeful because a reduction in car weight would require fewer batteries, saving costs.

Cellulose nanofibers are currently being used to create various products, such as ink and transparent displays. These fibers are obtained by breaking down wood.

In cars, the chemically treated wood fibers will be kneaded into plastics while simultaneously being broken down into nanofibres, slashing the cost of production to roughly one-fifth that of other processes. This process is referred to as “the Kyoto Process,” named after Japan’s Kyoto University who’s leading the research.

“This is the lowest-cost, highest-performance application for cellulose nanofibers, and that’s why we’re focusing on its use in auto and aircraft parts,” said Hiroaki Yano, professor at Kyoto University who leads the research. Yano’s team is working with several automakers in Japan to complete a prototype car built with cellulose nanofiber parts. They hope to complete it by 2020.

“We’ve been using plastics as a replacement for steel, and we’re hoping that cellulose nanofibers will widen the possibilities toward that goal,” stated Yukihiko Ishino, a spokesman at DaikyoNishikawa, which supplies parts for Toyota and Mazda.

Stay tuned for more wood innovations like wooden car parts by liking Grothouse on Facebook and following @grothouseinc on Instagram!

#GrothouseThings #WoodenCarParts #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodInnovations

Source:  Woodworking Network and The Japan Times

Wood Crush Wednesday | A Glimpse into the Grothouse Shop

Every Wednesday, we give a glimpse into the products and happenings going on in the Grothouse shop, called Wood Crush Wednesday.

Wood Crush Wednesday A Glimpse into the Grothouse Shop
#WoodCrushWednesday A Glimpse into the Grothouse Shop

Wood Crush Wednesday | The Team

Wood Crush Wednesday features members of the Grothouse team and projects they are working on. Below is craftsman Eric inspecting a batch of samples.

Inspecting a batch of wood countertop samples
Craftsman, Eric, inspecting a batch of samples

Craftsman Adam was caught organizing our shipping department and making room for a BIG top.

Custom Wood Countertop Shipping Department
Craftsman, Adam, making room for a BIG top in the shipping department

Even our Customer Service Team works with wood everyday, with a custom wood desk top. Here is Rich, hard at work on his Mahogany wood desk top!

Custom Wood Desk Tops for Customer Service
Our customer service team has custom wood desk tops

Our product engineer, Steve, and Director of Operations, Jake take a break for some afternoon silliness to cultivate creativity!

Creative Custom Wood Countertops
Afternoon silliness to cultivate creativity

Wood Crush Wednesday | Products

Wood Crush Wednesday also features the most unique custom wood surfaces, including tables, bar tops, Anvil metal finished countertops and more. Below are just a few of the wood crushes we have shared thus far.

Thousand pound large custom wenge wood countertop with Camelot edge profile
A thousand pound Wenge top with Camelot edge profile

Here is a 1,000 POUND TOP made of solid Wenge wood for a customer located in Canada. This top features one of our largest edge profiles, the Camelot.

Custom solid wood table with legs featuring intricate detail
Custom table legs with intricate detail

A custom table shows off its intricate legs for days.

Anvil Palladium Metal Countertop with Durata waterproof permanent finish
Anvil Palladium Metal Countertop

An Anvil Palladium metal finished countertop is ready to ship. This metal countertop features an undermount sink cut out, Rugen edge profile and Durata waterproof and permanent finish.

Stay tuned for more Wood Crush Wednesdays by liking Grothouse on Facebook and following @grothouseinc on Instagram!

#WoodCrushWednesday #GrothouseThings #CustomWoodCountertops #AnvilSeries #MetalCountertops

Three-ton Solid Wood Bathtub

Is it possible to make a solid wood bathtub out of one three-ton mass of wood, without any glue or epoxy – and can it be done sustainably? The answer is uncovered in an article written by Bill Esler of Woodworking Network on August 7.

Three-ton Solid Wood Bathtub one of the latest wood innovations
Three-ton Solid Wood Bathtub | Photo via Woodworking Network

Timber Neutral fashioned this three-ton solid wood bathtub, along with other wood tubs, for Amelie & Max, a retailer in Toronto. “The goal was to make a 100% natural object and a reflection of the organic nature of wood and true to the spirit of the tree,” said Fiona French of Timber Neutral.

Timber Neutral states that there is something within the fiber of wood that no other material can capture – the vitality and uniqueness of an organic object. The tubs are said to be the fusion of high-tech craftsmanship and the originality and form of solid wood.

Each tub is made from a solid, single 6,600-pound block of wood that has been painstakingly carved down to create a two-person tub. Each tub is unlike any other, and is sold at retail cost of $34,000 at Amelie & Max.

Harvested in Columbian forests, the trees must be very large to produce such a large block of wood, so Timber Neutral goes to lengths to make the case that the harvesting is sustainable. Each tub is given an individual identification, bearing the personalized name of a tree, reflecting both the personality of the bath and its exotic origin.

While Timber Neutral has no plans to continue making these massive wood tubs, a few of the limited collection are available in North America and sold exclusively through www.amelieandmax.com.

Stay tuned for more wood innovations like this solid wood bathtub by liking Grothouse on Facebook and following @grothouseinc on Instagram!

#GrothouseThings #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodInnovations

Source: Woodworking Network