There are many truths and fallacies that are circulated amongst consumers in regards to the strength, durability, and potential health concerns of solid hardwood countertops and surfaces. Maryland Wood Countertops would like to disprove some of the most common myths that arise concerning wood countertops and surfaces.
Myth: Solid hardwood countertops are prone to staining.
Fact: Wood countertops that are finished using an appropriate Tung Oil finish product will not stain easily. The correct type of finish product, such as Waterlox, penetrates into the wood grain and hardens (cures) from the inside out. This inhibits water and moisture from being absorbed by the wood, and makes the tops relatively resistant to staining as long as the spill is cleaned up in a reasonable timeframe.
Myth: Wood countertops are prone to scratching.
Fact: Solid wood countertops are as equally prone to scratching as are many other solid surface countertops. The validity of this statement depends primarily on the wood finish that is used, and if enough time is allowed for the finish to fully cure, between coats and after its final coat. Waterlox is a marine grade sealer that has been proven to be sufficiently durable to be used on hardwood floors. Nevertheless, if a hard, rough, or sharp item, such as a glass vase, is dragged across the surface, scratches may form, similar to that of granite, slate, limestone or solid surface tops.
Myth: Solid wood countertops are high maintenance.
Fact: This statement also depends on the desired finish. Maryland Wood Countertops offers three different finishes.
Waterlox is a marine grade wood sealer that is designed for use on boats. It is designed to be a permanent finish, but if small scratches do occur, this finish can be easily re-applied on site by the homeowner without removing the top.
Mineral Oil and Wax is a much more natural finish that does require the owner to re-apply the oil on a regular basis. This is primarily used for cutting boards, so the finish wears off and needs to be reapplied. The process is extremely easy. It can be purchased from any home improvement store. Apply a small amount of mineral oil and wax on the top and use a cloth to massage into the wood. Let sit for a half hour and use a clean cloth to remove excess oil. Simple as that!
Arm R Seal is a very durable, permanent finish. The countertop can be sanded down slightly if needed to reapply a new coat. We have finished restaurant countertops in Arm R Seal and have never had an issue with the tops holding up to everyday use by customers and staff.
When you purchase a granite or natural stone countertop, you are also advised to reseal the countertop on a regular basis, but this requires removing the top or hiring a professional. Wood tops are actually easier to take care of!
Myth: Solid wood countertops are not heat resistant.
Fact: This is another myth that depends solely on the finish. Waterlox has a relatively high resistance to heat, but can separate itself from the wood if exposed to something too hot. Wood countertops themselves are more resistant to heat that solid surface countertops.
If you do wish to set down hot pots, pans or baking sheets, Maryland Wood Countertops can place set-down rods near a stove.
Myth: Wood countertops are not bacteria resistant.
Fact: What exactly is “bacteria resistant” if you do not disinfect it? Wood has a different way of dealing with bacteria compared to other solid surface countertops. Rather than staying on the surface, the open grain allows for the bacteria to penetrate into the wood. Thankfully, wood is anti-microbial (because it is organic material) and kills the bacteria with its natural properties.
Other solid surfaces such as granite and natural stone leave the bacteria on the surface, and unless these surfaces are disinfected frequently, there can be problems with contamination.
If you have any questions regarding wood countertops or would like a custom quote on a project for your home or business, call us today! We provide same-day quotes and are available to answer any questions you may have regarding our products and services.