12 Wow-Worthy Woods for Kitchen Countertops

We’ve narrowed down the options to include some of the very best wood types for a kitchen countertop, whether you’re interested in a functional butcher block or a gorgeous accent finish.

By Kristina Grosspietsch

  1. Hard Maple


    While a simple, straight grain makes hard maple beautiful, its durability and resistance to abrasion qualify the wood as an ideal material for butcher block countertop installations.

    Photo: stonehouseww.com

  2. Teak


    A tropical hardwood from Mexico’s Pacific coast, teak is reliably sturdy and appealingly exotic. On top of a rich, warm color, teak boasts a naturally high oil content, making the species resistant to moisture—a huge plus for the spill-prone among us!

    Photo: brookscustom.com

  3. Tigerwood


    It should come as no surprise that one of the defining characteristics of Tigerwood is its striped quality. It’s not often used as a butcher block, but Tigerwood is the hardest species on this list and would undoubtedly make a strong, lasting design statement in any kitchen.

    Photo: brookscustom.com

  4. Black Walnut


    Black walnut is easily one of the most revered woods used in home decor on account of its toughness and beautiful grain. Color varies. While the sapwood is a honey cream, the heartwood is a brown/black that verges on purple over time.

    Photo: craft-art.com

  5. Cherry


    Typically used in furniture construction, cherry is a classic American wood with a subtle red hue that deepens with age. Used in everything from butcher blocks to pianos, cherry’s smooth and even finish brings with it a touch of sophistication.

    Photo: brookscustom.com

  6. Zebrawood


    Aptly named for its striking stripes, zebrawood is commonly used as a home accent. But this beauty is also a beast. It will stand up against almost anything you throw at it, all while adding an unmistakable ‘wow’ factor to your kitchen.

    Photo: brookscustom.com

  7. Bamboo


    A popular cutting board material, it’s no surprise that bamboo makes a fantastic kitchen countertop. Clean, modern, and sturdy, bamboo is one of the most rapidly renewing species on the planet, making it the eco-friendly choice among this group. Your style options range from a sumptuous whole grain to an edgier parquet design.

    Photo: builtitnaturally.com

  8. Wormy Chestnut


    Wormy chestnut, a reclaimed lumber, radiates antique rustic charm. But while the country look is unique and on-trend, this type of wood is soft compared to the others and best avoided when it comes to butcher block.

    Photo: restorationtradesdirectory.com

  9. Wenge


    An African hardwood, wenge has a sought-after, natural dark brown/black color. Often chosen for its rich hue and straight grain, wenge is highly durable and commonly used in furniture.

    Photo: productfind.interiordesign.net

  10. Beech


    Before the advent of the chainsaw, many a beech tree was left untouched by lumberjacks, because they were too heavy and tough. Now the species is widely available, relatively affordable, and undeniably good looking, with a nice orange/pink hue that takes finishing stains nicely.

    Photo: heirloomcountertops.com

  11. Hickory


    Hickory is the strongest American wood, the “Hercules” of American countertops, and the very first American hardwood. So if hickory could survive the Ice Age 50 million years ago, you can bet it will survive the wear and tear it’ll receive in your kitchen!

    Photo: thepioneerwoman.com

  12. Genuine Mahogany


    While there are many different types, genuine mahogany is the preferred wood of luxury furniture makers the world over. A relatively soft wood with a brown-red color, mahogany is not recommended as a cutting board, though its aesthetic qualities impart a special level of elegance.

    Photo: jandscabinetry.com


Custom Contracting, Inc. 1267A Massachusetts Ave. Arlington, MA 02476 Phone: 781-648-2835 Fax: 781-648-0907 Email: cci@custom-contracting.com

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