The diverse nature of wood is never more evident than when it is cut at different angles to display the many different colors, grain patterns and structures all present in the same log or plank. Download a concise guide to our construction styles here:
Most lumber is “face sawn,” meaning that it is sawn parallel to the growth rings. This method exposes the face of the wood and shows the most grain detail. We use “face sawn” lumber to produce Plank Style countertops. Plank Style is our most commonly-requested wood countertop style and many designers consider this style to create a more formal look when using wide pieces of lumber. Since wood is the ultimate natural product with nature producing an “original” in each branch, plank widths vary from 3″ to 6″ wide. Craft Art countertops are made with full-length boards and not inexpensive short boards that increase seams and dilute the natural beauty of fine wood.
This style is commonly referred to as “butcher block.” The term “butcher block” originated from the massive, 15 to 24 inch thick end grain islands that were used in butcher shops across the country. End-grain is available in two design styles: “multi-species”, in which individual squares (a fixed size of approximately 1-3/4″) of wood are set corner-to-corner for gluing, and “single species”, in which individual squares are offset in a “running course” manner. End-grain counter tops are typically used when a more informal style is wanted or when the user intends to showcase the top in a more gourmet kitchen.
Functionally, End-Grain tops provide a superior cutting surface because they do not show wear nearly as much as other construction styles. They are also preferred by professional and serious cooks due to the way a knife “bites” an end-grain top.
Many wood countertops are a wonderful examples of the edge-grain style, which features a tighter, more consistent grain running parallel along the length of each top and a slightly darker color normally found within the species. In order to create edge-grain surfaces, full-length boards (approximately 1-3/4″ wide) are set on their sides and glued together on with our special adhesive on an exacting lamination rack.
Shown at left: Black Walnut Edge Grain (Craft Art DIY – Photo Credits: ChrisLovesJulia.com)
BENEFITS & DRAWBACKS
- More formal look
- Greatest amount of grain detail
- Fewer individual pieces of wood in a countertop
- Most economical price
- Knots more visible than any other style
- Limited thickness available vs Edge grain
- Edges are typically harder than Planks and therefore more forgiving of scratches, etc.
- Economical price
- Thickness can be up to six inches
- Low frequency of knots
- Less grain detail
- Less color detail
- End grain has an open cell structure that makes for an excellent cutting board surface with “self-healing” wood blocks that open when a knife comes into contact and close when the knife exits.
- Can mix and match species for a bold look if desired
- Can have greater or less color variability
- Little grain detail
- Most expensive due to waste and labor
- More individual pieces can make countertop look more “busy”