Looking for wood suggestions for my butcher block counter top.
The wood counter top I have is too yellow (see photo). I'd like to replace it with a wood that's good for chopping but that's also a little more grey/brown in color. Any ideas?
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As I understand, the hardness factor makes it hold up to marks, cuts, dents, etc...open/closed grain is more about how porous it is and texture. Of course this is also effected by finishing...I've seen plenty of cutting boards made of walnut, or walnut laminated with another wood. I think with proper finishing/oiling it can probably work fine. This is all just 'rule of thumb' stuff. (And I only know what I've learned on the job from talking to cabinet subs and so on - I'm by no means a wood 'expert'!)
In any case, really mostly wanted to get across that whatever the wood chosen, it's really important to look at an actual sample, in the room/light it's going into. You'd be amazed by how many of our clients are surprised by how different a color/texture can look in context - from how it did in the showroom, online, whatever.
By the way, your kitchen counter looks lovely. And thanks for the link to the Janka scale!
And really, when it comes to wood for cutting material, it's more to do with the hardness than the open or closed nature of the grain? And when looking at hardness, you want to look at the Janka scale, no? A scale like this one?
(Where I'm surprised to see Walnut so low down as it's really held up quite well for me.)
Just remember there's always a degree of variation in color/finish for any natural material - and color representation online is pretty dicey - so this is only a general guide.
Really important to get a sample from the fabricator (or your contractor) to look at in situ before committing. This obviously goes for any new ‘built-in’ surface, to avoid a costly/aggravating ‘oops!’ You might love a particular wood color/texture on its own, but it might not look so hot next to your other existing kitchen finishes.
From the pic, it looks like you have dark-ish stained cherry cabs, black stone counters (from white veining, looks like marble?) and a white tile backsplash (very neutral.) You might be able to fix the too bright/yellow issue by using a warm toned wood (to compliment the cherry cabs,) that's simply more muted, without necessarily going for a really grey/brown one. I'd play with a few samples of woods appropriate for cutting surfaces - see what works on site. Color can appear very different in person than it did in theory.
Phew. Hope all that was helpful!
Edit: for some reason the link isn't showing properly here; should work if you copy/paste the whole thing into your browser.
I doubt a darker color would photograph the food items as well, ask your photographer.
While most people say that maple is the only wood around when it comes to cutting on the countertop is maple (and end-grain at that) I've been using Walnut for my kitchen for a little over two years and it's held up fairly well. Granted, I don't use mine anywhere near as much as you use yours (I work too late at night lately to cook a lot) but it still might do the trick. If you're worried you could always have someone make up an end-grain walnut block for you though that might cost a bit.
Anyway, we only cut on 25% of the counter as a whole -- the 25% to the right of the sink as shown in the attached photo. As you can see, you can't see any marks at all until you get close up (as shown in the closeup).
Finally, I finished (and periodically reapply) the counter in a wax paste of my own devising that's part beeswax and part mineral oil. Easy to apply and 100% food-safe.
If you're ever in Brooklyn, NY and want to come by and see it in person, you're welcome to swing by. ;-)