Solid wood or stone countertop? Pros and cons

Choosing a countertop for your kitchen, bathroom or any other layout that requires a countertop can often be difficult. And that's because there's such a wide choice and variety of materials. In addition, decisions about size, thickness, colour and cost don't make the choice any easier. Those who want natural materials end up narrowing the choice down to stone or wood, despite the fact that there are other natural materials (glass, for example). But even so the choice is not easy, both materials have characteristics and qualities that make them a good choice. That's why a list of advantages and disadvantages for each variant might be helpful. So, wooden worktop or stone worktop?

Wood has been used since ancient times for table tops, poles, counters. Until the advent of stainless steel, which is used extensively in kitchens, wood was used for cutting meat and chopping vegetables, and for placing pots and pans on the fire. In the villages, in the past, the mămagliga was poured directly onto the small wooden table or the mincer. Butchers always used wooden logs to cut the meat. It was later discovered that the enzymes in the wood killed bacteria. That explains why no one got sick, even though they used that log day after day for years until they cut a hole in it.

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Advantages of using wood for countertops are:

  • is a material with an unparalleled natural look and warmth
  • fits any style, design and space, from rustic to modern
  • is a material with personality, which develops its character over time
  • wooden worktops are much lighter than stone worktops
  • it is durable, with resistance over time
  • adaptable to fashion or room design; can be easily cut and adjusted into various atypical shapes
  • plate and glass friendly; absorbs noise and doesn't create stress with every glass placed on the countertop
  • heat-resistant
  • very suitable in homes with children
  • the wide variety of essences, shades, colouring or protection modes
  • the possibility to create special designs using authenticity elements such as knots, colourings, cracks
  • simple maintenance, can be polished and refinished to look like new
  • affordable price.

But there are drawbacks. These are:

  • low moisture resistance - if used in high moisture environments it should be protected with resistant finishes
  • low scratch resistance - can't cut or chop directly on it without leaving marks
  • if not protected with durable finishes can stain.
photo source: addicted2

The most commonly used "stones" for countertops are marble and granite. As marble is a rather precious and expensive material, we'll stick to granite. Granite is a magmatic (lava) rock formed at great depths, containing quartz, feldspar and other minerals, such as mica, which give it its dark colour. Feldspar and quartz are responsible for the very high hardness of granite. The mixture of minerals inside gives it its granular appearance, hence its name (granito is Italian for granular).

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The main advantages of using granite for countertops are:

  • very durable
  • unique appearance - being a natural rock, the mixing and distribution of minerals is random, each slab of granite has a different and unique composition
  • high hardness being scratch resistant
  • resistant to high temperatures
  • moisture resistant
  • cleans easily.
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On the list of disadvantages we can put:

  • is a very heavy material and transport and assembly are difficult. To make it easier, smaller thicknesses are often chosen, but in this case there is a risk of breakage.
  • is cold and with a hardness that can be fatal to plates and glasses
  • is noisy and prolongs the sounds when metal objects or crockery fall on the worktop
  • has porosity and if not protected (varnished), it stains or can be attacked by products with high acidity (vinegar, wine)
  • has a loaded look
  • is expensive and requires special materials for maintenance, which can further increase costs

In addition to the pros and cons, for many of us, the choice of one or the other of the options depends on our preference for one material or another. This is my example. Why would I choose a wooden worktop over a granite one? Because nothing can replace the beauty, warmth and adaptability of such a worktop. For example, Dippanels, the online platform where you can find such solid wood countertops, also has a free debiting service depending on the model or design you want. No matter how you choose to furnish and what shapes you want to cut, the countertop will be cut to fit the space perfectly.

wooden countertop
wooden countertop

With a wooden worktop, everything is configurable, the corners can be rounded and the edges chamfered, making it much more user-friendly, especially in homes with children. In fact any shape of the countertop can be executed by Dippanels, so feel free to imagine. In addition, the tops are oiled with natural oil Kreidezeit, thus keeping water at bay in the healthiest possible way.

wooden countertop
wooden countertop

As I said, the choice is up to each individual's preference, but one should not underestimate the impact it can have worktop to complete the whole design. It's good to know before you buy what the pluses and minuses of each are, both for a wooden and a stone worktop.

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About the author

Mihaela Radu

Mihaela Radu is a chemical engineer but has a great passion for wood. She has been working in the field for more than 20 years, wood finishing being what defined her during this period. She gained experience working in a research institute, in her own company, as well as in a multinational. She wants to continuously share her experience with those who have the same passion - and more.

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