The Top-Rated Wood Countertop Materials For Every Type Of Kitchen

Oak is a durable wood that stands up to active use

Oak is a strong and heavy hardwood that is frequently used for furniture and cabinetry that withstands wear and tear from active use. This durable quality makes oak a go-to wood for kitchen countertops.

Maple wood offers strength along with the refined look of a tight grain

Maple wood is often classified as either hard maple or soft maple. For kitchen countertops, hard maple is the better choice. When it comes to durability, hard maple wood rates higher than oak, coming in at 1450 on the Janka wood hardness scale.

Add warmth to any kitchen with the dark and elegant appearance of walnut countertops

If you're looking for a dark, warm, and dramatic vibe in your kitchen, you may want to explore walnut as a choice for wood countertops. It's a hardwood material that contributes both beauty and functionality to your space. Black walnut rates a score of 1010 on the Janka wood hardness scale while Peruvian walnut is harder, ranking at 1080.

Teak wood contains natural oils for a germicidal effect

Teak is the wood of the tectona grandis, a hardwood tree that is native to Asia. It has long been prized for its toughness and water resistance, making teak a wood of choice for boat building as well as outdoor patio furniture. Teak receives a rating of 1155 on the Janka wood hardness scale, making it tough enough for use as a kitchen work surface.

Bamboo is a sustainable material that offers antimicrobial properties

Technically speaking, the bamboo plant is a grass, not a tree. However, bamboo material rates 1380 on the Janka wood hardness scale, making it harder than white oak. Bamboo demonstrates exceptional durability, resisting the dents and dings that might occur in a busy kitchen work area.

Cherry is a strong hardwood with a lovely color for your kitchen countertops

Due to its rich coloration and artful grain patterns, people have been making furniture and household objects from cherry wood since the time of ancient Greeks and Romans. If you want to bring the elegant look of fine furniture into your kitchen decor, cherry countertops might be a good option. American cherry receives a rating of 950 on the Janka wood hardness scale, indicating that it's softer than oak, maple, bamboo, teak, and walnut.

Butcher block countertops made from birch are a popular choice for contemporary kitchens

In contemporary kitchens, the light and airy look of birch wood countertops fits right in with the modern aesthetic. Birch is an ideal wood for the butcher block style of countertop where strips of wood in varying lengths are laminated and tightly glued together. Due to its close grain and subtle color variations, birch creates a lovely effect in a butcher block application. With a Janka rating of 1260, yellow birch demonstrates greater hardness than both walnut and American cherry woods.

Mahogany countertops lend a tasteful style to elegant kitchens

The rich look of mahogany wood is associated with elegant interiors and fine furniture. Used as a countertop material, mahogany makes a sophisticated statement in your kitchen decor. Although it is classified as hardwood, some types of mahogany are softer than other woods. African mahogany is relatively soft, rating 860 on the Janka wood hardness scale. Similarly, Honduran mahogany (also known as genuine mahogany) rates a hardness score of 900.

The distinctive grain of zebrawood adds a decorative element to your kitchen countertops

Zebrawood (a.k.a. zebrano) comes from a tree that is native to West Africa. Its grain is unique, showing variations in light and dark wood tones that form stripes reminiscent of zebra stripes. These wood grain patterns give zebrawood a distinctive presence in any interior space, and a kitchen countertop made from zebrawood can become a focal point in your decor scheme. This wood rates high on the Janka hardness scale, with some species scoring 1830 while others rank at 1575. With this level of hardness, a zebrawood countertop resists dents and scratches from heavy use.

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