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August 14, 2019

The Grain Orientation in Wood Countertops for Kitchens 


wood countertops for kitchensAs you look at the various different kinds of styles available in wood countertops for kitchens, you have likely been focusing on the   different types of stains, natural colors, and edges, but what you may not have realized is that one of the major elements that contributes to the appearance of these kitchen counters is the grain orientation.  In fact, the grain orientation in wood countertops for kitchens also plays an important role in the durability and functionality of the surface, too.  

Therefore, as you shop around for counters in maple, walnut, mahogany, or any other type of wooden surface, you should have a look at the different grain orientation descriptions to ensure that you will be installing the type of  counter that you want in your home.  There are three different positions for the wood that you will find in wood countertops for kitchens, which are: face grain (also known as plank grain), edge grain, and end grain.

Face grain wood countertops for kitchens

Face grain is usually used in wood countertops for kitchens because of its decorative appeal.  The position of the planks allows the largest amount of the grain of the wood to be revealed, showing off the true beauty and richness of the material.  To make face grain wood countertops for kitchens, wooden planks are placed together, side by side, and glued that way, so that the widest side (i.e., when cut planks are laid flattest) will be the counter’s surface.  This grain orientation is ideal for wood countertops for kitchens that are primarily decorative or that will be used only mildly.  Due to their positioning, they are usually the softest among the three grain orientations, which means that they are the easiest to dent or mark.

Edge grain wood countertops for kitchens

Edge grain is used in wood countertops for kitchens because of its high durability.  It is formed as a counter surface by placing the plank edges – known as the staves – upright, so that the flat, wide parts of the boards are glued together.  In other words, these are the long side edges of the planks. The result is wood countertops for kitchens with much more strength and resistance to dents and marking, making it an ideal choice for a work surface such as a food preparation area.

End grain wood countertops for kitchens

End grain wood countertops for kitchens are another kind of surface that is durable and well suited to being a work or food prep area, as it has a similar nature to the edge grain counters.  In this instance, though, to make these wood countertops for kitchens, the planks stand upright with their widest flat surfaces glued together.  In other words, these are the short top/bottom ends of  cut planks. These surfaces are the least common among wood countertops for kitchens, as they are more likely to be used as butcher block countertops or to make cutting boards.  That said, they are used on occasion as they can also be arranged in a number of different patterns that are appealing as kitchen surfaces.

Depending on the purpose of your wood countertops for kitchens and the style you are seeking for your kitchen, the grain orientation can play an important role in achieving those goals.

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