Monday, September 23, 2013

Wood Countertops: Part 1

Hey all!  So this past weekend we got started on our hardwood countertops.  I mentioned back in January that I had wanted to use hardwood flooring for the counters.  We ended up getting "tobacco road acacia" wood flooring from Lumber Liquidators, which you can see here:

Acacia wood is one of the harder hardwoods and we both really liked the nice color variation that is on the cooler side of the color spectrum.  When we had our hardwood floors refinished over the summer I purposely picked a finish that would complement the acacia wood.

We did some rough measurements back in January and guesstimated that we were going to need about 1 box of flooring, which we got for about $150.  A lot of people hail Lumber Liquidators as the go-to source for hardwood flooring...and yes, it's uber cheap, but check out the length distribution in 1 box:

That's right, the longest pieces are 29.5" long...which is really short if you think about it.  And yes, I measured and sorted the box according to size.  I was curious!

We worked on laying all of the wood pieces out over the weekend.  See how we decided to do the end pattern?

And the corner pattern?

I kind of wish that I had decided to do the same corner pattern on the other side the sink.  Instead I just did running boards right up to the wall.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I have enough extra wood to go back and change the pattern :(

We still need to do the little section of counter to the right of the stove, as well as do all of the edges!

And this is all of the wood that we have to do that:

Yep, it's going to be tight!  I might need to break down and buy another box--we shall see!  

I saw this one blog post by on how to build a wood floor countertop by Sandra (she's Sawdust Girl!), which I think laid everything out pretty well, especially on how you could choose to approach the edges.  I think that we are going to do the edges this way:

Right now the hardwood pieces are just sitting on top of the plywood...nothing has been nailed or glued down.  We're still mulling over ideas on how to adhere everything down.  We do want to use wood glue (liquid nails for wood).  We're on the fence about nailing stuff down.  You can't use a normal hammer/nails for wood floor because you're nailing through the side of the wood floor...and since the sides are tongue-and-groove, you need to use a special nailer:

I think that using that nailer through the side of the wood pieces would be difficult, considering that everything would probably shift at least a little bit as you nail them down.  Once a piece of wood is down, it's DOWN, and pulling it up to readjust would essentially ruin that piece.  In Sandra's tutorial on hardwood flooring counters, she nailed directly through the top side wood and filled in the holes with wood filler.  She finished everything with a top coat anyway, so it wasn't noticeable.  I guess that we're debating whether we should go that route too, or risk using glue exclusively on the counters?  Ahhhh...decisions, decisions!

I think that I'm going to have to sand everything down anyway...the micro-beveled edges on each board kind of drive me crazy anyway.  Either that, or we'd have to do a nice thick resin coat on top, similar to a bar top to fill in the micro-bevels.

So that's where we are with things :)  Progress, right?  We'll see what gets done this coming weekend!


  1. Wow, that's stunning! I love the wood, such a pretty tone. I'm getting so excited to see the rest come together. You will have the best before and after pictures!!

    1. Thanks Julia! We shall see...going on about 9 months of kitchen redos...fingers crossed that it gets done by the end of the year!! :)

  2. What? This is so boss! Yeah, I'm a total dork...but who cares. This is completely blowing my mind right now! L♥ve! Can't wait to see this done, and good luck!

  3. These are AMAZING! I've never seen countertops like these but I am super obsessed! Awesome find!

  4. I've never seen this done before... But yes I assume you have to put something over it? How do you wipe it? How do you prevent crumbs/liquid would getting in between the boards. I would be super worried about the cleanliness aspect?

  5. I'm surprised with the contents of the box. I mean, all that for only $150? Talking about a lucky deal or something. Anyway, you really did a good job with kitchen top. Got some nice ideas up your sleeve. :)

  6. I love the yellow cabinets! I rarely see yellow anymore because everyone paints them white or gray. Can't wait to see everything finished!!