Lafor Wood Products supplies
butcher block counters
1, 1-1/2, 2, 3 and 4 inches thick.
Typically, the 4 inch thickness is reserved for the
end grain butcher blocks
solely. The standard widths available for our wood tops are 26-1/2 and 36 1-/2
inches and the standard lengths are 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 feet.
All the standard sizes are shipped or delivered the same day you place the
order. In addition, custom lengths and custom widths up to 48 inches are also
available, upon request. The lead-time for these custom orders is about 4-10
that we currently feature include
African species: padauk, berlinia, avoura also available. Please visit our
to discover the particular features of each of them and to find
which one is the right one for you.
Keep in mind, however, that all hardwood species, not matter how
different from each other, share common features, some of which we would like to
First, the pros...
Why the solid wood countertops?
Just how well is that going to look in my kitchen?
There is an unmistakable, unique beauty to a solid wood surface. It is a
blend of warmth, character, and tenderness that no other material, either
natural or man-made, can match. Yes, marble and granite countertops can be
quite exquisite, but their beauty is distant and cold. And yes, you can have all
those crazy colors of the plastic laminate but let's be honest, don't they just
Wood can be cozy, rustic, austere, or aristocratic, but it is all always
honest. Full of character or overwhelmingly intricate, wood is always friendly
and undeniably familiar. Like a good, old friend it is always nice to see it and
always good to have it around.
O.K, it is called hardwood, but how hard should I expect it to be?
It can't possibly be as tough as marble or granite, can it?
Well, the hardwood is harder and sturdier than you might expect, because,
unlike other materials such as stone, wood has elasticity, which allows it to
absorb shocks much better. Think about this: You've seen martial artists
breaking marble or granite slabs with their bare hands. Why do they choose stone
for this demonstration of strength? Because stone lacks elasticity and therefore
it is breakable. You'll never see a karate master attempting to do the same
thing with a piece of hardwood.
But wood scratches easier than stone, so it's not very practical after
all, isn't it?
While it's true that wood tends to scratch more than stone,
scratches on a wood surface are less visible
and can be easily removed by sanding the damaged
area. By comparison, scratches on a granite counter top, however superficial,
are quite noticeable, especially on high-polish stone. And removing these
scratches requires special equipment, usually operated by specialized personnel.
The same goes for laminate counter tops that scratch at the same rate as wood
does, but repair by a more painful process. Solid wood is the only surface
that can be renewed periodically with no costs or hassle.
Can I do it myself?
Not only does wood maintain and repair easily, but it also works and installs
without special skills or tools. Any person with very basic carpentry skills can
cut to templates and install a butcher-block top in just a few hours. No other
material, man-made or natural, works, installs, and repairs similarly easy. Even
if you make mistakes when cutting or
you can usually correct the
error easily; wood is incredibly forgiving, hence being the best choice for
do-it-yourselfers, seasoned and rookies alike.
But wood, unlike stone, is an organic material, therefore subject to
old age and natural decay and consequently, not very durable, isn't that so?
Well, consider this: The black locust wood, one of the species we currently
supply, can remain buried in the ground for over a hundred years without
rotting. The same goes for the European oak. And we are talking here about
unfinished and unprotected wood.
As for the aging, it is well known that wood mellows with age and its
appearance gets richer and smoother. Some wood species, such as black cherry and
walnut, develop a very specific, antique-like patina that is highly prized.
But I've been told that wood surfaces are not sanitary because they harbor
germs in their pores.
Step into any meat shop or restaurant. You'll find they don't chop the meat
or prepare the food on plastic surfaces, but on the same good old butcher block
made out of maple or a similar close-grained wood. What is their reason for
While some claim that plastic chopping boards are safer than classic
wooden ones because their non-porous, homogeneous structure, would not allow
microorganisms to persist and thrive, the research proved quite the opposite. It
was found that, on plastic boards, bacteria hid comfortably inside the cut marks
and prospered, whereas on the wooden cutting boards, the same bacteria vanished
within hours. The research demonstrated that the chemical structure of the wood
itself possesses anti-bacterial properties and further postulated the existence
of "good bacteria" within the wood fiber that actually kills the
One fact, however, is for sure: solid wood surfaces are a very good choice
when it comes about food preparation. And, although wood countertops are not
usually meant for cutting or chopping food directly on their surface, they
display the same sanitizing properties.
And now, for the cons...
Ok, so are you trying to say that solid wood will make the perfect
Each material has its pros and cons, and wood is no exception. It offers
great value and undeniable advantages; but it also has its limitations.
Wood, for instance, is a combustible material; so don't install a solid wood
top too close to a heat source, such as a stove burner. For the same reason, it
is also not advisable to place hot items directly onto your butcher block's
Wood is an organic material that can be damaged by acids and bases. Spilling
corrosive chemicals on a wood surface can cause damages beyond repair.
Wood is a fibrous material that reacts to extreme moisture or dryness by
expanding or shrinking, especially when unfinished. And finally, wood surfaces,
when oil-finished need regular maintenance.
For each of these shortcomings, there are, nevertheless, specific remedies.
But the point is, what makes a perfect countertop depends greatly upon your own
needs and expectations.
We have offered this brief overview hoping it will help you understand what
wood can do for you and what it can't, and, thus, enable you to choose the
material that best fits your requirements.