A great way of adding “wow” factor to your kitchen without a lot of money is with wood countertops that you do yourself. Here I’m going to cover two products that will help in this endeavor.
The first product is Ikea’s wood countertop blanks. These tops are at the lower end of the spectrum in price at just over $10 per SF. They are pre-sized slabs of wood that can be cut down to fit your exact needs. The size and species of woods available are limited but they’re typically satisfactory for smaller applications. The construction of these tops utilizes many short pieces of wood glued together, similar to a floor.
If your countertop will have a sink the best type to use is a drop-in or self-rimming sink. The hole that will need cut will not be seen so it doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect and can typically be done with a simple jig saw. Kohler is one of the best manufactures of kitchen and bathroom sinks with multiple styles to look at in several different price points. Home Depot and Lowe’s will have other options as well that will work just fine.
The countertops need to be sealed before use. Waterlox Original tung oil is the best product to use. It’s easy to apply with only a rag and a pair of gloves. It soaks deep into the wood fiber where resins in the sealer harden producing a water and stain resistant finish. If you knick the top it can simply be sanded out and the oil re-applied. Visit the Waterlox website for full instructions on how to seal a wood countertop.
Highlights of Ikea wood countertops:
- Very low cost
- In stock (most of the time) and ready to pick up
The second product is a DIY wood countertop from J. Aaron. It’s a completely custom countertop just like their pre-finished countertops and island tops. Price varies with wood species but their most popular woods such as walnut, and cherry are around $30 per SF at 1-3/4″ thick. With J. Aaron’s program you provide the finished size, thickness, construction style and wood species you want. All of the options are covered on their website.
J. Aaron will also pre-cut the sink cutout for you so you can use an undermount sink instead of a drop-in sink. Undermount sinks are very popular and tend to have a higher end look. You provide J. Aaron with the brand and model number of the sink you’re using and they will do the precision cutting for you. After you make all your selections the countertop or island top is shipped to your home ready to be installed and have the finish applied. You’ll do all the finish sanding work yourself and then seal it. Again the Waterlox sealer is the best product to use. This countertop will have the look of a very high-end exotic countertop at a fraction of the cost of ordering a finished countertop from J. Aaron. A big bang for your buck and a little effort.
Highlights of J. Aaron custom DIY wood countertops:
- Significant price reduction over pre-finished wood countertops from J. Aaron.
- Able to customize all details of the top and order with sink and/or range top cutouts pre-cut.