• Cost

    • What are the least expensive woods?
      All the blond woods have the best price point. Hard maple, hickory, oak, ash and beach. Hickory is our favorite wood period. It is extremely hard and the color shifts make for a very attractive counter.
    • What’s the cheapest construction style for wood countertops?
      The plank construction style is the best value in wood countertops. It has the lowest scrap rate and it’s easier to assemble the the slab.
    • How much do wood countertops cost?

      In this time of constricted budgets, we find that many homeowners and trade professionals alike want to know how much a wood countertop or butcher block costs when compared to stone or other material. The simple answer is, it can vary.

      That's a very frustrating answer to a straightforward question, we know. For example, if you asked your mechanic how much to fix my car with no other information it would be difficult to estimate because there are so many variables to consider. The best way to find out is to call us at (404) 566-8299 or go to our Get A Quote page and fill out the short form. We're usually very quick to turn your quote around and then you'll know exactly where you stand.

      Ways to save money when ordering a wood countertop.

      • We offer three types of wood countertops and butcher blocks. To save some money the DIY and blank slab options are going to be the way to go.  
        1. Fully finished - Most expensive. This, as the name implies, is fully finished and ready to be installed. 
        2. Do It Yourself - Mid-range. This is a fully cut-out countertop with all holes and shapes cut but you'll need to do some finish sanding and sealing work. 
        3. Blank Slabs - Least expensive. These are blank slabs that need to be cut to size, finish sanded, then sealed. Great for a cabinet shop or handy husband.
  • Durability

    • Can wood countertops be stained?
      It's possible, but it really depends on the finish used. During the design process we ask you what the surface will be used for. A butcher block surface designed to be chopped on will have a different finish than countertops used in a pantry. Our wood countertop sealer page goes over all the ins and outs of our sealers so please check that out.
    • How durable are wood countertops?

      Many people ask us how durable wood countertops are.  To answer this completely we need to include scratch resistance, impact resistance, stain resistance, and water resistance. When you think about it, a kitchen countertop has to deal with a lot in an average day. Having a sink in the top adds to the potential issues.

      Let's break this down and deal with the elements of the question individually.

      Scratch Resistance Of Wood Countertops

      The scratch resistance of a wood countertop is determined by a couple of things. If the wood is sealed with a sealer like the Monocoat, it’s only as scratch resistant as the wood itself. Because Monocoat is an oil finish that is absorbed by the wood it doesn’t have a “shell” that protects against scratching. It can, however, easily be re-oiled occasionally to maintain its water barrier.

      If a topical sealer like conversion varnish or polyurethane is used the scratch resistance goes up significantly. Still not as resistant as stone, but if you do get a scratch it’s easy to repair with products like Howard Restor-A-Finish.

      Impact Resistance Of Wood Countertops

      Impact resistance is much the same as scratch resistance, in that a top sealed with penetrating oil will only be as hard as the wood. You can find ratings on woods’ hardness here. Topical sealers will greatly improve this rating by penetrating the wood fibers, hardening, and thus reinforcing the wood.

      Stain & Water Resistance Of Wood Countertops

      Stain and water resistance go hand in hand and are both dependent on the sealer used. The glue used also plays a role in water resistance. Topical sealers will always perform the best for this. Older topical sealers would occasionally peel, allow water rings to appear, or, in some cases, completely smother the wood's natural texture. New technology has solved those problems. At J. Aaron we use a high-quality polyurethane that soaks deep into the wood’s fibers and literally becomes part of the wood. There is nothing that can make them peel, they will never be affected by water or any other common household liquid and do not smother the natural texture of the wood. There are some solvents you need to be careful of. Acetone which is present in fingernail polish remover is one of these. Penetrating oils like tung oil and Monocoat are great sealers as well but don’t have quite the protective qualities as a good topical sealer. Monocoat is superior to tung oil. At J. Aaron we’re completely confident in it to provide a very good seal even on countertops with under-mount sinks.


      Wood is not as hard as granite or quartz countertops. That’s part of its character. If you want your kitchen or bathroom countertop to look the same 5-10 years from now you do not want wood, marble, or stainless steel for that matter. Wood is unique in that blemishes form a patina. Like a leather chair, wood countertops gain character as they grow older. Time and use adds rather than subtracts from their overall appearance. Enjoy the process and don’t worry about small nicks and scratches.

    • Can I set a hot pan on my counter surface?
      No. We recommend using a trivet instead. You can damage the finish and/or the wood if the pan is too hot.
    • Do butcher block counters ever move or change shape?
      Yes. During different times of the year, they will move or change dimensions. This is a natural fact of solid wood. Remember that we are not talking about plywood, which makes up virtually all wood furniture. Plywood has a much-reduced reactivity to climate change.
    • Do wood countertops crack?
      They can develop small cracks or checks. These are not considered defects as solid wood will do this naturally. They rarely become structural problems and if desired can easily be repaired by the home owner.
    • Do wood countertops warp?
      They can warp at times due to changes in humidity levels. This is not a problem if you follow recommended installation directions.
    • Sometimes I feel the glue joints. Is that normal?
      Yes, this is normal. Throughout the year as humidity levels change glue joints may start to have a texture to them. This does not mean they are coming apart. It is simply the natural movement of wood.
  • Look & Feel

    • Are there knots in wood countertops?
      Some woods have more knots than others but most have some. When we put together a top we remove as many of these as possible but most tops will still have a few. These are part of countertop’s character and are not considered defects. If you prefer your countertop has no knots please specify that when getting a quote.
    • What should I expect when it comes to texture?
      Wood has texture and it will vary from board to board and even within the same board. Wood grain will be denser in some areas and more open in others. This is typical of all woods and is not considered a defect.
    • Do wood countertops & butcher block vary in color?
      Wood, as you know, is a natural product. Unless requested we do not stain our countertops like most cabinet companies or furniture manufactures. This means that if you’re working from one of our samples the actual product you get can vary in color. Color consistency within a top is important to us and we sort lumber and hand select each board that goes into any given top.
  • Most Commonly Asked

    • Do wood countertops or butcher block tops harbor bacteria?
      No. There is no good evidence that wood harbors more bacteria than plastic. There is evidence that many kinds of wood actually kill bacteria. Have you visited a real butcher shop of late? Do you see the butcher cutting the choice of pieces of meat on granite or stone? No, the butcher uses what his profession has used for centuries – wood – butcher block. And his health inspection certificate behind his counter verifies the ease of clean up and disinfecting.
    • Should a wood countertop be next to a range?
      Yes, it's perfectly fine for a wood countertop to be next to a range. Just follow the installation instructions for your range and everything will be perfectly fine. Read our blog post about it here.
    • Can I have an undermount sink?
      Yes. Our countertops are sealed to protect them against water damage. Check out our blog post on the subject here.
    • Can I cut on the surface of my wood or butcher block counter?
      You may if your surface is sealed with mineral oil. Chopping and cutting food directly on a wood counter with other sealers isn’t recommended.