JWalsh Construction recently capped off a Tierrasanta Kitchen remodel in fine style by constructing a custom wood countertop. The top was built out of hickory and was stained to match a dark bamboo flooring which the owner had selected.
The owner wanted to break up the look of granite on all the countertops by adding something which would stand out but still relate to the rest of the kitchen. Hickory was chosen both for its durability and for its unique character which make it an excellent complement to the bamboo flooring.
The top was shaped to reflect a series of 45 degree angles which occur around the kitchen island. In addition to being visually pleasing, this design is functional because the various clipped corners help preserve proper building code clearances where necessary.
Constructing the countertop was a straightforward process without any real surprises. First, Jon Walsh selected boards for uniform color and grain as well as obvious characteristics like straightness. The boards were edge glued together and reinforced from underneath with pocket screws. The combination of glue and screws makes it unlikely that the joints will ever appear. Although this is more of a “bar-top” than a food prep area, it is inevitable in a kitchen that food will find it’s way onto the countertop. This makes it even more important that the joints hold up.
Next, the rough assembly was trimmed and then cut exactly to shape using the 3/4 plywood template which would ultimately become the “sub-top.” Then the boards were edge laminated with solid hickory to give the appearance of greater thickness.
With the countertop “built” at this point, the finishing process began. A number of hours of sanding, hole-filling and more sanding left the piece ready for stain and clear-coat.
Two coats of stain and three coats of polyurethane–and one 12 hour drying period–later, the hickory counter was transported to the job site for installation where it was glued down to the 3/4 rough top using construction adhesive.
The homeowners were ecstatic with the latest addition to their remodel and planned to break in the bar-top with celebratory refreshments!