How Much Wood Is In Your Wood Countertops? An Exploration Into Countertop Materials

Posted on: 9 October 2019

Wood countertops are not always entirely wood. In many cases, there are some good reasons for that. If you are having your own countertops in your kitchen replaced, you should know how much of them is actual wood, versus other materials. It will help you make a decision about what kinds of countertops you want, and why those kinds of materials work best in your home. 

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood countertops, such as maple or walnut wood countertops, are all wood. They are made of planks of wood taken from the actual trees. There is nothing "manufactured" about them beyond the lumber being cut from trees. They will provide very solid countertops for years to come, but you may find that you cannot set hot dishes or pans directly on them or use cutting tools on the surface for food prep. Both hot pans and cutting tools will damage the surface of these countertops. 

Wood Laminate

Laminate wood is manufactured wood. Multiple layers are "laminated" together to create a stronger, more resilient wood product. In some cases, laminate is even harder than solid wood countertops. Laminate is also coated so that it can resist heat and scuffing or scratching. If you have kids and dogs in the house, it might be a good idea to consider laminate for your counters rather than some other wood product. 

Particle Board

Particle board is comprised of wood shavings and wood scraps heated up to make it soft, mixed with a binder or glue, and then pressed into panels. When it splits, bits of the scraps break off in chunks. It is the cheapest type of wood product you can use to make countertops and cabinets, but it is also the fastest to wear out. On the plus side, if you burn or scratch it, you can feel good about replacing it because it was never that expensive or valuable from the start. 

Particle Board Covered With Vinyl Laminate

Particle board is used as the base for the counters. A vinyl or plastic sheet of laminate is glued over the top and rounded or squared off on the edges. The laminate sheets can look like planks of hardwood, stone, granite, or anything else you want your counters to look like. A lot of customers ask contractors for these kinds of countertops because they are inexpensive, and because there are so many different options for the laminate sheets. They are also often impervious to all kinds of destructive forces.

Check out these and other countertop options at websites such as