What Are The Disadvantages Of Wood Countertops?

Wood might sound like a perfect material for kitchen countertops. It’s beautiful in appearance, has a smooth finish, it’s classic, and has a lot of options. But wood is not all rainbows and sunshine. It can actually be one of the worst material choices for a kitchen countertop. You should think twice before preferring wood over stone countertops like granite and quartz countertops.

Water Can Damage It

Wood is a hydrophobic material. It cannot sustain damage imparted by water. It can also absorb water very quickly, especially if the wood is untreated and not sealed.

This is a huge problem because water and moisture can penetrate deep into the structure of wood and can inflict great damage. From there, cracks, deformation of the slab, and mold and fungus formation are the norm.

Regular Sealing Is A Must

Wood has to be maintained a lot. It’s not a material that you can set and forget about. You need to regularly seal it because it is one of those materials that can cause the sealant to wear off after a couple of months, so instead of getting resealed every year, like normal stone countertops, wood ones need to be sealed every 4 to 5 months. This is not only tedious, but it can add up as you go.

Sanding Is Necessary

Sanding is something a lot of wood countertops need. If you’re going for untreated hardwood, then sanding is necessary because it’s going to keep the wood looking fresh and it will also prevent the countertops from getting dark. But this is not always easy.

There are special and professional workers that can sand down the countertops to perfection and this isn’t something you can try to do by yourself, because you will mess up. So, this maintenance step can be quite expensive and not a lot of people can afford it, which is why they prefer other materials over wood.

It’s Not Heat Resistant

Wood is not an insulating material at all. It actually catches fire a lot more quickly than other natural materials. Wood can get blistered by hot pots and pans and it’s generally not the best material to use in the kitchen because you’ll be dealing with hot foods and utensils from time to time.

The heat stains, formed on wooden countertops, are a nightmare to get rid of and they look very hideous. This is why it’s recommended that you use trivets or cutting boards to put hot utensils on, otherwise, the countertops will be ruined and there isn’t much that you can do about it.

It’s Climate-Sensitive

If you didn’t know this already, wood can be quite sensitive to certain climates. Wood expands and contracts, as soon as temperature changes. The constant contraction and expansion of the wood can lead to large cracks. Wood can dry out easily in colder and drier climates and that can make the countertops look dull and lifeless.

A lot of humidity isn’t good for the countertops either because there’s a high risk of rotting and spoiling of the wood. So, wood is a pretty difficult material to maintain in certain weather, which is another reason why people tend to stay away from it. If you need a countertop that fares well against temperature changes, granite countertops Potomac should be your choice.

A Breeding Ground For Bacteria

Wood is not the most sanitary material either. It has small pores and cracks all over its surface and it’s really easy for bacteria and other living organisms to creep into these small crevices. This can make the countertops a hotspot for bacteria and other toxins to latch onto food, that will soon be going into your body.

This can occur if you’re not being too careful about maintaining your countertops timely, so if you’re getting wooden countertops for your kitchen, then you need to commit to maintaining and taking good care of them.

It’s An Expensive Material

This one is pretty self-explanatory. People don’t opt for wood as their primary choice for kitchen countertops, because it’s generally an expensive material. Sometimes, wood can be reasonable in price too, but the maintenance costs are really hefty and not a lot of people want to spend this much money on maintaining a material.

Including maintenance costs, wood can cost you anywhere between $50-$100 for a 1×1 ft. slab and that’s insanely expensive, considering that you have to slave over the maintenance and care for the countertops for a long time. This is what makes wood countertops a big “no” among the masses. You can choose laminate countertops that are cheap, but they are less durable than solid wood countertops.

Doesn’t Have Monetary Value

A lot of materials, like granite and marble, when installed in your kitchen, can add value to your house, especially if you’re considering selling it. The same can’t be said for wood, however. Wood doesn’t have a high demand or resale value, because of its high maintenance and tedious aftercare. It is not a material people go after and it’s not necessarily an attraction for buyers.

So, if you’re looking to make a good deal with buyers, on your house, then wood isn’t the best choice of material to go for. You can attract buyers with other materials, with almost half the maintenance costs and labor.

Scratches Can Occur

Wood is not as durable as you think. It can scratch pretty easily and if you’re slacking in the maintenance department and not getting it sealed on time, then it can lead to deeper and very ugly-looking scratches all over the surface of the countertops.

Pressure-treated wood is more resistant to scratches, but it’s obviously going to be on the expensive side and not a lot of people want to spend this much money on wooden countertops when they can easily go for other, more durable options. So, try to keep sharp knives and objects away from wooden countertops.

Special Cleaners Are Required

When it’s stated that wood is a high-maintenance material, it’s no joke. Wood cannot be cleaned with regular cleaners, or even water and dish soap. There are special cleaners available that are going to help get rid of the stains and won’t damage the countertops either.

As amazing as these cleaners are, they also need to be bought frequently and they’re going to add up in the long run. You also need to keep acids, harsh chemicals, and abrasive cleaning agents away from wood, otherwise, you’re just asking for a disaster to happen.

Not A Versatile Material

Wood can rarely be used in the kitchen without getting damaged, so if you want to use it somewhere else, like in the bathrooms, for instance, then you can forget about it. Wood is not the material you want to go for, especially in bathrooms or in places where there’s a lot of moisture and water exposure.

It’s only a matter of time until the wood starts to deteriorate and you will see all of your money go down the drain, literally. So, it’s best to not opt for wood, as it is not versatile at all.


If a material’s cons outweigh the pros, then you definitely don’t want to risk buying it for your kitchen, and wood is, sadly, one of those materials for most people. You need to opt for a more durable and resistant material that is low maintenance and easy to clean like quartz. Visit a quartz countertops dealer Rockville to check out different quartz colors and designs.

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