A great, and relatively inexpensive option for a wood kitchen countertop is an oiled acacia with live edge. Live Edge is the trademark name for a wood that has been treated with a high-quality polyurethane coating. This type of wood can be sanded very easily and can withstand heavy sanding. It’s a beautiful wood with a bright natural color that has a coarse texture. Oiled Acacacs with Live Edge have a smooth wood grain that makes them ideal for using in kitchen countertops.
The oiled or live edge finish on an oiled Acacia will have a tighter grain as a result of the treatment. The resulting wood has a tight grain that is visible even when the wood is polished or stained. The tighter grain also helps to prevent splitting or cracking during heavy use. Because of the tight grain, an oiled Acacia can be sanded easily and it will not split or crack.
In addition to the obvious benefits of choosing an oiled wood kitchen countertop, another benefit is that the wood doesn’t yellow easily. Yellowing wood comes from exposure to sunlight and from chemical exposure in the wood processing plant. Oiled wood will retain its color and won’t fade when exposed to sunlight. This is especially important for a kitchen countertop that will be used frequently outdoors. Sunlight can speed up chemical reactions that naturally brown wood.
Another benefit is the durability of the wood. Unlike other woods that are susceptible to splitting or cracking, oiled wood stays intact and is usually impervious to water, stains, and heat. It is also resistant to insect infestation. Acacias can be left outside all year, but there is more chance that insects will find and destroy them if they are left unsupervised. Oiled wood kitchen countertops don’t need to be sealed. If the wood has been treated with a water-resistant coating, it will remain protected from moisture.
An oiled wood kitchen countertop looks like natural wood, but it contains no oil. The term “oiled” refers to the application of a thin layer of glue, wax, or plastic on the wood surface to create the appearance of a wood surface. Other chemicals such as turpentine or starch are sometimes added to give wood an oiled appearance.
The cost of an oiled wood kitchen countertop depends on the grade of wood, the number of edges, and the amount of glue or backing needed to seal the surface. Some types of wood may require more coats of finish than others, which can raise the cost. There are several grades of wood, so know what type of wood your counter is. It is a good idea to get an oiled wood sample in order to determine the type you want.
An oiled wood counter top has a smooth, shiny, modern edge. An edge that is dull, matte, or grooved can add distortion to the look of the wood. Some homeowners like the grooved edge, because it gives the wood a unique, open grain. A wood kitchen countertop with a smooth edge is also sometimes called flat-edged or flat finished. It’s important to choose the right look for your kitchen, so choose oiled wood over flat wood, especially in areas where you will be exposed to a lot of moisture or food.
If you have any doubts about the moisture or food you will be preparing, it’s a good idea to have an oiled sample refinished. You might also want to consider a wood with a grain pattern that will naturally resist moisture and staining. The best choice for kitchens with lots of traffic and lots of food preparation and cooking involve materials that naturally resist damage from both moisture and heat and contain natural preservatives. Oiled wood provides all these benefits, while also adding a beautiful, natural look.