Having wood countertops installed in your kitchen can greatly augment the look of this part of your home for years to come. Once the countertops are in place, you should give some thought to the different ways that you can extend their life. There's no reason that, with the right care, your wood countertops can't look just as eye catching 10 years from now as they did at the time of installation. But achieving this goal doesn't happen by chance. In order for your wood countertops to have a long life, you'll need to take a series of steps. Here are some suggestions.
Avoid Cutting On Them
Avoiding cutting on your wood countertops might seem like a counterintuitive idea, given that you might have bought the countertops with the expectation of chopping food without needing a cutting board. While it's true that you can technically cut directly on the countertops, doing so can age them prematurely. Just as you need to occasionally replace your wooden cutting boards because they get worn down, this can happen to your countertops. Another concern with cutting on them can be that these areas get stained more easily. For example, if you're slicing beets with a sharp knife, dark beet juice can slip into the tiny cuts you make in the countertop and be difficult to clean.
Don't Allow Standing Water
Even though your wood countertops are treated with some manner of protective stain, you should endeavor to minimize their prolonged exposure to water. It's not a problem to wash your countertop with a wet rag, nor should you worry about water slopping out of the sink as you wash the dishes. The main concern is standing water, which can break down the stain on the wood over time. Keep the counter dry; this may include wiping it up after you've finished washing the dishes. Additionally, if you're thawing something out of the freezer, don't place it on the counter where it will leak water as it comes up to room temperature.
Keep Heavy Items Below It
Dents can add character to a wood countertop, but if this isn't the look that you're hoping to achieve, there's a simple way to avoid such issues. It's easy to occasionally drop things as you take them out of your kitchen cabinets, so try to keep the heaviest items on the shelves below the countertop. For example, if you have canned goods, a heavy can of tomatoes that slips out of your hand and falls to the countertop may damage it. If you keep this item below the counter, it will fall harmlessly to the floor.