Studio Development and Countertop Decisions

Yesterday, I shared three ideas I had for building a taller countertop to complement my 19.5-foot studio wall, and you all had some very creative ideas for me! My mind was buzzing with all the different ideas, and in the end, I decided to use the hardwood floor to make the countertop.

There are several reasons I decided to use this option. First, I’ve done it before, so I know it works. I used 3/4-inch red oak hardwood flooring to make the countertop in our walk-in pantry.

So there is no guesswork or trial and error in this. I’ve done this, and it worked great, and I have my old blog posts to refer back to so I can refresh my memory on the process. You can see how I made these countertops here.

The second reason I decided to use hardwood flooring as a countertop is because the result is a solid solid wood surface at a fraction of the cost of butcherblock. I would probably go with unfinished maple for the studio countertops, and that runs about $6.30/square foot. That’s about $283.50 for a long 19.5-foot countertop, and then I have to buy plywood for the substrate. But even then, I’m still looking at under $500 for a 19.5-foot wood countertop.

The third reason is obvious – there are no straight seams or joints. This is my main concern with using butcherblock or sheet laminate. Whether I have a seam or joint in the middle, or two offset seams or joints, they bother me either way. I just wanted something to look like a solid, uninterrupted surface.

And the last reason is that it can be built in place. There are several countertop options that need to be built somewhere else and then put in place. And be an example the butcherblock-style countertop I made for our hallway bathroom.

That countertop is made of solid pine 2 x 3’s that are glued and screwed together, and then cut to size. I had to build it upside down (using my front porch as a work bench), and then once it was assembled, I flipped it over, cut it to size, and then brought it inside and set it up in the place.

Now imagine doing that on a 20-foot-long countertop. 😀 Yes, that’s impossible.

So building my own butcherblock countertop using this method was not an option for the studio. I needed something that could be built in place, and not have to be picked up and carried and put in place.

The winning idea, and the one that I feel the most confident and peaceful, is to build a countertop using a hardwood floor on top of a plywood substrate. And now that I’ve decided on it, I’m actually excited about it. I just need to decide on the specific species of wood I want to use. I knew for sure that I didn’t want to use red oak. I went with red oak because that’s our hardwood floors throughout the house, and that’s what I used on the pantry countertop. To get the color of the countertop, I had to bleach the wood to get the red/pink tones. I like to skip that step by choosing a tree that doesn’t have that red/pink tone. I think I narrowed it down to white oak and maple.

In other news, I’m finally going to start painting the checkerboard design on the floor today. I have everything set up, taped, and ready to go. So by Monday, I should have this part of the floor finished and ready to show you!

I’m so excited to see the actual progress of this room! It’s been a long time coming, and it’s so much fun to finally see my vision come to life.

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