Plank Style Wood Countertops

Walnut Plank Style

Maple Plank Style

Mahogany Plank Style

Face Grain Plank Style Tops - Plain Sawn Vs. Quarter Sawn


Plank Style wood tops, also known as Face Grain, are constructed using the face of the boards. In this style of countertop the surface of the top has a wide grain pattern that shows the natural cathedral grains and swirls of the wood. We craft our plank countertops using boards that measure between 3"-9" in width. We do our best to pick lumber that is the most visually pleasing to the customer according to their preferences and requests. Remember every piece of wood is different, which guarantees that your custom wood countertop will be completely one-of-a-kind.

Most of our raw materials are delivered to us in plain sawn stock, as that is how most woods are milled at the sawmill. Some wood species, such as Mahogany and White Oak, can also be purchased in a Quarter Sawn variety. Below is a description of the two different cuts of wood.

Plain Sawn

Plain Sawn lumber is the most common cut of lumber in woodworking. By making parallel cuts through the log, a wider plank is produced. The annular growth rings are typically 30 degrees or less to the face of the board, which gives the plank the recognizable “cathedral” grain. This type of cut utilizes the entire log, minimizing waste and maximizing yield. Because of the efficiency of this method, it is also the most affordable.

Quarter Sawn

Quarter Sawn lumber is produced when the log is cut into four quarters (hence the name), then each quarter is flat-sawn. The growth rings are generally 60-90 degrees to the face of the board, resulting in a more linear grain pattern without the “cathedral” effect. In Red Oak and White Oak, this cut also shows a flecking or ray in the grain. Since this type of cut involves more labor and produces more waste, the cost is higher than plain sawn lumber. Due to the position of the growth rings in the cut, Quarter Sawn lumber is more dimensionally stable than Plain Sawn. It resists expansion and contraction on plank’s width.

Rift Sawn (Unavailable from suppliers)

When considering a wood top, keep in mind that they are made by nature and that the materials we use for our countertops are like people, their tones and appearances vary. Our craftsmen hand select the materials to provide the greatest color and grain match available, but even so, there will still be color and grain variations which are part of the charm of your natural wood top. These color and grain variations are naturally occurring and can not be controlled, it is their individual variations that make all our wood countertops beautiful. When ordering a solid wood top you must expect that your top will have a certain amount of variation and can look slightly different than a small sample that has been provided to you. The thickness of your custom counter top is only limited by the raw materials available. Our standard thicknesses are listed on our "Ordering Your Countertop" page. If you do not see what your are looking for there, just call or email us and we will see if thicker material for your top is available from our suppliers.

All of our beautiful plank style countertops are finished with time tested durable finishes to protect them; Sprague Woodworking utilizes two Oil based finishes for this task: the Traditional Waterlox Satin Finish, and the Zar oil based Polyurethane. The Waterlox finish is FDA approved for direct food contact, and both of them are non toxic and do not require much maintenance over time. See our "Counter Finishes" page for more information on these finish products.

The plank style top is the least suitable option for tops whose surface will be used for chopping or cutting but we have had a few people request them as cutting surfaces as well. We would finish them differently than the above described finish but regardless, hardwood plank countertops are an elegant surface no matter what you choose. Call us at (978) 456-3947 to consult with a real woodworking professional who will guide you through the design process to ensure that your hardwood plank countertop satisfies all of your specifications.