There is no proof that wood provided man with the first countertops but it would have been one of the logical materials. The pioneers used wood as their kitchen counter was probably a multi-purpose surface for food preparation, washing clothes and other duties. The chopping block would have been also included in these duties.
Formica and arborite changed the way counters were made as countertops were now a sealed surface that did not need to be rubbed down with salt to kill germs. This later morphed into laminate countertops where the designs were photographs embossed into the surface.
Since then the materials for counters have included natural stone, concrete and, again, wood. yes wood is making a comeback in many different designs and species. Dark walnut countertops and teak are popular around sinks as is maple. Like natural stone they have to be sealed but the new epoxies are hard. This enables the natural grains of the wood to remain beautiful and not affected by water.
The cost for wood is about the same as for natural stone.
Wooden counter tops and natural stone counter tops comes in the same cost but stone counter tops are more sturdy and add a unique touch to your kitchen and home.
You can have a look at various types of material for counter tops at http://www.omicrongranite.net and then decide which ones to use.
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