Nancy L
Nancy L
  • Hometalker
  • Jeffersonville, VT
Asked on Feb 23, 2012

Thoughts on bamboo countertops?

PgShirley SNancy L
+18

Answered

I'm looking for an inexpensive countertop product. I've been looking at bamboo plywood. Any thoughts?
21 answers
  • KMS Woodworks
    on Feb 23, 2012

    I've seen many bamboo floors perform well below basic expectations. Using it for a counter would have me worried that it would hold up....then there is that whole "greenwashed" thing with bamboo... http://kmswoodworks.wordpress.com/2010/04/18/the-great-green-washing-of-bamboo-flooring/

  • Nancy L
    on Feb 23, 2012

    It sounds like I'd be better served sticking to hardwoods such as maple then? I've considered concrete too but this is a DIY project and don't think I have the skills to handle it. Any other suggestions would be welcomed.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Feb 23, 2012

    I've done a bunch with large granite tiles (18 x 21 and 18 x 24)...this is granite slab look at a fraction the cost. for economical "butcher" block your can find "industrial" or Shop type slabs. http://www.globalindustrial.com/g/work-benches/components/tops/butcher-block-work-bench-tops

  • Nancy L
    on Feb 23, 2012

    Where do you find them and what are the costs? Can a base cabinet that is currentely holding a laminate counter carry the weight and what do you use as the foundation for the tiles (plywood, etc). Are they glued down or what?

  • I've yet to see bamboo counters....like KMS, been using on floors forever on my flips and for retail clients. Good looking stuff, tough and cost effective to use. We often also use granite tiles set over a backerboard for a good looking countertop at a fraction of the cost...even though I do love solid granite slabs for my personal residences. What about slate....you're in the land of it! What made you think about bamboo countertops?

  • Nancy L
    on Feb 24, 2012

    I saw them some where online. It said they were durable, but I have no experience with bamboo so.... I would think that slate would scratch easily. I've seen it on floors and you can take the scratch out with milk! Maybe I could use a different kind of sealer to help with the scratching. Slate also breaks easily and I'd be worried about the install. I'd have to find some strong men to help me put it in! Now that's a bonus I hadn't thought about... :)

  • Designs by BSB
    on Feb 24, 2012

    Bamboo counter tops, wow, first time hearing that too! What look or practicality are you going for as to what is directing you to wood tops? (which I am a HUGE fan of) ... DIY would be quite an undertaking to glue it up and get a smooth finish across a large area

  • Nancy L
    on Feb 24, 2012

    I was thinking plywood type. But I haven't found any place in the US that sells it!

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Feb 24, 2012

    The counters will handle the weight just fine. I like to start with plywood then set 1/4" hardibacker over it...then set the tile

  • Designs by BSB
    on Feb 24, 2012

    ahh ok. Do plan to have plenty of trivets and bamboo cutting boards. Plywood type counter tops in the kitchen are not very durable. They are typically kept for areas where there is no water and lighter activities (desks, butler's pantry etc)

  • Nancy L
    on Feb 28, 2012

    Thanks for all your advise everyone. I will make my final decision in the future but have rulled out bamboo... thinking slate now. Going to paint the cabinets white with a distressed antique finish. The floor is already wood looking laminate (I know, would love hardwood but my budget won't allow it). I have white applicances. Going to make cute simple curtains and have some open shelves for extra space too. I'll take pictures, I promise! Thanks again.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Feb 29, 2012

    Slate is not the best for a counter (unless it is a dead flat honed version) the nooks and crannies of regular slate make for a cleaning nightmare.

  • Designs by BSB
    on Feb 29, 2012

    KMS is not kidding. nightmare!

  • Nancy L
    on Feb 29, 2012

    I hadn't even thought of that. I bet your right KMS!

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Mar 1, 2012

    I have some slate around the wood stove in the master bedroom...here the dirt is limited to basic dust and a bit of wood stove ash...light and fluffy grey powder. It can be vacuumed pretty easily. I have done some client "repairs" to slate surfaces shower and counter surfaces...it water comes into the equation then all bets are off...soap scum and kitchen gunk are near impossible to remove from the texture of slate.

    thoughts on bamboo countertops, countertops, kitchen design, slate wood stove surround
  • Nancy L
    on Mar 1, 2012

    I can see where soap would be a problem. Like with all sealers. But there has to be a cleaning product that takes care of the bacteria without having the soap scum effect. The rest is just scratching and like I said, milk will take the scratches out pretty good. On top of that I use cuttiing boards. I'm mostly worried about around the sink area and the soap scum. A weak mixture of Spic and Span works good on the floor.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Mar 2, 2012

    As far as "bacteria" go any rough surface poses more problems...read this study by the UC Davis Food Safety Lab...its is about cutting boards (wood vs plastic)...with wood wining hands down...the "rough" damaged surface of the plastic cutting board is the culprit...this same strategy could be carried forward to the rough surface of slate. http://faculty.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/faculty/docliver/Research/cuttingboard.htm

  • Designs by BSB
    on Mar 2, 2012

    I wrote an article a couple of years back that may interest you: https://designsbybsb.com/2010/08/wood-works/

  • Nancy L
    on Mar 2, 2012

    Thanks KMS and BeckySue, wood is looking more appealing every day.

  • Shirley S
    on Sep 27, 2012

    so cool to see someone from Jeffersonville ! I have friends that live there and just got back from there a few weeks ago ! He is a wood worker and so talented!

  • Pg
    on Aug 29, 2018

    Make sure you can seal it. Bamboo is very delicate and absorbs spills to leave stains. It is also very easy to damage when used as flooring, so I would personally stay away from it for any surface that is supposed to endure through use.

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