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Old 01-16-2015, 11:58 AM  
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Wood countertop??


I'm going to put in a wood countertop in my kitchen I plan on using poplar but before I get that far what kind of plywood should I put down first?
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Old 01-16-2015, 12:19 PM  
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I'm not a big fan of wood countertops .That being said ,poplar is probably one of the worst woods you could use.It has a lot of movement with changes in temp and humidity and it is soft.
If I were to do a wood countertop it would be hard maple or better.
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Old 01-16-2015, 12:33 PM  
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I've been looking into what wood to use and a lot of people have recommended poplar so that's what I'm going with. The post was asking about plywood.
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Old 01-16-2015, 01:25 PM  
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Sorry to have not answered your exact question.I was simply giving some advice looking back on my 40 years experience after building 100's of countertops.
To answer your question :I would never use any plywood under a wood countertop.I would use solid wood.The wood will expand and contract at a different rate than the plywood causing all kinds of failures.No matter how you attach it you can not stop wood movement.
Please post again in a year and let me know how it works out for you.
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Old 01-16-2015, 02:14 PM  
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I agree with Mako, but since you have already decided on poplar, let's move on. There is no reason to use plywood. A wood countertop should be at least 1 inch thick, perhaps 1-1/4 inch, which is strong enough for support without plywood. Look at a typical maple butcher block for reference, often they are two inches thick.

Finish is critical, since this is a countertop, you need to use a food grade finish. For maple, this is typically food grade oil, typically not varnish. Not sure what works with poplar, perhaps if you ask the supplier of the poplar they can tell you, I have never seen a poplar countertop. Hard maple seems to be most common where I live.

I built an island top using 1-1/2 inch thick cherry, finished it with varnish since I do not use it for food preparation. Worked out pretty well.
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Old 01-16-2015, 02:25 PM  
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As mentioned above, poplar is a very soft wood compared to what is typically used for work surfaces. In addition to cosmetic scratching, you run into a real health issue if the wood is gouged/scratched deep enough to allow bacteria to penetrate whatever you used as a sealant. The added cost of material for a better wood is probably small compared to the relative time cost of redoing the project again a short while down the road.

I like poplar for a lot of things and use it often, but I'm not sure I would agree with anyone suggesting to use it for a countertop in a kitchen. Maybe elsewhere (bar, office, etc.), but the kitchen handles too many icky* things.

* = technical term.

Last edited by hyunelan2; 01-16-2015 at 02:30 PM. Reason: words
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Old 01-16-2015, 02:39 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmilks View Post
I'm going to put in a wood countertop in my kitchen I plan on using poplar but before I get that far what kind of plywood should I put down first?
Why do you want to put plywood under a wood counter? Also, just curious why you chose poplar. Poplar is usually used for interior finish work and cabinetry that will be painted. It tends to take stains rather poorly, it's moderately soft, and would make a poor choice for a kitchen counter. But if you're intent on using it I'd be interested in knowing why.
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Old 01-16-2015, 04:42 PM  
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Who in the world would have suggested using Poplar?
Did they have an orange apron on by chance?
Could not agree more with the other posters.
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Old 01-18-2015, 05:13 PM  
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My vote would be butcher block with just an an oil finish. You have to oil it once week or so but it looks good. Do a search on butcher block counter tops. Lots of info out there on it. I'm toying with the idea of it at the cabin for next year's Summer project.

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