A warm alternative to cool stone, character-rich wood countertops are staging a comeback. Traditional wood surfaces often are reserved for lower-traffic applications, such as islands that double as eating areas.
True butcher block, made from strips of wood bonded together, serves as a work surface. It is the only countertop material appropriate for slicing and chopping. Most wood countertops are made from maple, though oak, cherry, walnut and teak are also used. Eco-friendly bamboo is gaining popularity.