Credit: Ross Chandler
Thomas Creek walnut end-grain countertop
With its company headquarters in an area of the U.S. that performed solidly during the housing crunch, the Thomas Creek brand trusts the trends it sees among local homeowners.
“Like many [U.S.] cities, Omaha [Neb.] has an annual Street of Dreams, where we saw eight wood tops in these kitchens in one year,” says Thomas Creek president Steve Holcomb. “There’s been a big change year-over-year in this segment.”
To test the waters, the company started using scrap wood to create butcher blocks, which were a hit with customers. “We put the idea out for feedback to our walk-in traffic, and 80% of our customers asked if we had considered making wood tops,” Holcomb says. “We started down that path, and it’s really taken off.”
Holcomb says that Thomas Creek Wood Countertops are comparable to granite in pricing, and a strong sealant applied to the wood means the counters won’t require a lot of oiling or maintenance.
Used most frequently for kitchen islands, the tops are available in several thicknesses and species, though Holcomb says that walnut is gaining popularity, and customers can choose from end- or edge-grain construction.
“Granite is nice, but because it’s stone, it tends to be a colder surface,” Holcomb points out. “People are looking for more warmth in the kitchen, and a wood countertop is one way to get that.” —Lauren Hunter, senior editor, REMODELING. @LaurenHunter_HW