Wood Countertop Featured in "This Old House" Renovation

By Bill Esler | Posted: 02/05/2013 2:04PM


Grothouse LumberGrothouse Lumber/Durata Matte Grothouse Lumber has been enjoying plenty of media exposure lately as the source for a high-profile renovation project in on the PBS show, “This Old House,” hosted by renovation and woodworking stars Kevin O’Connor, master carpenter Norm Abram, and general contractor Tom Silva.

Grothouse’s Pastore Waterfall Wood Countertop was included in episode 13, “The Cambridge Project 2012,” which aired Dec. 27, 2012. It measures 11-1/2 feet and weighs 600 lbs. It is positioned around pre-built cabinets in the house, and includes a quartz inset counter that surrounds an integrated undermount sink. The butcherblock countertop was constructed by Grothouse of 2´´ solid maple wood, with dovetail keys to enhance the mitered edges. The countertop is finished with Durata, a waterproof and maintenance free permanent wood finish.

Grothouse showed the Durata Matte countertop finish at KBIS 2012, the first such finish in a 10 sheen. Developed to provide an organic, invisible, permanent and protective wood finish, Durata Matte provides a scratch- and chemical-resistant surface even lacquer thinner does not affect, once it’s cured.

Grothouse also uses it to seal custom wood sinks. “We encourage an exceptionally innovative and fresh environment at our company, to constantly offer new products that modernize the wood surfaces industry,” says Paul Grothouse, president.

Grothouse’s Pastore Waterfall Wood Countertops are fabricated with seamless butcherblock side panels that function as legs. These extend from the countertop to give the appearance of one fluid piece. Paul Grothouse says they can be tricky to manufacture.

Video of production in Grothouse Lumber’s newest plant shows a section of the countertop being machined in an Anderson Move CNC router as progressively more precise cuts are made for an outlet: first a 3/4" rougher bit, then a 1/4" and finally an 1/8" to provide a radius inset.

A Martin T75 sliding table saw cuts the miter for the edge. “You need a lot of power for a cut like this,” says Grothouse. “It’s not something you can do with an average saw.” The countertop in the video is also shown in the glue clamp and in the spray room.

The Waterfall Wood Countertop crafted for the large kitchen island took careful consideration and an army of men to carry. At 11-1/2 feet long, doorways with even normal turns were not an option. Silva decided to carry the countertop through a window, which was removed for the effort. Silva scribed the legs to calculate the cut at the installation site, adapting to the uneven floor and assuring the waterfall wood countertop has a level surface.

The latest episode marks the fourth “This Old House” for the Germanville, PA-based wood surfaces manufacturer. Grothouse produced custom countertops in teak, mahogany butcher block, and mahogany plank style wood for shows beginning in 2007.


About the Author

Bill Esler, Woodworking Network, WMS

Bill Esler

Bill Esler, Editorial Director, Woodworking Network Bill is responsible for overall content at WoodworkingNetwork.com Woodworking Network magazine, and related newsletters. Bill also manages event programs for Woodworking Network Live conferences at the Woodworking Machinery & Supplies Expo in Toronto and Cabinets & Closets Expo. He developing audience engagement programs using custom digital printing, live lead-generating events, custom websites, and custom digital and print content. Read Bill Esler's woodworking blogs. He can be reached at besler@woodworkingnetwork.com or follow him on Google+.

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