DIY WOOD COUNTERTOP

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In case you missed it, I recently gave our upstairs hall bathroom a major renovation. I made my own wood countertop for the vanity (which I also made myself… tutorial coming), and I love how it turned out!

The countertop ended up being one of my hardest decisions for this reno! I considered going with a white quartz or marble countertop hoping to find a remnant for a discounted price, but I’d still have to pay someone to install it so the price was creeping higher than I wanted. I then considered doing a wood countertop because we have friends who installed wood countertops in their kitchen themselves for a low price and it looks great! I realized that regardless of the price advantage, the wood countertop actually fits the boho modern casual style of the room better than the marble or quartz does anyway.

My only hesitancy was whether the wood counter would be durable enough to withstand repeated exposure to water and all the products that tend to get used in a bathroom, especially because this is the bathroom my children use and they are not the best at cleaning up after themselves 🙂 . So I ended up doing some research to figure out the best way to make a wood countertop as durable as possible. I came up with three things I could do to help make sure it was able to withstand the conditions of a bathroom:

  • I chose to make my countertop from hardwood instead of a softwood like your standard pine is. Hardwoods are more durable and less porous than softwoods.
  • I made sure the joints between each plank were nice and smooth and tight with no cracks for water to seep into.
  • I sealed the countertop with three coats of Waterlox Original Tung Oil. Based on all of my research, this seemed to be the sealer that gives the most durable finish.

I actually ended up spending a lot of time researching EVERYTHING about wood countertops—from lumber options, to construction, to how to install them. If you’re considering using wood countertops in your home, here are some tips and instructions based on what I learned from my research and my experience making my own wood countertop. Hopefully it can give you some insight and save you some time!

01.

The species of wood you choose for your countertop is important because it will affect both the durability and the overall final look of the counter. As I mentioned, wood species are generally divided into two categories: softwoods and hardwoods. Softwoods include spruce and your common pine, and as the name suggest they are usually softer and more porous, making them easier to nick or absorb water. Hardwoods include wood like oak and walnut, and they are generally more durable and denser, making them harder to cut or drill through.

I highly suggest going with a hardwood for your wood countertops. It will not only give you a more durable countertop, but it’ll also offer a wider range of choices in color and grain to get the exact look you’re going for. Your local big box home improvement store is not going to offer many choices of wood species so you’ll likely need to go to a lumber store.

I considered using walnut for my countertop because I’m a big fan of the look of the wood in general, but it was more money than I wanted to spend. I ended up going with ash instead. It’s a wood commonly used to make furniture, it’s very durable, and has a really nice grain to it. Plus it was about half the price of walnut! I went to a local lumber store where I could look at all of the pieces they had in stock and choose the exact boards I wanted (some boards had a much prettier grain than others).

chosenlumberone of the boards of ash I chose

QUICK BATHROOM UPDATE: DIY WALL ART

I have been working hard on my kids’ bathroom renovation and I wanted to quickly share a DIY project I just finished.

wa-4b

I plan to hang this piece of wall art in an empty space over the toilet. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m trying to do this bath reno on a limited budget. I want to use the majority of my budget on the flooring and fixtures that I’ll be changing out, so when it comes to the small items like decor I’ve tried to spend as little as possible. This piece of art is just a final touch that gives a little more style to the room, so no need for me to put much money into it.

In total, I spent $13 on this 20” x 36” piece of wood art. The only items I purchased were a 10-pack of lath boards and some Liquid Nails from Lowe’s.

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liquidnails

I first drew out the design I wanted in SketchUp.

wallart-fin

AN OUTGROWN PLAYROOM AND AN OUTDATED TV NOOK

Just wanted to give you readers an update on my next makeover and let you know that even though I haven’t posted for a little while there’s been a lot happening behind the scenes…

When we moved into our home ten years ago we quickly turned the bonus room into a playroom for our two young children. Fast forward ten years and those two children aren’t so young anymore (tears)! We’ve gotten rid of most of the toys and the room has sat in kind of a limbo stage for the past few years waiting for some new life.

Here is a recent photo:

This room became a dumping ground for various items and there were still some toys left.

I recently decided the room should become a media room/family room/teen hangout room. We would move our second television out of the master bedroom into this room and bring up the Xboxes (we have two of them) and video games from our family room downstairs so our kids can use this room as a place to hang with friends… which would also allow me and my husband to have the family room downstairs all to ourselves.

In order to transition our old playroom into this new media room there is a lot of work to be done!

The first problem I had to address in the room is this built-in TV nook:

TV-before

It was installed in the house when it was built in 2000. I love any sort of built-in furniture and this was probably a nice feature at the time, but televisions have changed drastically since 2000 and this is not working anymore. I cannot fit a decent size flat screen TV into this opening, and yet this is exactly where I want to put the TV in the room.

So my TV nook transformation began!

WEST ELM INSPIRED SOLID WOOD DINING TABLE FOR $150

oldtableMY OLD DINING TABLE

This is a photo of our old dining room table. We bought it many years ago and it now just looks boring and dated. What I do love about this table are the hidden extensions, and because of that reason alone I considered keeping it. But honestly, I just no longer like the overall look, and it’s only partly solid wood the rest is veneer so it just wasn’t worth saving.

I started looking for a new dining table and found a few I liked, but West Elm’s Emmerson table ranked at the top of my list.

Emmersontable

Unfortunately, the $1300 price tag (and that doesn’t include tax or shipping!) ranked at the bottom of my list.

After not finding anything I liked in my budget, I decided I had no choice but to make my own dining room table.