Aside from their obvious practicality (you never have to use a cutting board again), wood countertops are timeless and beautiful. "More than half the kitchens we do have a butcher block countertop," says designer Tim Scott of XTC Design Incorporated in Toronto. Look for high density woods like wenge, utile and Brazilian cherry.
Spekva of Denmark (www.spekva.dk) offers more than 20 types of beautiful, solid wood countertops made to specification.
Treat wood countertops with mineral oil every month. Sand out stains and re-oil for a new surface.
$30-$150/sq. ft., installed