When we hired a contractor to build our tiny home, there was one thing I wanted to do myself and that was the counter tops. I really wanted a raw edge thick substantial piece of wood that would really pop! If I have to stand at my kitchen counter for long periods of time, and be in the company of it, I wanted it to be fabulous. Luckily for me, I knew someone who could source me the wood I wanted. So I called up my boy Mikey, who lives in Northern BC and just happens to know someone who has a sawmill.
I told Mike what I wanted and he was able to help make my countertop dreams come true. However the thing with raw wood is that it needs to be dried. How long can that take I wondered? A couple of months? Turns out it can take over a year. Especially if that wood is particularly thick. So here I was with these fabulous slabs of wood. I wanted them in the house by a certain date because the builder was putting the house on display. I called a local wood working artisan and he agreed he would take my wood and shape them into fabulous counter tops for me. And then he asked “When were they cut?” I told him they had been cut for about three months and he said “Oh noooooo, I can’t touch them for a year!” A year! And I had seven days before my house went on display to the public at an event where hundreds of people would be coming through.
I need a plan B. I checked out IKEA. Nothing there popped out at me and I didn’t want to spend a chunk of money on something that I might take out a year from now. I headed to my local builder supply and I spotted beautiful cedar boards, 2 inches by 10 inches by 12 feet long. I fell in love but when I asked my builder for advice, he told me whatever I used had to be kiln dried. The cedar I had in mind was not. So I went to the store and asked what do you have that is 2 inches by 10 inches by 12 feet long that is kiln dried and suitable for a kitchen counter? They sent their guys out back and they found three of the straightest and flattest pieces of spruce. They trimmed off the rounded edges so I could glue them together with a nice smooth edge. They also cut them down to size to fit in my house. I took them home and glued them together and for the next four days, I put coat after coat of varathane on them.
I lost count but I think about 10. When the weather changed I moved all my boards to a room in my house. Before I went to work in the morning, I would add a coat. When I got home from work and before I cooked dinner, I added another coat. Finally I brought them to Brian at MintTinyHomes so he could complete the kitchen. He installed them perfectly and they look pretty great. We got so many compliments on our counters when we had our open house. And the cost? $69 for the wood and about $55 for the varathane.
We knew we could never build our own tiny house, and my attempt at doing my own countertops proved why. The one thing I wanted to do on my own went sideways.
So now I have several pieces of thick raw edged wood drying out. I am not sure I what I will end up doing with them but whatever it is, they will look amazing.