Here’s an emerging trend to keep an eye on: wood countertops. Homeowners looking for a departure from the popular granite, engineered stone and solid surfacing options are turning to surfaces like wood that can feature “natural” or “living” finishes. Wood can be very durable, and species selection (pine or teak, for example) can work to effectively complement a room with natural warmth. Like granite, wood is naturally occurring, and each piece used in a countertop will be unique in texture and look. Wood’s true strength lies in its tendency to mature and age over time, showing signs of subtle changes in color and hue that can reflect environment and usage. I like the idea of a surface that shows its age—like homeowner, like countertop, I say. When considering purchasing a wood countertop, be on the lookout for finishes or stains that add water, stain or heat resistance. Craft-Art, one wood company, uses an organic tung oil on their wood countertops, which will resist staining to even red wine and mustard.