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What is an Edge Grain?

Edge grain is a reference to a particular visible pattern on the surface of a wood countertop that indicates it has been constructed by exposing the staves of the boards used. Stave is a term used to describe the long side-edges of a cut board. Edge grain construction is more durable than face grain construction but less durable than end grain construction. Countertops or other surfaces that are intended to be subjected to abrasion or function as a high traffic work area can be made of edge grain to increase strength and durability.

Edge grain is an affordable alternative to butcher block, but both are heavier than face grain constructed surfaces because they incorporate more wood. To make an edge grain surface, boards are attached face to face so their edges join to create a level surface. The grain pattern of edge grain countertops is easy to recognize because the surface will be striped, parallel lines of grain will be visible, the overall construction will be heavier, and the countertop will be thicker. This is a popular choice for industrial work benches. Bamboo is the only wood-like material that is commonly used to construct edge grain products other than countertops.

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