Options For Extra-Long Countertops (Because I Need A 20-Foot Countertop For My Studio)

I’ve been putting off a pretty important decision for the studio, and that’s deciding on a countertop for the long wall of cabinets. It’s a challenge because I need an extra-long countertop. After all, that wall is 19.5 feet wide, and the countertop will span the entire width.

There really aren’t any perfect options for a countertop that long, and just about every option I could come up with will require a seam or joint right in the middle. That’s not ideal, but I may not have any other option. I have come up with one option that would not have an obvious seam in the middle, but it might be a huge gamble that may or may not turn out looking nice.

Here are the options I’ve come up with so far…

Butcherblock Countertops

I remember our condo days when I bought beautiful butcherblock countertops for our condo kitchen for less than $200 per 8-foot slab. Those days are long gone. Butcherblock is still a far less than a lot of solid surface countertop options, but it’s certainly not cheap anymore. And finding really long butcherblock countertops is pretty difficult.

I did find birch butcherblock at Home Depot that comes in 10-foot lengths for $519.

That’s not a horrible price, but because I’m cheap, and because I’d need a total of three to finish the room (two for the main wall, and one for the side wall of cabinets), that’s over $1500 for studio countertops. And, of course, that would leave me with a joint between two butcher block pieces right in the middle of the long countertop.

It is beautiful, though. And I do love butcherblock. Here’s a picture of that same butcherblock with just an oiled finish. It’s a very pretty color.

birch butcher block countertop with an oiled finish, from Home Depot, installed in a kitchen

This particular birch butcherblock has really good customer reviews. Lowe’s also has a 10-foot birch butcher block countertop, and while the price is just a bit lower ($50 less per slab), the reviews on it aren’t so good.

So while butcherblock is a good option, I just don’t know how I feel about spending over $1500 for countertops, while still having to deal with that joint between two slabs right in the middle of the long wall.

Laminate Countertops

Laminate countertops would be a much cheaper option than butcher block. And since this is a studio and not a kitchen, and since laminate is durable holds up very well to art supplies, paint drips, and general daily use, I think it’s a great option for studio countertops.

A while back, I built two really large work tables for the studio, and I used laminate tops on those. I chose to use white laminate for those tables.

large DIY workroom craft table -- two tables that can be clamped together to form one huge 5-foot by 10-foot table

So if I go with laminate on the cabinets, I’d opt for something completely different. I really like the idea of bring a warm wood into the room, which is why butcher block appeals to me. So I could do a similar look in laminate. One option would be this Wilsonart Fawn Cypress laminate, which is $169.58 for a 60″ x 120″ piece.

Wilsonart Fawn Cypress laminate sheet from Lowe's, 60" x 120"

That would be enough laminate for the whole long wall, which means that with the cost of the substrate (I’d probably use MDF) and supplies (Contact Cement, rollers, etc.), I could do the entire 20-foot countertop for about $420. That’s a considerable savings over the $1125 that butcher block would cost for the same 20-foot countertop.

This particular Wilsonart Fawn Cypress has a very neutral color to it, and it’s a pretty medium-toned wood color, which you can see on this countertop.

Wilsonart Fawn Cypress laminate shown in a bathroom as a vanity countertop

But of course, there are hundreds of laminate options out there, from several different companies, so I’m sure I could find one that would work perfectly in the studio. So laminate is a very good options, and it’s also relatively inexpensive. But yet again, I’d be left with a seam right in the middle since the longest length I can find in laminate is 12 feet.

My Crazy DIY Idea

While those two options are good, they still leave me with a seam or joint right in the middle of the 20-foot wall. That’s fine if there are no other options, but I have been able to come up with one option that may work, and that may produce a result that gives the impression of one solid 20-foot piece of wood countertop.

You know how butcher block countertops are made up of lots of little strips of wood that are all glued together to produce one long solid wood countertop? Again, I’ll refer you back to Option 1, the butcher block from Home Depot…

Well, what if I simulate that look using real wood veneer? My idea is to put down my countertop substrate all along the 20-foot wall and make sure it’s smooth all the way across (i.e., that no joints can be felt since I’ll have to use three separate pieces to span the full length), and then cut strips of real wood veneer and attach them so that they simulate that look of butcherblock.

Doing that all the way across would eliminate the need for a center seam or joint, and if I do a good job and really take my time and get the pieces nice and tight against each other, I think I could end up with what looks like a 20-foot-wide piece of butcher block.

It’s a gamble, for sure! But I just can’t get this idea out of my mind, and I think it might actually work. It would be a big project, for sure. Cutting all of those pieces and then attaching them one by one might take a couple of days just for the one countertop. But it might be worth it to end up with what looks like one continuous, seamless, jointless wood countertop.

Does that sound like a crazy idea? Or does it sound like something that could actually work? Since I’d be using real wood veneer, the cost might be just a bit more than the laminate option, but it would still be a considerable savings over the real butcher block option. And its the only idea I could come up with that will give the impression of a seamless, jointless 20-foot countertop.

Should I go for it? Or should I stick with a tried-and-true safe option like real butcher block or laminate and just live with the seam or joint right in the middle of the countertop?

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