alamo hardwoods | san antonio | antique cypress drain board backsplash counter top
Wooden "Drain-board" and backsplash, Antique-milled Florida Cypress
Anyone who was raised in the South has heard their grandmother tell them to put something on the "drain-board".  Many houses were built in the 1800s with kitchens that were separate from the main house for fire safety and heat/smell issues. As kitchens became incorporated into the main house, they were usually at the rear of the house and fairly primitive with little furniture to aid in the drudgery of food preparation.  Most house plans of the 1920's show little to no counter space.
alamo hardwoods | san antonio | wide antique cypress | american lumberman magazine
1905 "American Lumberman" magazine showing wide Cypress boards in Louisiana
Giant trees were available in the US until as late as the 1950's. Single piece Ponderosa Pine counters can still be seen in Terrell Hills in houses as recently as the late 1930's.  As the old trees were cut out, tile covered countertops became common in the 1950's as plastic laminates were developed by GE (textolite) and Formica.
alamo hardwoods | san antonio | antique cypress wood island top
Antique Milled Cypress, Book matched and skirted
We were lucky to locate a cache of unused cypress boards from Florida that were milled and then warehoused for sixty or so years. These boards were just waiting for the right people to want a special island or counter where they could appreciate the natural beauty of the grain of the wood.
alamo hardwoods | san antonio | antique milled cypress wood island top counter
Book matched grain, Antique milled Cypress

alamo hardwoods | san antonio | maple butcher block counters
Maple "Butcher-Block" counters ready for Barbeque
Not all counters have an easy life. If wood is to be used in regular food preparation, most health codes for public use require "close-grained" wood with only food grade mineral oil and bees wax as a finish. Northern Hard Maple has been the standard for "butcher-block" counters for many years due to its hardness and lack of open pores. Turning the side of the board up increases the hardness, while the end grain is harder still and seen in professional chopping blocks for butchers.
alamo hardwoods | san antonio | cypress wood counter tops edge grain
"Edge Grain" Cypress counter tops laminated with Tung Oil finish
In most residential use any wood will be suitable. The Cypress counter tops shown above were in stalled in 1985 (to replace the 1973 faux butcher-block laminate) and were sanded and re-tung oiled once in 2003 before the photo was taken. The softer cypress wood shows more day to day wear than other woods might.
alamo hardwoods | san antonio | cherry counter top flat grain bar top
American Cherry, flat grain laminated with alcohol proof finish
Cherry makes for a rich looking counter. It's close pores make it acceptable as a cutting surface, if somewhat soft. This residential bar was installed in 1985 with an alcohol proof finish, and has not needed any attention since.
alamo hardwoods | san antonio | flat grain american cherry bar top counter top
Flat Grain Cherry

alamo hardwoods | san antontonio | reclaimed salvaged longleaf pine table desk counter top
Reclaimed Longleaf Pine Desk Top (old floor joists)
Wood is one of the most eco-friendly materials that can be used in construction because of the ease of reclaiming and reuse. Here, Longleaf Pine floor joists from houses being demolished in downtown San Antonio are simply put right back to work, in this case as the reception desk at the Center for Architecture, the local office of the American Institute for Architects.
alamo hardwoods | san antonio | antique cypress bar top counter custom shape
Antique Cypress Bar Top with "unusual" cutout
We have the ability to custom create various sizes and shapes to suit just about any situation. Here, the antique columns were not placed where the plans said, calling for a mid-course design correction. Not a problem!
alamo hardwoods | san antonio | antique cypress wood counter island top | rustic rough sanded finish
Antique milled Cypress with "sanded/washed" finish
Not everyone likes it smooth! One Houston client put in a completely rough kitchen island and it got a two page spread in Veranda Magazine. After months of phone calls from all over the country, we figured out how to give that rough texture a touchable surface (without splinters!) We gently hand sand the wood with fine sandpaper, wash it with water and sand it again with a finer paper. The end result is a rustic finish that shows off the saw marks and 100 years of patina that the wood has developed, but that is serviceable for everyday use. As the client built her second house, she wanted the same island again (and kitchen desk top and office counters). We offered to sand the wood for her the second time around, but she wanted it rough again! (she admits that she gets splinters on occasion)
alamo hardwoods | san antonio | maple wood island top modern
Flat grain Maple Island Top
Modern design asks for clean, crisp lines.  
alamo hardwoods san antonio | flat cut white oak table top | architect ken bentley
Flat Cut White Oak Table top in Architect Ken Bentley's office

alamo hardwoods | san antonio | cypress new flat cut island top
New Flat Grain Cypress

alamo hardwoods | san antonio | modern flat grain cypress island top
Modern Flat Grain Cypress Island Top

alamo hardwoods | san antonio | custom assorted wood cutting boards maple mesquite cherry walnut purple heart
Cutting Boards of mixed woods
We can combine various woods in any combination you desire!
#1 Fredericksburg Road at “Five Points” | P.O. Box 5398 | San Antonio, TX 78201 | T 210-736-3137 | F 210-736-3136