A tropical hardwood from Mexico's Pacific coast, teak is reliably sturdy and appeals to those with somewhat exotic tastes. On top of a rich, warm color, teak boasts a naturally high oil content, making the species resistant to moisture—a huge plus for the spill-prone among us!
It should come as no surprise that one of the defining characteristics of tigerwood is its striped quality. It's not often used as a butcher block, but tigerwood is the hardest species on this list and would undoubtedly make a strong, lasting design statement in any kitchen.
Related: 12 Kitchen Trends You Might Regret
Black walnut is easily one of the most revered woods used in home decor on account of its toughness and beautiful grain. The color can vary; while the sapwood is a honey cream, the heartwood is a brown or black that verges on purple over time.
etsy.com via woodironandmore
Typically used in furniture construction, cherry is a classic American wood with a subtle red hue that deepens with age. Used in everything from butcher blocks to pianos, cherry's smooth and even finish brings with it a touch of sophistication.
Aptly named for its striking stripes, zebrawood is commonly used as a home accent. But this beauty is also a beast. It will stand up against almost anything you throw at it, all while adding an unmistakable 'wow' factor to your kitchen.
A popular cutting board material, it's no surprise that bamboo makes a fantastic kitchen countertop. Clean, modern, and sturdy, bamboo is one of the most rapidly renewing species on the planet, making it the eco-friendly choice among this group. Your style options range from a sumptuous whole grain to an edgier parquet design.
Wormy chestnut, a reclaimed lumber, radiates antique rustic charm. But while the country look is unique and on-trend, this type of wood is soft compared to the others and best avoided when it comes to butcher block.
etsy.com via ourhandmadetable
An African hardwood, wenge has a sought-after, natural dark brown-black color. Often chosen for its rich hue and straight grain, wenge is highly durable and commonly used in furniture.
Grothouse; Designer: Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath
Before the advent of the chainsaw, many a beech tree was left untouched by lumberjacks, because they were too heavy and tough. Now the species is widely available, relatively affordable, and undeniably good looking, with a nice orangey pink hue that takes finishing stains nicely.
Related: The Best Kitchen Islands Under $500
Hickory is the strongest American wood, the “Hercules” of American countertops, and the very first American hardwood. So if hickory could survive the Ice Age 50 million years ago, you can bet it will survive the wear and tear it’ll receive in your kitchen!
There are many different types of mahogany, one of the preferred wood of luxury furniture makers the world over. A relatively soft wood with a brown-red color, mahogany is not recommended as a cutting board, though its aesthetic qualities impart a special level of elegance, as seen in this custom design from J. Aaron.
There are more wood options for countertops than just butcher block.
Installing tile adds a new dimension to backsplashes and bathrooms—and now even DIYers can achieve professional looking results. Learn how!