Recently I have been dancing around the idea of changing my laminate countertops out with either butcher-block or a wide wooden plank style. After some thought and consideration I think I (and my wife) will like the wider plank version better. By wider plank I mean alternating strips 3-6 inches in width. I have templated my existing top using CAD and do not plan to change the layout or locations of appliances. My cabinets are in great shape as well so this is merely a swap out of the countertops. Right now I have it in my mind to use hard maple 1x or 1.5x custom cut and plained material overlaid on either MDF, Particleboard or a plywood substrate for stiffness and ease of installation. The pieces will be glued (titebond III) and pocket screwed together on the underside, then attached/ fastened to the substrate. I will also add a routed molding around the front and sides. Backer board will be put around the dishwasher and around the sink areas to prevent any damage from humidity. Of course everything will be sealed using a food grade oil.
So my question: Anyone have any experience with MDF or Particle board that can say which will be better. The counters I have now are particle board under the laminate, not a fan but if MDF does not hold any better then itís a tossup. Also how about MDO as an alternative for the substrate since itís a bit more water resistant, never tried/hear of that being used in countertops.
Also if you think this plan is nuts or could be improved please comment because Iíd rather know now and not regret it!