The epicurean boards are no different from plastic so far as your knives are concerned.
I am still debating with my significant other over a 14x18" wood board (she really doesn't want it on the counter). I have a 14x17x3/8 thick black, pebbled surface plastic board that is totally unobtrusive, stays flat, useful for many tasks a heavy wood board would not be considered for, wipes easy and along with a smaller wood board that sits on top it does get the job done cooking for 2, and the setup is, of course, easy on my knives.
So anyway to now burn your ears with info you didn't ask for, but someone reading this may find useful, consider [full-size] wood:
- You listen to the pros here and they recommend 18x24 min.
- I think 12x18 approximate gets the job done so long as you have your mise bowls handy.
- Forget bamboo, consensus is that you may almost as well use plastic, both do excessive damage to your knives. End-grain wood is best, preferably Maple, cherry, mahogany or walnut, and minimum 2" thickness. Edge-grain is not as easy on your knives, but is far better than plastic and can be made thinner and cheaper than end-grain.
- Most boards sold on Amazon and ebay are crap that will split/warp sooner rather than later, especially the end-grain ones. Apparently the wood needs to be properly seasoned and glued, there is also a problem with mixed-wood boards where wood densities are not properly matched.
- Board Smith is highly recommended around here, I'd get their cherry wood board as it is lightest of the recommended woods and so is easily moved around, I'd have them put handles or finger grooves in it to facilitate this.
- Forget about the dishwasher [in general], a decent sized board does not fit well in there and they absolutely don't need that to easily keep clean, and of course wood can't go in there.
- Don't overly saturate a board with oil, I'd use the cream pastes (beeswax based) as they have a nicer feel, require less frequent application, and don't darken the wood like mineral oil. Board Smith and other sites give complete maintenance tips.
Edited by Rick Alan - 8/24/13 at 12:12pm