Built-in cutting boards and trivets that protect your kitchen countertop, 1970s style


These are sure a blast from the past: Glass combination trivets and cutting boards that are installed directly into your kitchen countertop. Yes: with metal rim aka Hudee ring.  I think that these built-in cutting boards were all the rage in the 1970s, because there was one in our 1975 countertop, to the left of the sink. I’m not sure they are my favorite innovation ever — I tend to think it’s just as easy, easier maybe, to have freestanding cutting boards and trivets that, in the case of cutting boards, you can throw into the sink to clean, and in the case of trivets, position close to the stove.

That said, I certainly appreciate the concept — and it’s super retro… hey, even as I type this, this idea is growing on me!

hole cut in kitchen countertop for built in cutting board

Another time that this built-in drop-in would come in super handy: When you demo tile on top of original laminate to discover a big hole — where there used to be one of these built-in cutting boards! That’s what happened to reader Jon — who then went online hunting, found these built-ins, and emailed me. Thanks, Jon! Indeed — Vance Industries, which makes these tempered glass cutting boards, points out on their website that they are potential solution if you have damage to your countertop that you want to mask.

[ebay listing expired]

Finally, Jon also sent me the ebay listing, above, which makes it clear — Vance Industries has been making these a while. It’s so nice to get “authentic retro” from companies that have been in business for 60 years! This listing above expired yesterday, but the item did not sell. I’ll keep an

Link: Built-In Surface Savers (R) from Vance Industries.

  1. SusieQT says:

    I have two of these, on either side of my stove. Honestly, I can’t stand them- they are such a pain to keep clean, especially so close to the range top. I’m getting ready to install a 1950 Westinghouse double oven range, so I will have to cut my countertop to accommodate the wider range, and will finally be rid of them. If anyone wants them, I’ll be happy to send them to you! 🙂

      1. pam kueber says:

        I don’t sell anything here. You need to click the hotlinks (in bold bright blue) in the story to get to the retailer

  2. Sandra says:

    I spent hours today trying to find one of these! I have had one for 32 years. I hated it at first, but soon grew to love it for rolling out pastry, making bread, biscuits, etc. It was a great trivet for years…. I set a pot on it that had boiled dry.. bad idea, it shattered into a million pieces. So glad I found this site. 40.00 is going to be better than 700.00 to replace the counter!

  3. bepsf says:

    I have one of these in my 1964 vintage kitchen next to the stove – I figured that it was installed after a previous renter had burned the countertop there…

  4. Marc says:

    The architect for my house noted a stainless cutting board near the stove and a butcher block one near the sink. Both were intact when I put new counter tops on last year, but were badly scratched and stained. They’re in a cabinet if the next owner decides to put them back.

  5. Just don’t forget that glass is death to a good steel knife – dulls that blade in a jiffy! So if you’re planning on doing any cutting with your Henckles, better put a plastic board on top of it. Probably more sanitary, too. I love the idea that it’s a safe place for a hot pot go to, though!!

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