Selecting the wood you will use depends on the final appearance of the counter height bench. We wanted nice clean lines, but also understood that the base of the bench would be painted. We chose two different types of wood, one type for the base and another for the seat. For the base, we chose select pine boards. This gave us the nice crisp look that was affordable. For the top, we chose some beautiful poplar boards, but you can choose anything you want based upon the look you desire and your own price point.