Are you considering butcher block countertops for your home?
When deciding on new countertops, the many available options can be overwhelming, and factors like aesthetics, cost, and function complicate the process even further.
Fortunately, there is a solution that can incorporate design, affordability, and functionality into a kitchen for an average of twenty years. As a result, the butcher block countertop is an excellent fit for almost every home improvement upgrade.
Butcher block countertops consist of wooden slabs that serve as a workable kitchen surface with any cabinet type and size. Unlike other laminate countertops or stone-based, wood kitchen countertops are gentle on dishware and cooking items. Their diverse functions make them a highly sought-after kitchen countertop.
Butcher block countertops can be incorporated into any home design and evolve with ever-changing trends. In addition, the natural element of wooden surfaces invokes feelings of a warm and cozy atmosphere. So if you’re looking for a charming and reliable solution for your kitchen countertops, butcher block counters are worth consideration.
You’ll want to treat your kitchen surface with the same care as any other household item. A wood countertop will last for at least two decades if maintained well. Here are some daily ways to tend to your butcher block countertops.
When cleaning a butcher block countertop, it’s essential to use a gentle cleanser not to damage the wood. A mixture of two cups of warm water and dish soap will do the trick if you don’t want to use a premade spray. Need stain removal? Simply cover the stain in salt and scrub with an acidic element such as lemon juice or white vinegar for stubborn stains.
Butcher block countertops are technically safe to use as a giant cutting board, but most users don’t because of the intense maintenance that follows. Cutting against the countertop requires sealing and refinishing more often than using it for surface purposes. In addition, it is important not to cut meat on these kitchen countertops without proper cleansing as bacteria may build up in the crevices of wood.
However, if you do not find the upkeep intimidating, using your butcher block countertops as a cutting board is fine. Food prepping items without meat and baking are perfectly safe to do on a wood countertop.
Any type of hardwood species is safe to use as a countertop, so long as the sealing is applied correctly. However, some types of wood are better to use than others and may be more readily available from a lumber company. Here are some of the most popular butcher block countertop choices –
Maple is the most common choice of the hardwood species, as it is both the most durable and least expensive to make. In addition, the warm and light tone makes it applicable to any kitchen and interior design.
Cherry is a wood that is deep and rich in color, and sealant enhances its hue, meaning that your countertop will look fresh with regular maintenance.
Redwood is a soft but beautiful type of wood. The color is similar to strawberry blonde, right between maple and cherry. This countertop is perfect for someone who enjoys the lusciousness of cherry wood but wants the neutrality of maple.
Oak is a classic that shines well and holds a truly rustic look on the more neutral side. Similar to the durability of maple, oak is a lovely choice for someone seeking a rustic appearance.
An often-overlooked choice, walnut is an excellent option for those who want a dark color without a red tint. In addition, the dark brown color works well for a moody or statement kitchen.
The next step in selecting a wood countertop is considering what grain option best suits your kitchen. A butcher block grain describes the application of wood. The most common types of grains include edge grain butcher block, blended butcher block, and end butcher block.
Edge grain butcher block consists of mostly equal segments of the block running in the same parallel direction, which works well for those seeking uniformity.
A blended grain butcher block is the culmination of equally cut blocks distributed in separate parts to make up the board. The lines offer contrast, while the similar hues bring cohesiveness to the design.
End grain butcher blocks are a series of little blocks glued together to make the board. Not only is the design unique, but the individuality in the blocks will help disguise cut marks and discoloration.
The correct oil for your butcher block countertops makes a world of difference, as its function is to seal and protect the wood. When selecting a finish, the most significant factor to consider is whether you will be using your wood countertops for food prep or not. If you use your kitchen countertops for food prep, you will want a food-grade oil, while those who opt not will have a wider variety of finishes.
Mineral oil is a widespread oil with a multitude of uses. It is food-grade and safe to use on butcher block countertops that will additionally serve as a cutting board. Be sure to check that the label says “Food-Grade” as there are mineral oils that differ.
Waterlox is perhaps the most common type of wood sealer and, as its name suggests, seals out the water entirely. It is food-grade safe only after being completely dry.
Varnique finish seals as a gloss and requires little maintenance. However, it is not food-grade and shouldn’t be applied to surfaces you plan on using for food preparation.