6 Things To Know Prior to Installing Butcher Block Countertops

What is butcher block? Butcher block countertops are very attractive wooden strips that are fused together to make a beautiful wooden surface. Butcher block comes with many advantages, including giving the appearance of a “country kitchen,” significant affordability when compared with other countertop options, and increasing the overall value of your home.

6 Things You Should Know Before Installing Butcher Block Countertops

But how do you know if butcher block is the best choice for you? Before you install a butcher block countertop, here are the top 6 things you should know about butcher block.

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1. Cost Effective

As mentioned briefly already, cost effectiveness is one of the major advantages to choosing butcher block over other countertop types. In comparison to stainless steel, marble, soapstone, limestone, quartz, or concrete, you are looking at an overall much more affordable cost in your kitchen when you install maple, red oak, walnut, or hickory butcher block.

Pro-Tip: You can save even more money by choosing a DIY installation over having a pro do it for you. Consider that it may not be possible to perform a DIY installation yourself with other countertop choices.

Let’s use quartz as an example. Many times, not only does the cost double for supplies, but it is not DIY-friendly. This is why butcher block is one of your best options. So, if you’re handy, countertop installation isn’t very difficult and can help you save even more. More on butcher block installation here.

2. Easy to Clean Using Household Cleaners

Another benefit of butcher block is that it is easy to clean. In fact, you can use general household cleaners on its wood surface. The same cannot be said for other countertop types such as glass or stainless steel. For example, acid-based cleaners can erode a quartz surface.

Pro-Tip: To effectively clean your butcher block, start by scraping off any food debris with a plastic spatula. Once that is removed, use a dish sponge with a mix of warm water and a teaspoon of dish soap to wipe away any remaining debris.

An alternative to soap and water is vinegar. If you are trying to remove a stain, use a little salt and lemon juice. More here on how to clean your butcher block countertops.

Walnut Countertops

3. Sensitive to Liquids

One drawback to butcher block is its sensitivity to liquid. If you opt for conditioning your butcher block, you will need to regularly apply a food-safe mineral oil every 2-4 weeks using a soft cloth.

We DO NOT RECOMMEND using oils like coconut oil, walnut oil, olive oil, peanut oil, or linseed oil, since they are not food-safe and tend to become rancid over time.

However, finishing your butcher block will help to prevent accumulation of germs, mold growth, staining, or warping.

Pro-Tip: We highly recommend permanently finishing your butcher block rather than periodically conditioning it.

4. Subject to Scratches and Dents

Butcher block countertops may be more subject to scratches and dents than other countertop options. For this reason, we recommend not directly cutting on a butcher block surface. Although it is “butcher block,” knife blades can cause significant wear and tear on a wooden surface. Prevent excessive wear by using a dedicated cutting board instead.

Pro-Tip: A few “character” flaws are probably fine for some homeowners. They can even make the butcher block wood more charming. However, if you have a few scratches or dents in your butcher block and you want to remove them, no problem. Simply sand down the area with a fine-grit sandpaper and then apply mineral oil. You can use this solution to also remove burn marks.

Walnut Countertops

5. Has a Variety of Wood Types to Choose From

Butcher block countertops are quite versatile. They can complement a modern kitchen or an old-fashioned, country-style dining area. Each hardwood type provides distinct coloration, texture, and character. Wood colors can range from pale golds, to medium browns, to deep chocolate.

At Forever Joint Tops, we offer lighter maple and red oak woods. Hickory wood is an appealing blend of light and dark wood. Walnut is one of our more popular woods, ranging from a medium to deep coloration.

Pro-Tip: Getting your kitchen remodeled? Think about the style you want your kitchen countertops and island to evoke. For example, if you want a colonial feel, opt for oak. Red oak is a lighter, classic wood that will give a country feel to your home. A light wood like oak is highly versatile and can complement other types of kitchens, such as a French, modern, or cabin style. Oak can look at-home with white, dark brown, sage green, or black cabinets.

6. Long-Lasting

Finally, one of the best pluses of choosing butcher block is its longevity. With proper installation, sealing, conditioning, and maintenance, you can expect your countertops to last for 20 or more years. For example, this gives butcher block a significant advantage over laminate countertops. Laminate typically lasts only between ten to fifteen years by comparison. Butcher block is comparable to the durability and longevity of granite and other durable countertop types.

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Pro-Tip: At Forever Joint Tops, we encourage you to properly maintain your butcher block on a weekly and monthly basis to keep it lasting for as long as possible. Sand away scratches, apply soap or a salt and lemon mixture on stains as soon as possible. Routinely use mineral oil (if applicable) every few weeks as the butcher block dries out. And of course, AVOID using knives or cutting directly on the surface of the butcher block to keep the wood looking nice and add to your countertop’s life span.

If you have any questions about butcher block countertop installation, mineral oil application, finishing, or maintenance, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can help you create your dream custom butcher block countertops. Here are 5 reasons why we think you should choose wood countertops for your home.

Why Choose Forever Joint Tops for Your Butcher Block?

Forever Joint Tops has more than 50 years of experience in the industry. We are a family-owned and run business. Our company pays attention to the details with each out our products, so you can rely on our quality and expertise.

In addition to countertops, butcher block is an excellent choice for bar tops and tables for restaurants, cafés, and bars, as well as desktops for home offices. (Take a look here at some of our desk ideas!) In fact, we craft butcher block for both residential and commercial applications alike. If you have any questions, please contact us at (608) 566-6903, or you can order your butcher block here.

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