Butcher Block Installation Guide

Now that you have purchased your butcher block and it has arrived at your doorstep, it's time to install it! In this butcher block installation guide, we'll cover the 7 steps to get your butcher block ready to use.

Please note: We recommend permanently sealing/finishing your butcher block prior to installation. This is our preferred method for top protection. If you would like to keep your butcher block conditioned using a food safe mineral oil, you will need to regularly condition the bottom as well. (This may cause issues post-installation. If your top is permanently sealed once it is installed, you never need to uninstall or recondition the bottom.)

Also, prior to installation, please note that you shouldn't use any glues, construction adhesives, or epoxies while installing your butcher block countertop. You won't want to use these because they will inhibit your hardwood's natural movement, which may result in eventual cracking or warping.

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Custom Cut Butcher Block Countertops - Rectangle Red Oak

Installation Process:

Step 1: Acclimate Your Butcher Block

The first step in the butcher block installation process is to acclimate your butcher block. Once you receive your butcher block from Forever Joint Tops, it is important to give the wood some time to adapt to the conditions in your house. You will want to acclimate your butcher block for about five days.

Residential Hard Maple Kitchen Island

Step 2: Prep Your Cabinets

Once your butcher block is acclimated, you are now ready to prep your cabinets. Below is the process for prepping:

  • Does your cabinet have open tops? If so, you will need to install blocking. This creates a surface that you can attach your butcher block to. You will want to utilize a quality grade 3/4" plywood or 1x stock boards for this step. To install the blocking, first drill pilot holes at an angle through the blocking and then screw the blocking to your cabinets. Ensure that you use proper size of screw for blocking installation.
  • If instead your cabinets have closed tops, you will want to install furring strips using 1/4" plywood. Cut the strips two inches shorter than the cabinet depth. Repeat this process every 12"-16". You can use kitchen and bath sealant to install the strips. In humid environments, this provides air space and prevents cupping over time.

Step 3: Prep Your Installation Points

Next, you will need to prep your installation points. Use a 1/2" boring bit to drill holes through your cabinet bracing and drill the holes at all your planned installation points.

Please note: your butcher block needs room to breathe. Based upon the climate and level of humidity they are stored in; they will expand and contract. Keep this in mind when you prep your installation points.

Step 4: Position for Installation

Next, you will position your butcher block the way you plan to install it. From below the butcher block, you will find the center of each hole you drilled with the boring bit.

Next, you will pre-drill using a drill bit and mark your depth so you don't drill all the way through the wood.

Step 5: Install Your Butcher Block

For step five, you will need to fit and tighten each of your installation screws with a fender washer. Do not overtighten your screws. As a general rule of thumb, you will need to be able to move the fender washer if you use a little force. If you can't move it, then your screw is too tight, and you will need to loosen it.

Step 6: Oil & Condition Your Butcher Block

Use mineral oil and organic beeswax to oil your butcher block. (However, you don't need to follow this step if you have Monocoat or Everlast Varnish finish.)

Your butcher block is nearly ready for use! All you need to do is saturate your butcher block with a food grade mineral oil. Allow it to soak in and apply more if needed. You can also use our butcher block conditioner with organic beeswax to seal the surface of your butcher block and keep your mineral oil finish lasting longer.

Step 7: Regularly Care for Your Butcher Block

Every three to four weeks, you will need to regularly keep your butcher block oiled with a food-safe mineral oil. Keep in mind that there's no such thing as too much oil. You will also need to remember to oil the bottom of the butcher block as well. Although the oil will not dry up as quickly at the bottom as it will on the top, you will still need to keep the bottom oiled.

Have open-top cabinets? You can apply the oil to your rag and wipe the bottom from inside your cabinet. If you have a closed-top cabinet, you'll need to remove the installation screws and washers to lift the butcher block and oil it/condition it every now and then or as directed. Here also is some info on how to clean your butcher block.

Questions About Installation?

If you have any question about the butcher block installation process, please do not hesitate to reach out to the experts at Forever Joint Tops by giving us a call at (608) 566-6903. We are your source for beautiful woods like walnut, hard maple, red oak, and hickory countertops. Our company is your source for bar tops, desktops, kitchen islands, table tops, and countertops. Looking for an upgrade to your kitchen and dining area? Here are 3 ideas for how to enhance your butcher block.

Need inspiration for your countertop, desktop, or other butcher block surface? Take a look at some ideas here!

Still considering whether wood countertops are the best choice for your kitchen or dining area? Check out 5 reasons why you should choose wood countertops and also why you should choose butcher block for your next home project here. More on wood countertop installation here.

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