7 Steps to Wood Countertop Installation
Have you recently or are you planning to order a countertop? In our step-by-step countertop installation guide, we provide detailed steps on what to do to properly install your new butcher block countertop.
Before we begin our discussion of countertop installation, here are some helpful notes:
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- Prior to installation, we highly recommend permanently sealing/finishing your butcher block using a Tung oil/resin blend like Waterlox®. This is our preferred method for top protection. If you prefer keeping your butcher block conditioned using an oil, you will need to regularly oil the top and bottom. If your countertop is permanently sealed once it is installed, you will not ever need to uninstall or recondition the bottom.
- DO NOT use glues, construction adhesives, epoxies, or any other similar items while you install your wood countertops. These can cause your wood to warp or crack.
- Each countertop will have a specific top side (should be visible by looking at the countertop.) Please note that butcher block wood needs room to breathe. Although not visible, butcher block expands and contracts based upon its climate, humidity, and temperature.
The Countertop Installation Process
Step 1: Acclimate Your Wood Countertop
Once you receive your wood countertop, you will want to set it in a safe place in a room where it can acclimate to the conditions of your home. Acclimate your wood countertop for about 5 days.
Step 2: Prep Your Wood Countertop
Once your wood countertop has acclimated to its environment, you are ready to install it.
Does your cabinet have open tops? You’ll want to install blocking if your cabinets have open tops, to create a surface that you can secure your countertop to.
- Install blocking by using a quality ¾" plywood.
- Drill holes at an angle through the blocking.
- Next, screw the blocking to your cabinets. Note: When you do this, be sure to utilize properly sized screws to avoid screwing all the way through.
- Install furring strips
- Utilize ¼" plywood and cut strips two inches shorter than the depth of the cabinet. Repeat this process every 12-16".
- Install furring strips using a kitchen/bath sealant
Step 3: Prep Your Countertop Installation Points
To get started with prepping your installation points, you will want to:
- Use a half inch boring bit for drilling holes through your cabinet bracing.
- You will want to drill these holes at all planned installation points.
Step 4: Position Your Butcher Block for Installation
Next, you are all set to position your butcher block for installation.
- From beneath the wood, you’ll want to find the center of each drilled hole.
- Next, you will pre-drill into the wood using an appropriate-sized drill bit. Be sure to mark your depth to not drill all the way through your countertop.
Step 5: Install Your Butcher Block
You are ready to install your wood countertop installation! To start:
- From beneath, fit your butcher block installation screws using a large fender washer.
- Next, without overtightening, you will tighten the screws only to the point that will make the butcher block snug alongside the cabinet.
- Note: Once you have tightened the screws, test to ensure that you can still move the fender washer. If you can’t move the fender washer at all, your screw is too tight. Allowing your fender washer to move slightly will enable your butcher block to expand and contract when exposed to the environment.
Step 6: Oil and Condition Your Butcher Block (only applicable to mineral oil and organic beeswax finish)
- Next, you’ll want to saturate your butcher block using mineral oil. Allow it to soak in. Apply more if needed.
- Alternatively, you can use butcher block conditioner with organic beeswax.
- Using mineral oil or conditioner with organic beeswax is a food safe sealing coat that helps to keep your mineral oil finish lasting for a longer time.
- We mentioned this earlier in this article, but we highly recommend permanently sealing/finishing your butcher block instead of using mineral oil or beeswax.
Step 7: Routine Maintenance for Your Countertop Installation
Note: If your butcher block is stained or varnished, you don’t need to follow this step. Otherwise:
- Be sure to check your butcher block routinely for dryness. When you first install your wood countertop, you’ll need to frequently oil the surface of your butcher block.
- Once you have owned your wood countertop for a while, you’ll only need to apply mineral oil to it every 2-4 weeks. Be sure to check your wood for dryness.
- You’ll also need to oil the bottom of your wood countertop. Even though your mineral oil won’t evaporate as quickly from the countertop bottom, ensuring that the bottom of your wood countertop is oiled is vital for the health of the butcher block.
If you need to routinely apply oil to your cabinets and you have an open-top countertop installation, you can just apply oil to a rag and wipe the bottom from inside your cabinet.
Otherwise, if you have a closed-top cabinet, you will need to remove the screw/washer installation and lift the butcher block to oil and condition the wood every so often.
Countertop Installation Cost
Approximately how much will my countertop installation cost? Your butcher block countertop cost depends on several factors, including size of your top, custom design, and the type of wood used. For example, our walnut wood countertops will cost more than some of our other woods. If you have questions about pricing, do not hesitate to reach out to our team and we will give you an estimate on your countertop installation cost. Our red oak, maple, and hickory countertop installations are a little cheaper.
Questions About Your Countertop Installation?
Have questions about your countertop installation? Contact the experts at Forever Joint Tops and we’ll be happy to help you. Simply call us at (608) 566-6903. Read more here for information on what you need to know before buying a butcher block countertop.