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:

  • 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.
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Custom Cut Butcher Block Countertops - Rectangle Red Oak

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.

Residential Hard Maple Kitchen Island

Open Tops

  • 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.

Closed Tops

  • 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:

Step 4: Position Your Butcher Block for Installation

Next, you are all set to position your butcher block for installation.

Step 5: Install Your Butcher Block

You are ready to install your wood countertop installation! To start:

Step 6: Oil and Condition Your Butcher Block (only applicable to mineral oil and organic beeswax finish)

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:


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, edge grain vs end grain, 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. If you need ideas, take a look at our desk ideas and 3 ideas for how to enhance your kitchen with butcher block pages.

Further Reading: