Wood has long been a part of the kitchen workspace, especially wooden Butcher Block Countertops. As the name implies the butcher block was first implemented and used by commercial meat cutters, however by the turn of the 20th century the materials that comprise butcher blocks began to be utilized in kitchen countertops. Before this important advent in history, wooden kitchen countertops were covered with metal sheeting to prevent bacteria, oils, and stains from penetrating the porous surfaces.

Butcher block countertops are constructed of laminated strips of hardwood (typically maple wood) that is resistant to stains and warping, smooth and self-supporting. This wood is typically edge-grain style, which is different from the prior versions of butcher block used in meat shops. Butcher block countertops can be used anywhere in the kitchen, however they are not ideal for areas where they are might be exposed to water. Oftentimes, butcher block countertops are used in smaller spaces of the kitchen counters such as center islands, inset cutting board mounts and smaller food prep areas.

Options of Butcher Block Countertops

Butcher Block Countertops are often assumed to be just a slab of wood, however this is a major misconception. Once you have figured out that these are very beautiful countertops and you are ready to purchase them for you home kitchen, you will have to make tough decisions on a variety of options.

You should first select which type of wood you prefer for your countertops. These butcher block countertops come in a wide array of wood types such as walnut, cherry, ash, oak, and maple. Butcher Block Countertops also can be manufactured with a variety of finishes and construction methods including grain styles, rounded edges, routing or refined features to enhance your countertops and fully customize them as you desire.

What to Look for When Buying Butcher Block Countertops

Most homeowners often look for inexpensive alternatives in comparison to the steep costs of granite and stone type countertops. On this dimension, butcher block counters could not make for a better choice. They are not nearly as costly as other types of countertops such as marble, stone, and granite, AND they still supply you with a beautiful countertop in your kitchen.

However, you should also note a few considerations that will make a big difference in the quality of butcher block countertops you are purchasing:

  1. Kitchen safe: Make sure that your butcher block countertop is finished with a natural oil making it safe for food preparation.
  2. Sealed and protected: Make sure that the butcher block countertops you are purchasing have a coating that will help protect them from absorbing excess moisture from underneath them.

Care of Butcher Block Countertops

One of the most important things that buyers should know about butcher block countertops is how to maintain them. Wood is susceptible to water and moisture damage, daily wear and tear, food contamination, and drying out.

Regularly Oil Butcher Block Countertops: One of the smartest things you can do to extend the life and beauty of your countertops is to keep them moisturized with natural oilYou should apply mineral oil to them at least once a monthHow you do this is apply the oil liberally and then do not wipe it until you have let it sit for an hour or soThen you can proceed to wipe them down. Clean them with a non-toxic, organic, or very mild cleaner.

Clean with a Mild Detergent: It is recommended that you only use mild detergents on butcher blocks as harsh abrasives can cause damage.

Deodorize with Lemon Juice: Wood is very porous and it can absorb food odors, so you need to deodorize your kitchen counter blocks to keep them fresh. You can deodorize butcher block countertops with lemon juice. Coat the surface liberally, and then allow it to sit for about 15 to 30 minutes and then wipe it dry.

Be Extra Careful: Exposing kitchen countertop butcher blocks to certain other elements can shorten the life and beauty of your counters. You want to be careful about exposure to water, and never place a hot pot or pan on your countertops. Also. when spills occur, be sure to clean them up right away. This will prevent damage, stains, and burns from occurring on your nice kitchen butcher blocks.

Butcher block countertops may be finished with special finishes that provide them added protection, but mineral oil and other non-toxic oils are just as effective. Oiling your kitchen countertops may darken the pigment of the wood over time, however. Conventional finishes will not darken, but they are more prone to other types of damaging effects from normal use.

Note: Vegetable oils and olive oils are not recommended for use when finishing your countertops. They will produce a sour odor, can change the taste of foods and can make them rancid over time from bacteria.

Butcher Block Countertops have become a very common choice for homeowners’ kitchen counters. They can be used for island and center countertops, or just as an inset cutting board, or in some instances on the majority of the counter surfaces in gourmet kitchens. These countertops are constructed in many different species of wood, offering homeowners plentiful, affordable alternatives to more expensive bamboo, marble, stone, Corian, and granite countertops. These countertops are not as expensive and typically last as long as other more expensive kitchen countertop materials. It is typical for most butcher block countertops to consist of the standard thickness of 1.5 inches.

With tender love, and care, butcher block counters are just as appealing and beautiful as all of the other countertop materials available. However, they offer the great benefit of offering people an alternative where they can have their butcher block countertops in their kitchen made brand new for much less than other types of counters.

So have you made up your mind about buying butcher block countertops? Then you might need more information regarding prices and where to buy them.