The Warm Look of Butcher Block Countertops

Are you thinking about renovating your kitchen?  Doing research on countertop materials?  If so, then The Metropolis Iron Countertop Spotlight series will help you.  Today we look at the beautiful warmth of butcher block countertops.

Material: Wood or Butcher Block

Styles: Edge grain butcher block tops have parallel wood rails that run the length of the piece.  End grain butcher block tops are created by fusing together the end pieces of wood rails into a checkerboard pattern.  End grain is considered the stronger and more durable style of the two.

Common Woods Used: Hardwoods like walnut, oak, maple, cherry, zebrawood, wenge, bamboo, or a mix of 3+ of these woods together.

Finish types: Drying oils (linseed, tung, diluted varnish); Nondrying oils (vegetable and mineral oils); paraffin or beeswax.

Environmental Impact: Mild to moderate, depending on the type of wood and whether or not it comes from salvaged or reclaimed sources or sustainably managed forests.

Pros: Warm look and feel; naturally anti-bacterial; strong and durable; biodegradable; affordable, particularly compared to granite or quartz countertops.

Cons: Requires bi-annual sanding and oiling to protect the wood; sealed counters should not be cut on.

Support Needed:  Wood countertops tend to be heavy and bulky requiring a stronger iron or metal corbel.

Care: Maintenance depends on the type of finish you have.  In general, wipe clean with damp cloth and mild soap. Avoid harsh detergents, chemicals, and puddles of standing water.  Sand out light scratches, dents and dings with a high grit sandpaper.  Recondition or oil when wood gets dull or shows signs of cracking or aging, this protects the wood and helps guard against germs and mold.

Installation: Make sure the butcher block countertop has adequate ventilation as wood can expand and contract with temperature changes.

Cost: Pre-assembled or pre-fabricated sections start around $60.

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