All You Need to Know About Butcher Block Countertops
There's just something about wood countertops that makes your kitchen feel warmer and more inviting. The variety of colors, sizes and styles -- as well as the range of prices -- make them attractive to anyone considering a kitchen upgrade or designing their dream kitchen. If you're hesitating before taking the plunge due to lack of knowledge, you're in the right place! Learn about butcher block countertops and how they can benefit your kitchen:
Grain and Wood Options
The variety of options starts with the type of grain that you select for your countertops. An edge grain is the most common with a medium price-point, while face grains are a cheap alternative that will not work well for countertops as they're not as durable as an edge grain. The most expensive option is the end grain, but it is also the strongest and best option if you plan to do a lot of cutting on your countertop or kitchen island. Butcher blocks are differentiated from cutting boards mainly by the thickness of the wood -- butcher blocks are at least 1.5" thick to assure they have the weight necessary for heavy cutting jobs.
Maple is the most popular wood for countertops, as the clear grain and overall hardness of the wood make for an attractive and durable option. Other wood options with a stunning grain and color range such as red oak and cherry are very popular as well. Bamboo countertops have been growing in popularity in recent years, as have exotic woods such as the dense African zebrawood.
Butcher Block Maintenance
Butcher block countertops are not meant to be sealed, so they do require a bit of maintenance to ensure that they continue to look their best and are a safe food-prep area for your family. Wood countertops are softer and can be damaged, so it is important to exercise a bit of care when you're using them. For example, grabbing pans right off the stove and putting them on the butcher block countertop may not damage the wood the first time you do it, but over time you'll notice some discoloration and damage. Keep everything looking good by giving your counters a light buff with fine grain sandpaper and then oiling it every six months or so.
Cutting meats on a wooden cutting board leaves a bit of residue over time; the same goes for butcher block countertops. These wooden beauties are well-suited to cutting veggies and fruits, but caution should be used when cutting meats as the juices may penetrate into the wood and leave a stain -- and make it challenging to ensure you've gotten it completely clean.
Ready to give butcher's block countertops a try? Give the professionals at Kitchen Tune-Up a call today. Have fun working with our online Kitchen Tune-Up Design Tool or get some inspiration from our gallery to get the ideas flowing.