Wood / Butcher Block Countertops
The warm look of wood can enhance any room in your home, especially your kitchen. Hardwood butcher block has been a prized kitchen countertop material by professional chefs and home cooks for years because of its timeless beauty, durability, and practicality. A butcher block countertop can be used in any style kitchen to achieve looks from country cottage to modern urban loft. Because wood is neutral, butcher block can be used not only as the primary countertop surface, it can also be mixed and matched with a variety of other surfaces like marble, granite, and stainless steel to enhance your kitchen's d��cor and provide a versatile food preparation area.
Origins and Advantages of Butcher Block Countertops
Butcher block countertops are a natural product. They are primarily made from Northern Sugar Maple or Northern Red Oak, thick hardwoods that can stand up to the rigors of a working kitchen. One of the advantages of hardwood butcher block countertops is the fact that you can cut on it without permanently damaging the surface or dulling your knife edge. In most instances sanding and the application of mineral oil can remove any knife marks left on the surface.
Countertop manufacturers also offer cherry, teak, and walnut wood block countertops, though these softer woods are reserved for aesthetic applications and cannot be cut on. John Boos & Co., one of the oldest makers of butcher block countertops in the US, also offers Lyptus wood countertops that wear much like traditional maple countertops and offer the deep rich colors of cherry and mahogany woods.
How Butcher Block Is Made
Butcher block is made by gluing strips of hard maple together with the wood's edge grain up to create rails. The rails are then bonded edge-to-edge with an adhesive and then heated and pressurized to produce the final countertop. This makes butcher block countertops warp and wear resistant and also water tight.
Butcher Block Depths and Sizes
The finished countertops are available in depths of 1 1/2" to 6" and standard sizes range from 25" wide x 18" long all the way up to 36" wide by 144" long. Most manufacturers also offer custom sizes if needed. Risers (backsplashes) are included with countertops. Edge treatments vary by manufacturers, but you can find both the traditional flat, squared block edge and fancy treatments like the 3" Ogee edge offered by Michigan Maple Block Co. Laminate and vinyl countertops can provide the look of butcher block at a much reduced cost and can be easier to install and maintain.