A butcher block countertop is a type of kitchen countertop that is made from wood. It is used primarily as a heavy duty table top, cutting board or chopping board. When the butcher block countertop was first made, it was mainly used in butcher shops or meat processing plants. However, the butcher block has come a long way and can now be found in most homes.
There are mainly two types of butcher block countertops. The first one is the edge grain and second one is the end grain.
When it comes to the edge grain style, butcher block countertop, there are parallel wood rails that run along the length of the block. With end grain style, the block tops are made by bringing together the end pieces of wood rails so that they form a checkerboard pattern.
The common types of wood used in making butcher block countertops include hardwood such walnut, maple, oak, cherry, wenge, zebrawood, bamboo or a mix of at least three of these types of wood.
Butcher block countertops have various types of finishing’s, some of which include drying oils like tung, diluted varnish or linseed. There are also the non-drying oils like vegetable and mineral oils. In addition, one can use paraffin or beeswax for finishing.
Most people today are environmentally conscious and may have questions about using butcher block countertops. However, one should not have this fear as most of the wood used in making these countertops comes from managed forests, where there is little harm to the environment as things such a re-plantation of trees occurs.
Using a butcher block countertop in your home is ideal. It gives one’s kitchen that natural warm look and feeling. Most people will tell you that using a butcher block countertop is better than using the common quartz or granite countertops.
Maintenance largely depends on the kind of finishing the block has. Butcher block countertops require a bi-annual oiling and sanding for wood protection. If one has sealed counters, no cutting should take place on them. One can use a clean, damp cloth with some soap when wiping the block. For longer lasting wood, a person should avoid harsh chemicals, detergents and puddles of standing water on the block. When dents, dings or scratches occur, one should use high grit sandpaper. In case the block starts to show signs of aging or fading, one can recondition or oil it.
When it comes to installing the butcher block, one has to ensure that there is sufficient ventilation to allow the wood to expand.
The use of butcher block countertops did not start today. For centuries now, people have been using them. In European countries today, the use of butcher block countertops is highly popular. With the changing styles and trends of interior design, more and more people across the world are beginning to employ the use of butcher block countertops. The design and practicability of these block countertops has made them a regular item in most modern homes today. There are no signs that they will soon go out of style.