What Are Butcher Block Countertops

butcher_block_countertopA 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.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Kitchen Islands

Kitchen IslandsA kitchen and all the fixtures therein need to be functional and inviting; this can be achieved by having correct furniture and fixtures in place. To get a nice and comfortable kitchen island for your home, here are some key factors that one needs to consider; 

Available Space

When you are considering putting in place a kitchen island, the first thing that you need to consider is the space available in the kitchen. Kitchen islands come in varying sizes and shapes. It is important to choose an island that will fit nicely in the available space and provide you with some standing or sitting space around. The size of the kitchen will also dictate the island size that one will choose or put in place, it is thus important to confirm the available floor space before choosing an island.

Design of the Island

Kitchen islands come in a variety of designs. Some people prefer either a sitting or standing design; there are those who prefer a more contemporary look for their island. It is thus important to choose a design that fits nicely with other fixtures in the kitchen and also blends well with the general color choice that one may require. The key point is to have a kitchen island that is not only beautiful but functional tool that can be comfortably used in the kitchen.

Durability

It is not every day that one decides to buy a kitchen island, it is thus important to choose one that is durable, easy to maintain and adaptable. There are a variety of materials which can be used to make an island; one can either use wood, steel or other synthetic materials. One should go for one that will last for a relatively long period. It should also be strong enough to hold as much stuff as you would require without compromising its stability or endangering the safety of its users or other people in the home.

The cost of the Island

When choosing one, it is important to consider the overall cost of the island as compared to other fixtures in the kitchen. It will be quite foolhardy to have a very expensive island in the middle of a poorly constructed or furnished kitchen, having a cheap island when you have spent a lot of time and money in making your kitchen beautiful is also not appropriate. One should spend a reasonable amount when choosing an appropriate island; you should not break the bank when doing this, always go for affordability over extravagance.

Choose an appropriate height

Depending on the average height of the users, it is important to have a kitchen island that will not have people straining to either get things in or out of the cabinet. The top of the island should also be quite easy to reach and use. If there are children, it is important to get a good compromise between safety and accessibility. As much as children should be able to comfortably get things from the island, one should have some cabinets under lock and key so as to safeguard some fragile cutlery or utensils which may be used or placed in the cabinet from time to time.

Butcher Block Countertops

butcher block

Butcher Block

Over recent years, the interior design of most homes has drastically changed and more so in the kitchen area. One aspect that is crucial in both its practical applications and design is the kitchen countertop. A good kitchen countertop can transform the way one’s kitchen looks like. It could be that one is creating an entirely new kitchen or renovating the one they have, but whatever the case, a good kitchen countertop will do the trick. 

There are a whole variety of kitchen countertops, but the butcher block countertops are among the best. This particular kitchen countertop is made of wood. In most cases, the wood used is teak, walnut or sugar maple. The wood is used as a heavy duty chopping block, cutting board or table top. Originally, butcher block countertops were used mostly in butcher shops and meat processing facilities. However, with time, they have become a popular feature in most houses. There are basically two styles of butcher block countertops. This is the edge grain and the end grain.

The edge grain butcher block countertop has parallel wood rails, which run across the length of the piece. The end grain tops are made by fusing the end pieces of wood rails to make a checkerboard pattern. In terms of strength and durability, the end grain countertops are considered to be a better option.

The use of butcher block countertops can be traced back to many centuries ago and they are still highly popular in a significant number of European countries. Today, more and more people across the world are starting to use and see the benefits of having butcher block countertops in their kitchen as opposed to laminate or stone countertops. This has led to most manufactures of kitchen countertops producing more and more butcher block countertops suitable for almost every home. In addition, using wood is much easier when compared to some other materials such as stone.

Advantages

Butcher block countertops can have various types of finishing’s. Some of which include drying oils like diluted varnish, tung or linseed; non-drying oils like mineral and vegetable oils; beeswax or paraffin.

These countertops can provide the kitchen with that warm look and feel. The material used to make the countertops is also anti-bacterial, durable, strong, affordable and biodegradable.

All these advantages make the butcher block countertop highly popular.

Maintenance and care

Butcher block countertops require a bi-annual oiling and sanding in order to protect the wood.

Depending on the type of finishing one has, one should wipe the countertop with a clean, damp cloth that has a bit soap. This should be done usually after one has just used the countertop.

One should ensure that they do not use harsh detergents, chemicals or allow puddles of standing water.

In case of scratches, dings or dents, a person should use high grit sandpaper to sort them out.

One should recondition or oil their countertop in case it starts to appear dull, shows cracks or aging. In addition, reconditioning and oiling protects the wood from any sort of germs or mold.

One can find butcher block countertops in a huge number of homes today. This is because of their practicability and design.

A Butcher Block Table

Butcher Block TableToday, people use butcher blocks for a variety of purposes. Among the popular trends includes using them to make furniture around the house such as dining tables, counter tops and cutting boards. A butcher block is made of thick strips of wood that have been stuck together using very strong glue. Butcher blocks provide a hard durable surface that can be used as a table. A person can have a butcher block table in their kitchen. The block table can be made from a huge range of colors and patterns. It all depends on what one is looking for in terms of style and taste.

When it comes to choosing the design of a butcher block table, one has to consider the type of wood they want. The wood used will not only determine the color of the table but also its ability to match the surroundings of the area it is placed in. A butcher block table can be made from a variety of hardwood, some of which include maple, cherry, walnut and beech. Such woods are used because of their hardness. For those who might want a butcher block table mainly for decorative purposes or for placement in the living room, then they have the option of using softer woods like pine or cedar. Choosing the type of wood for your butcher block table should be based on its intended use.

The thickness of a standard butcher block is 1” inch and comes in a variety of lengths depending on the needs of a person. A butcher block table can be as thick as one would like it to be, it all depends on the kind of wood one is using. For some people, they do not want their table to be so heavy that moving it becomes impractical. They want something with a bit of flexibility.

The pattern of the wood used in a butcher block will significantly influence its overall look, more so the top of the table. One can have butcher blocks in various directions to give the table a different look. He or she can have the blocks placed with sections of wood going across the width of the table from one side to the other. There is also the option of having sections of wood run down the table lengthwise. An additional option is to cut down sections of wood into small cubes in accordance with thickness of the tabletop and putting them with their inside sections looking up to make a checkerboard pattern.

Constructing a butcher block table is not a complicated process as some may think. What is mainly required is a suitable working area and the right kind of carpentry tools. Pieces of butcher blocks have to be cut according to the size required with a saw and then the pieces have to be sanded with sandpaper. The pieces are then stuck with glue and held together with some sort of soft band or clamp. Only a few pieces of blocks should be glued at one time, this helps to avoid any mistakes.

The popularity of butcher block tables continues to grow due to their durability, design and practicability.