Homeowners have mixed feelings about butcher block countertops. Some love the look and functionality while others worry about the upkeep. These types of countertops aren’t for everyone, but they’re a beautiful and surprisingly hassle-free option.
Here are eight reasons you’ll love putting butcher block in your kitchen:
1. Unique Grains and Patterns
One of the best features about butcher block countertops is that they come in a variety of natural grains, colors, and patterns. When perusing online galleries, you’ll see hundreds of beautiful examples.
Some woods feature more knots than others, adding visual interest and variety to the wood. You can even combine different woods into one slab for a unique look.
2. Country Style
Many homeowners install butcher block countertops because they’re after a gorgeous French country style. The natural wood grain looks fantastic paired with white cabinets and wooden kitchen floors.
For a more classic country style, your butcher block countertops will complement your natural stone floors perfectly. Stick with natural tones in your flooring to create an earthy, organic look.
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3. Functional Surface
Butcher block countertops were first made popular by chefs who wanted a more functional countertop to cut on. They’re perfect for cutting without a cutting board because they’re easy to clean. Many people also like the weathered look of a countertop that’s been used as a cutting surface.
A knife can scratch the wood if it’s dull, so it’s important to keep your knives sharp. Otherwise, you’ll want to use a separate cutting board to minimize gouges or excessive scratches that will need to be repaired.
4. Easy to Repair
If you do scratch, nick, or gouge your wood countertops, they’re not difficult to repair. A little sandpaper, wood filler, mineral oil, and/or your favorite wax can be used to correct scratches before applying a sealer.
This is much easier than trying to repair chipped Formica or a cracked countertop tile. It won’t cost much, and your countertops will be good as new.
While you might think the porous wood surface would collect bacteria, it actually has the opposite effect. Wood naturally kills bacteria—including germs like norovirus and salmonella—which is why it’s a common material for cutting boards.
You’ll still need to keep the surfaces clean, but they can also be wiped down regularly with any sanitizing cleaning product like Clorox wipes.
Butcher block countertops are among the more affordable options for a quality countertop. A superior slab of butcher block averages about $100 per square foot, which is higher-priced than low-grade granite, but not nearly as expensive as high-quality natural stones.
If you choose a high-quality hardwood, your butcher-block countertops will be extremely durable. You don’t have to worry about them chipping or cracking if something heavy is dropped on them. They can take a beating and still look great!Some of the best woods to consider include maple, oak, or walnut. Each features unique colors and wood grains, so choose a high-quality product that looks great to you.
Because of the durability, ease of repair, and sanitary nature of your butcher block countertops, they’ll easily last a couple of decades. As long as your butcher block was installed properly with correct sealing, it’ll live twice as long than standard laminate countertops.
Besides that, butcher block countertops have a timeless style. They’ve been around since the 19th century when butchers commonly used a slab of Sycamore as their primary cutting surface. They became popular in kitchens after that. They’ve maintained their charm since and will continue to do so.
The positives are clear but note that there are some disadvantages to installing butcher block countertops. They require maintenance, and if liquid is left sitting on top for too long, it can warp or otherwise damage the wood. The wood can also be nicked or scratched if you’re not careful.
As long as you keep up with the maintenance and follow simple repairs, however, you’ll have beautiful, functional countertops for decades.