Today on the blog we want to talk about another kitchen countertop material: butcher block. In our countertop 101 series we’ve already covered marble and granite and today we have another natural material that we get a lot of questions about in our studio.
There’s no denying the beauty of wooden countertops. With butcher block counters there are so many wood options that you can easily incorporate this material into any style of kitchen. Butcher block countertops are most often seen as an accent on an island. While you can certainly finish a whole kitchen with this countertop material, most of the time, an accent feature with this material is best.
Wood is a natural material with graining that varies from piece to piece and this is what makes it so beautiful. These counters add a warmth to any kitchen and are a great way to bring in a natural feeling without having to fully commit to a whole kitchen of this material. Not only are they visually warm but they’re physically warm to the touch as well which, for an island, is great as you often entertain around an island and placing your arm on a cold stone countertop can sometimes be a shock!
While wooden countertops are stunning, there are a few maintenance requirements you’ll want to keep in mind. Wood needs to be sealed as it is a porous material. If not sealed, germs can get into the material and they will continue to grow and stay in the material. To avoid this, your countertop will need to be sealed and maintained with mineral oil or another protectant. The same goes for moisture. If moisture is not cleaned up and dried from the surface, you may see water damage and the material will be more susceptible to germs.
As wood is a softer material than stone you may notice dents and dings or scratches over time. For many people, this is part of why they choose butcher block countertops as they love the appearance of the patina the wood acquires over years of use. As a bonus with butcher block counters, you don’t need a cutting board! Plus, the wooden surface is easier on your knives than if you cut directly on granite or stone.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why a butcher block island might be the perfect addition to your kitchen. If you have a wooden countertop let us know in the comments below what you think about yours, or any tips you have to maintain its finish.