Better Than Ikea Butcher Block! How I Treat My Counters

I, too, love the look of butcher-block countertops in the kitchen and, contrary to what you think, they are very practical. To avoid ending up with a single area that looks worn-out compared to the rest, try to do your chopping on a different part of the countertop each time you prepare a meal. It was a lot of work but we used less than half our countertop budget and were able to put the money saved towards splurges like a counter depth refrigerator and double ovens. After allowing the oil to sit and absorb for at least 8-10 hours (we apply the oil before going to sleep), wipe the surface clean with another rag.

If the grain raises slightly after the first oiling, sand the surface lightly with 220 or 320 grit sandpaper and wipe down with a damp cloth, then apply another coat of butcher block oil. To prevent this, it is recommended that you regularly (once monthly) apply a heavy coat of mineral oil to your butcher block. I have a friend who installed those in three rental units he owns, and I will install similar counters in the house I just bought. For the record, we do NOT use the counter tops as a cutting surface, we use a cutting board. The big question homeowners need to answer when considering installing butcher block countertops is whether they intend to actually use the surface for cutting.

I’m to blame, as I have been pretty rough with the counters: messily baking, cooking, crafting, and using the kitchen as a mini photo studio for DIY projects – videos for a brand have even been filmed in my kitchen, using my counters as a backdrop for some props and styling. Avoid cutting raw meat or fish on your butcher block, which can easily soak into the wood and spread bacteria. Unlike the Ikea version, the butcher block available here at Lumber Liquidators is actually solid wood, so I’ll be able to refinish these as many times as I need to in the future (like if we ever put this house on the market).

As well, (re: Kristi’s story) I use a lot of lemon juice for salad dressing and lay my food out on the counters every day. It’s enough to repel red wine, but if I were using it as a full time counter I’d want a more durable finish. They did not disappoint… the counters are so beautiful and unique, and were on par price-wise with other high-end counters that we were looking at. If you’re looking for something that’s different and will get compliments, I highly recommend their work. Thinking about using the Chemicraft product you referred to in the above thread for use after conditioning, sanding, staining and re sanding my butcher block.

Take another clean rag, and using plenty of elbow grease, rub the surface until all of the finish is completely rubbed into the wood. It is important to finish and install unfinished butcher blocks and wide plank tops within one week after receiving to prevent any warping, bowing, or cracking. Butcherblock countertops are one form of wood countertops and one of the first things you should understand is the concept of grain orientation. Varnique semi-gloss finished butcher blocks can be easily cleaned with mild soap and warm water.

Acetic acid in white vinegar can help to keep your counter space as clean as possible. Wood and water are not friends and although I love the imperfections and minor blemishes they may have _ I actually love those imperfections… I bought Ikea butcher block counters and they have split. It sounds like OP did what Ikea suggests, but I’ve also read that it’s better to just keep oiling daily/regularly until the wood looks like it has stopped soaking up new oil. You should never cut directly on a varnished butcher block as it will scratch the surface causing exposed wood to become vulnerable to further damage.

As beautiful and practical as they might seem, butcherblock counters do have their plusses and minuses. IKEA also has butcher block for purchase but they do not have as many options in types and the longest section they sell is 8 feet. Daily cleaning does not take long and requires no special tools or materials, but time is of the essence: Clean butcher block before the wood grain has the chance to absorb stains and become discolored. After that we flipped the countertop back over and put silicone between the sink and the countertop. The number of coats the wood needs depends upon the species of wood and how dry the butcher block is upon installation.

Tools: Thick straight edge (to run circular saw against) and clamps to clamp it to your butcher block. And it probably goes without saying that you shouldn’t flip the counters until you are completely done with the side, or risk messing up your hard work. So, my advice is always that if you find something beautiful you love that might require a bit more care than something you don’t love as much, go with what you love. There are several ways to treat stains, and everyone has an opinion, but here are some proven techniques.

I loved them, so much I knew that I wanted to use the same countertops again in the new house. Trust me, it’s much easier to remove Sharpie from mineral-oiled butcher block than Waterloxed walnut. The wood is too soft to double as a cutting board, but we’ll have a section of butcher block directly next to the stove and normal cutting boards available for all of our chopping desires, so I’m not worried about it. Our main sink is in a quartz-countertop island, so we do not wash dishes near the butcher block counters.

On the other hand if you simply like the look of butcherblock but don’t intend cut or prepare food on it then you should choose a countertop with a protective non-permeable finish. The simplest method of preventing stains is to regularly remove all food waste and scrub the block with mild soap to free any stubborn particles, then towel it off to remove excess moisture.

Where a manufacturer has not made such allowances, you should use an undersized screw with a washer or counter sink pilot holes are drilled at the extreme ends of the slots and the block has expanded, you negate the advantage of the slots. Sealed butcher block countertops maintain a consistent color and appearance over time, and are generally resistant to water. The advantage of the Salad Bowl” finish is an easy to clean stain resistant gloss finish that will retain the new look much longer than an oiled finish.

Even though butcher block countertops give a nice feel to the kitchen, it easily shows heavy usage, which can give your butcher block kitchen countertops an unappealing look over time if they are not regularly taken care of. Expect to refinish wood countertops after 10-20 years depending on the amount and type of use they get. Finished Butcher Block comes with an oil already on it and has an edge, usually straight (squared), radius (the top edge is rounded), or bull-nose (the top and bottom of the edge are rounded. Good sealing of your butcher block is essential to prevent abrupt and excessive moisture movement to and from the wood.

One of the best parts about butcher block countertops is that, even if you let the occasional spill sit for too long, or if your knife marks begin to scar the surface, the wood can easily be refinished to look like new. Unfinished or oil-finished butcher block countertops are perfect for cutting and chopping. The color of the butcher block definitely changes depending upon the treatment that you choose with the Waterlox making the butcher block a deeper, just slightly more orangey color than the mineral oil. This wasn’t ideal and caused lots of anxiety about anything wet touching the countertops.

This finish does require more upkeep, since you’ll have to oil the wood periodically in order to maintain it. We recommend using a mineral oil at least once a month when the wood begins to lose its shine. Although it’s origin comes from the cutting surfaces that butchers used to process meat, today’s butcherblock countertops have evolved to represent more than just a cutting surface.

This is especially important if you intend to have your countertop adjacent to your sink. If you’re intent for using a butcherblock countertop includes food preparation you’ll need to decide for yourself whether it’s a sanitary and safe surface based on the information that’s available. Ikea has the cheapest mineral oil I have found, so next time you’re there, pick up a bottle (or two).

Overall, if you can avoid working directly on your countertops like you would with any other counter material, bacteria should never be an issue in the first place. She has one of these big ikea chopping boards under the kettle (to catch drips from tea bags) and we use that for chopping bread. See what these bloggers’ experiences tell you about whether or not wood countertops are right for you.

Slight warping or twisting of hardwood countertops may occur during transit as atmospheric and or moisture conditions cannot be controlled. And if you are resealing an old counter, you need to start with a Butcher Block Oil and then finish it with Bees Wax or Mineral Oil that’s food safe. Once you have the counters in place (or I guess you could before), give them a light sanding with finer and finer sandpaper. They look great and I want to try the same on my butcher block kitchen countertop and island.

Plus these countertops are as eco-friendly as they come: They’re made from locally-harvested wood that is either FSC certified or comes from salvaged sources. However, for those that want to dedicate an area of their countertop to prepare food directly on, hardwood countertops offer a functional space that no other material can provide due to end grain butcher block’s ease on knives and sharp cutlery. While thinking about butcher block countertops pros and cons, this is a significant point. When refinishing a butcher block, you may wish to sand the surface of the wood to remove old stains, scratches and marks.

Their harsh chemicals can dry out the wood and even penetrate its surface, creating the possibility that whatever you prepare on the counter next might wind up tasting a bit like 409. We bought a birch butcher block counter from Lowe’s and applied a light walnut stain toa test piece (no wood conditioner) and it’s blotchy and extremely ugly. Once the countertops were cut to size, I sanded off the factory finish using 120 grit sandpaper and the mouse sander , in the direction of the wood grain. And rather than leaving it to chance, we opted to leave the counters in their natural state and simply apply oil.