Butcher Block Countertops — Countertop Spotlight

While the actual title of this post is How to Stain and Seal Butcher Block Counters,” an alternate title could be How NOT To Stain and Seal Butcher Block Counters.” Because I definitely, definitely did both. Lee Lumber not only stocks John Boos butcher block countertops, but also stocks the company’s butcher block island tables and butcher block cutting boards. At this point I knew I was going to have to sand the counters back down to bare wood again, which had me feeling slightly devastated. But because I needed two 12′ lengths and one 8′ length, and the nearest Ikea to my home is 1 1/2 hours away, it wasn’t really feasible for me to transport butcher block from Pittsburgh to Canton. If you have leftover wood like I do, you can also make some cutting boards with it. I’m thinking those would be fun Christmas presents.

Wood is naturally quite porous, so without a protective finish, it can absorb juices from your food, transferring colors and aromas from one recipe to the next. I have had Corian in my homes now for over 25 years and in the last two homes, I have always created a wonderful work and cutting surface on the end of my island like it shows in the picture to the right.

Although the Food and Drug Administration has long recommended plastic cutting boards, based on the observation that it not as hard to clean plastic as porous wood, new information shows that wood cutting boards are actually safer than the plastic or so-called anti-bacterial kind. They looked so terrific that everyone that got them didn’t want to use them for cutting boards (no health issues here).

Wipe until you are satisfied the board looks evenly oiled and then I store the board on edge until I need to use it again. Mix the Pure Tung Oil and Citrus Solvent one to one or 50/ also have a pre-thinned version called ” Half & Half” A ready to use version so you do not need buy separate products. They look great and I want to try the same on my butcher block kitchen countertop and island.

If an oil dries and hardens within the wood fibers, it offers a stronger, more durable protection against knife marks and repetitive cleanings than a non-drying oil, which remains liquid and only saturates the wood fibers without hardening. Unfinished or oiled butcher blocks are susceptible to cracking or splitting in dry environments. Once sanding is complete, it is recommended to oil your cutting board with Belanger Mystery Oil, or Belanger Block Board Cream with Beeswax. Surrounding a face-grain island top with stone or glass countertops will make your island the focal point of your kitchen!

I got it put together, did a preliminary sanding with 60-grit sandpaper, cut out the sink hole, got all of the cracks filled with wood filler, and then sanded it down to a smooth finish with 150-grit sandpaper. So the process was (1) drill the pocket holes in the next board using the marks I made as a guide for pocket hole placement, (2) add a bead of wood glue down the edge of the board, (3) line it up edge to edge with the previous board and clamp the boards together, and (4) attach the screws through the pocket holes. There are many different suppliers of butcher block countertops across the nation.

But they had hard water, and any water left to evaporate on the counter left a white mark. Installation: Make sure the butcher block counter has adequate ventilation as wood can expand and contract with temperature changes. Over the years, our customers have asked us to build solid wood counter tops for many of their custom projects. To maintain the finish of this top simply rub your top with mineral oil every few weeks.

In fact, some manufacturers recommend oiling butcher block countertops every 1-3 months with linseed oil to keep out the harmful effects of water. If you’re looking for a wood species not listed above, please contact us and we’ll let you know if the wood and product is available. When sticking the pieces of wood together, use a mallet to pound any shorter pieces into a tight joint. Varnish in not compatible with food safety issues and that is what the board will be used for, not just decoration.

Clamp straight edge along cut line, allowing for width of circular saw blade and saw guard (Image 2). A clamping straight edge can be purchased or made with a scrap piece of straight-sided wood and clamps. It has antibacterial properties, and will clean and nourish wood surfaces without being as aggressive on the wood as the aforementioned solutions (bleach and vinegar), which are very popular but can damage the wood over time. If the surface does get to a point of ugliness, I have the choice to take out the top and sand it down to newness again.

Woods intended for use in the kitchen and bathroom require additional steps during the finishing process to ensure that the wood keeps its appearance and durability for a lifetime and beyond. We didn’t prep the natural wood before we began applying it. Since we sanded off the outer layer and had never prepared food on/used the surface, we went right into applying the mineral oil. Because our sink is so unique, our process of cutting holes for it was different than yours.

In an all white kitchen, wood butcher block counters become an interesting focal point for the room. I figure it will depend on how the wood feels (also considering that I live in a naturally humid climate, I’m not sure how that impacts me versus someone who lives in a more arid region). Many Styles of Edge Treatments – Because of it’s easy workability, wood countertops offer a wide range of edge treatment options. It will make wood water-resistant (though not water-proof) and will help protect the wood surface from use and wear.

End grain butcher block is formed with smaller blocks of wood that show the knots and growth rings. At this point it doesn’t matter what you dump on it, it’s not going to soak anything else up. Your wood top is the same, the more oil and beeswax it absorbs the less water, grease, and wine it can absorb. There are a lot of opinions out there as to what makes an appropriate cutting board. I was sitting on the fence of what type of finish to use and was really confused on what was out their.

The wood will feel rough after sealing, because the moisture causes the wood hairs to stand back up, even though you sanded it before sealing. We just didn’t want to ingest that, and that was our primary reason for choosing to only use mineral oil/beeswax. Use a sponge, water, and liquid dish-washing detergent or mild soap to clean the block on every side.

Dry winter months, air conditioners, the vicinity of a stove burner, for instance, will cause the wood to dry up faster and, therefore, require a more frequent re-oiling. His blocks (always 4″ at least thick) would be made from wood kept in the boiler room, and be totally dry. Here’s a list of products I highly recommend for staining and sealing butcher block. If you’re going to slice and dice, you have to have an oil-finished block instead of a sealed block,” she says.

So as I was saying, it is very important to drill your holes and make any necessary cuts to the wood (such as cutting out a sink hole) during this beginning step. The mineral oil ones do not repel water well enough for someone who washes the board and sets it aside – instant warpage – the warpage can be fixed but if the board is a gift, you just became a sucky woodworker in their eyes.

The first time you seal your butcher block, it may take several applications before it stops drinking” oil, but in later cleanings you’ll just need to refresh it. Keep adding oil until no more soaks in, remove any excess with a cloth, and you’re done! Butcher block countertops are made from straight cuts of wood that are glued together. No matter how great the cook, everything gets taken up a notch with a Larch Wood board!

Just a note on using so called butcher block oil, or mineral oil, you can bring an old, split and cracking butcher block cutting board back to life by soaking with with mineral oil. Before you start gluing the wood, dry-fit the pieces of wood to ensure they fit tightly together. We’ve done a lot of research, but by no means is this meant as a comprehensive guide to butcher blocks. This procedure will seal the oil into the wood and prevent additional bacteria from contaminating the wood. Cuts and scratches from knifes cause an uneven cutting surface, allow for bacteria and water to enter the board, and can be unsightly.

Wood countertops are perfect for chefs, and you can feel good about chopping and cutting without hurting the countertop or the knives you use for the cutting. Research has shown that bacteria, such as the salmonella often found on raw chicken, will thrive and multiply if not removed from plastic boards (because germs that cause food poisoning can hide out in the knife-scarred nooks and crannies that develop on the surface of a plastic cutting board).