Wooden countertops have always been in vogue for their rustic look and aesthetic appeal. The modern butcher block was used in the meat industry where the butchers used tree rounds as chopping boards. These chopping boards are now finding space in homes as well, with them being personalized and tailor-made to your specifications.
The one of the best things about butcher block countertops is that they are not only practical and functional but they also blend well with other materials and colors in the kitchen. The sugar maple wood is mostly used for making such a tops, as it is a hard type of wood with the ability to withstand the continuous chopping and cutting on its surface.
Other types used to create these counter tops include black walnut, American cherry,birch and beech. Wooden benchtops add character and warmth to any kitchen and thereby are always a popular choice.
Вutcher block countertops - Care and maintenance
Just like any other materials used in a busy kitchen, butcher-block benchtops needs constant care and maintenance to last a lifetime. Instead of cutting and chopping straight on the countertop, a chopping board is a better option to provide longevity to the countertop. In addition, it is essential to keep it clean and dry with occasional oiling. Indentations can be removed in the butcher block by sanding. The wooden surface just like other materials needs periodic cleaning thoroughly to prevent the growth of bacteria.
Having an invisible seal to protect them from being damaged by water, the butcher-block countertops can be kept clean with a mild soap and warm water solution. A sponge can be used to wipe the excess dirt after which it should be thoroughly dried. Conditioning of the counter top by coating a thin layer of mineral oil or beeswax can be done regularly to give it a back to like-new appearance. The pure white mineral oil hydrates the wood and helps in enabling the wood get its shine back after continuous usage.
Use of harsh chemicals should be avoided. If the benchtop starts drying out, it may lead to the cracking of the wood. In such a case, wood fillers should be used in the cracks, which must then be sanded until the surface becomes smooth. Coating the top with oil is then necessary to re-hydrate it.
Butcher block countertops cost
The cost of this kind of kitchen top is a major selling point. Compared to the granite or exotic stone tops, the wooden tops are reasonably priced and well within the reach of many. Although the wood variant and the design determine the cost of the countertop, the butcher block ones are still within one’s budget.
Pre-assembled or pre-fabricated sections of butcher block kitchen benchtop are more cost-efficient than the custom-made designs, for example a section measuring 12” x 25” can be purchased for under hundred dollars while custom made pieces are priced as a unit.
The thickness of the material, quality of wood and the design too determine the cost. For this reason, a thicker section of counter top made out of high quality wood and of equal surface area is costlier than a one of a thinner design constructed out of a low quality or reclaimed wood
Butcher block countertops -pros and cons:
Although we have discussed the care and cost of butcher-block tops for counters, it is also essential to study the pros and cons of using them. First talking about the pros:
- it provides an aesthetic and rustic appeal,
- they are sturdy,
- have anti-bacterial properties,
- they are affordable
- they only require fairly easy maintenance.
On the other hand, there are certain drawbacks. These include:
- being prone to dent marks and scratches,
- requiring regular cleaning and maintenance,
- high price in case of wood used other than maple and
- not good for the environment if not made out of reclaimed wood
As an overview, it can be said that butcher block kitchen tops are almost an ideal choice, especially if you need a rustic appeal for your kitchen. If the cost aspect is a big concern you can go for the maple block counter top, which best fits into almost anyone’s budget. The maintenance aspect is more or less similar in all types of counters therefore, you can let go of that issue while choosing a butcher block top.