Butcher Block Countertop Considerations
A wide range of wood species is available. Popular choices include hard maple, cherry, walnut and hickory. When choosing, consider appearance, price point and durability. Generally, the cost is comparable to granite. “The price has to do with how much labor and material is required,” Wehner says. The counters are assembled from multiple pieces of wood—not a solid block. The different ways the wood is assembled create different wood grains. To select a grain, you’ll need to know how you want to use the counter.
For Prepping Food
If you envision cutting and kneading on your counters, consider end grain (often shown in a checkerboard pattern), or edge grain, which is assembled with the skinny edge of boards facing up. These counters will be finished with a food-safe oil and have a very natural-looking wood appearance.
Just For Looks
If you aren’t planning to cut on the counters, flat grain is also an option. This will look most like a flat, wood surface. As long as you aren’t planning to cut or food prep on the counter, any grain can be stained and finished with polyurethane.
Clean your counters with warm soapy water. If you notice they’re drying out, wipe them with a food-safe oil. In general, it’s a good idea to clean up spills as quickly as possible. Wood isn’t as forgiving, Wehner says, as quartz or granite.