When it came time to do our kitchen remodeling, we chose to have a butcher block countertop on our island. The kitchen island is quite large. It measures 6 x 12, so it was going to be the main focal point for the kitchen. With 5 children at home, the island would be heavily used. So we chose it to be an all butcher block counter top.
All the kitchen remodeling was done by us. We made all our own cupboards out of solid oak, so we were able to make the island base storage and cupboards of the kitchen island to our own specifications. We were also able to add the amount of electrical outlets where and how we wanted. The only thing we could not make was the kitchen countertops. We found a company in Grand Rapids, Michigan that could make a butcher block counter top out of maple wood at a reasonable price.
The butcher block looked huge when we first picked it up, but once we placed it on the base of the kitchen island it looked fabulous. The natural wood counter top gave a warm glow to the room when the sun light shone through. Wood, especially light wood, absorbs light and diffuses it so it doesn’t reflect harsh light.
The choice to have a butcher block countertop was perfect for us and our family needs. We host a lot of informal dinners and I can set the food right on the kitchen island. I can even set hot dishes directly on the butcher block and not worry about the veneer or Formica getting ruined.
The maintenance of the butcher block is quite simple too. I normally just wash it of with dish soap and water. If I should cut up meat or poultry on the countertop then I will go over it with lemon juice or vinegar. With the wood being porous, it could become contaminated with e-coli or other undesirable bacteria. I normally do not cut meats or poultry directly on the butcher block I have a separate area for that.
Depending on the season and how the butcher block appears, I apply small amounts of mineral oil to the butcher block. The mineral oil prevents the wood from drying out and cracking. It also acts as a repellent to stop anything from absorbing to far into the wood. The mineral oil will not become rancid like other oils do creating odors and bacteria. I never add any chemicals to the wood, such as bleach or any household cleaning products.
If the butcher block counter top gets scratches in it, all I need to do is take a fine sanding block to the scratches and they are all taken care of. If I get deep cuts, I just consider it as adding character to the wood.
There are a lot of choices on the market for kitchen countertops. I am so happy that we chose to go with the butcher block countertop for our kitchen island. If I was to do kitchen remodeling again, I definitely would have another butcher block counter top.