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Butcher Block countertops

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Forum topic by Gilley23 posted 09-04-2017 05:31 PM 587 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gilley23

390 posts in 220 days


09-04-2017 05:31 PM

Eventually I’m going to redo my kitchen countertops, and I’m really leaning toward butcher block. I love the way they look. You guys have me a bit worried about seasonal movement, and this is nothing but thick strips of wood glued together.

I’m thinking maple for its hardness. How can this be designed with seasonal movement in mind where I won’t have any issues? I’m not worried or concerned about refreshing the finish every few months, I’m just concerned about it being funny stable and functional and lasting longer than I’m here on this planet.

Suggestions? Tips? Good resources to read up on? I’ve been scouring Google all morning lol.


14 replies so far

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Gilley23

390 posts in 220 days


#1 posted 09-04-2017 08:29 PM

Anybody have any experience building these?

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Loren

9632 posts in 3486 days


#2 posted 09-04-2017 08:56 PM

Treat it just like any solid wood table top,
attach with slotted screw holes to allow
the block to move.

Considering the labor involved in making
butcher block counter tops you may find
it makes economic sense to buy them
pre-made.

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ArtMann

687 posts in 654 days


#3 posted 09-04-2017 10:59 PM

Wood is porous. If you actually use your counter tops for food preparation, you are going to have to do some serious maintenance to keep them sanitary. Also, that beautiful top will get ugly if you allow water or food to sit on t. I know several people who have had wooden counter tops but I have never heard of anyone having them twice.

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jonah

1471 posts in 3137 days


#4 posted 09-05-2017 02:46 AM

So long as you don’t let standing water sit on them, wood is perfectly fine for countertops. Wood cutting boards routinely have less bacteria on them than plastic in tests.

Just know that you will be in for a lot of maintenance with wood. I say go for it. Use elongated holes or clips to allow for movement, but it’ll be fine.

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oldwood

111 posts in 1082 days


#5 posted 09-05-2017 02:59 AM

You might consider doing as I did and use them for areas not adjacent to the stove or sink. Redid our kitchen in 2008 and used 150+ year old heart pine glued up and several coats of waterlox. They are doing fine. Just installed a vanity top made the same way last week.

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Gilley23

390 posts in 220 days


#6 posted 09-05-2017 03:28 AM

I found 1.25” X 25” X 12’ sections of maple for $299. I could do all of my kitchen countertops with 2 of those, I’d just have to cut and glue a couple of pieces up. Shoot this is actually pretty affordable for what it is, especially compared to granite, corian, quartz, etc.

What kind of elongated holes and clips are you referring to? Please post up a link or picture so I can see it, I’m a visual guy.

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Rich

1984 posts in 428 days


#7 posted 09-05-2017 03:43 AM

Use a good (multiple) coat of Waterlox, and I guarantee you can have a puddle sit on there without damaging it. This is based on personal experience. The only thing that could bite you is if you don’t seal around a sink and the water seeps in.

I’m sure there are many other sealants that will perform well, but Waterlox has worked for me.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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jonah

1471 posts in 3137 days


#8 posted 09-05-2017 02:55 PM

If you’re going to be using a varnish like Waterlox, you might as well go with General Finishes Salad Bowl Finish or even Arm-R-Seal, both of which look way better than Waterlox in my opinion.

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sras

4666 posts in 2967 days


#9 posted 09-05-2017 03:29 PM

I don’t have an image, but I’ll try a simplified description of an elongated hole.

The “elongated” hole gets drilled into the cabinet where you will fasten the counter top. Just drill a hole that is too large – say about 1/8-3/16” larger than the screw. Then use 2 flat washers – one extra large and one to fit the screw). Tighten the screw until the washers snug up to the wood – no need to over-tighten. You want the screw to slide back and forth as the wood expands/contracts.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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Gilley23

390 posts in 220 days


#10 posted 09-08-2017 09:51 PM

Okay guys, fairly well set on the countertops. My main concern is about water damage from standing water around the sink.

Anyone here ever used epoxy over butcher block? How’d it turn out? I want a matte finish, but would go to a satin at the highest sheen if needed. Something tells me that epoxy won’t be cheap, though.

Is Waterlox or Arm R Seal tintable/dyeable?

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Rich

1984 posts in 428 days


#11 posted 09-08-2017 10:09 PM


Anyone here ever used epoxy over butcher block? How d it turn out? I want a matte finish, but would go to a satin at the highest sheen if needed. Something tells me that epoxy won t be cheap, though.

Is Waterlox or Arm R Seal tintable/dyeable?

- Gilley23

Can’t help out on the epoxy, Gilley. I believe TransTint dyes can be mixed with varnishes.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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ChefHDAN

992 posts in 2688 days


#12 posted 09-08-2017 10:25 PM

You have to decide if the counter tops will be food contact surfaces subjected to knives, bench scrapers etc. If you’ll use them in the true sense of butcher block then you’ll have to use a food safe finish which will require regular monthly maintenance. If you want the look but do not want to use the counters functionally as butcher blocks then you can use just about anything to seal them.

Personally given the use and the fact that I have kids, I would do my island with a mineral oil bees wax finish so that it could be used for all food prep, and then I would use 3 to 4 coats of oil based satin polyurethane on ALL edges & sides of the other counters that would not be used for food prep.

As for securing the tops, I would use 100% silicone in spaces where there’s low chance of any real torque being applied against them, and would use screws in elongated holes as suggested for the island. Depending on your use and how much you move your work station around the island, you’ll eventually need to resurface the top with either a nice plane or a belt sander, and this is much easier to do outside, so it’s nice to just drop the screws.

I’m in a similar situation, planning to go with quartz/stone for pastry work etc, and I have a large endgrain cutting board I use as my butcher block. Good Luck with your project

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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Gilley23

390 posts in 220 days


#13 posted 09-09-2017 01:46 AM

This will my be used as a “butcher block”, but be used like normal countertops would be. All food prep (cutting) would be on cutting boards. Still, food will be on the surfaces at times, like any countertop.

My main concern is standing water and the occasional heat from pots/pans on dish towels, etc.

Thanks for the ideas and insight, guys, I’m just looking for a finish to hold up to normal kitchen and countertop use.

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jonah

1471 posts in 3137 days


#14 posted 09-09-2017 01:07 PM

If you won’t be chopping on it, any film finish is fine. Kitchen countertops are used pretty hard most of the time. I’d recommend a durable polyurethane or varnish finish. Arm-R-Seal semi gloss is my personal favorite.

Once fully cured, most finishes are food safe.

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