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Butcher Block 101

Butcher Block

What Is A Butcher Block?

A butcher block is made from cuts of wood that are glued together into thick slabs, creating an extra sturdy work surface. This surface can be used as a cutting board, or as part of your counter space. 


Are There Different Kinds Of Butcher Blocks?

There are three different kinds of butcher blocks. 

  • Edge Grain: Edge grain is the least expensive option when it comes to butcher blocks. Long boards are placed side by side and joined, creating a surface. 
  • Face Grain: Face grain butcher blocks are constructed from flat boards. It is important to note that this butcher block type is the least suitable for usage as a cutting board, because cut marks show up easily on the surface. This means that you probably shouldn’t use this type of butcher block as a cutting board or working counterspace. 
  • End Grain: End grain butcher blocks are made from mini rectangular blocks, with the growth rings from the wood showing at the top. This is the most expensive type of butcher block, but for good reason- it is the strongest type of the three, and it is perfect as a cutting surface. It hides any knife marks and is easy on your knives. 


What Kinds Of Wood Can Be Used?

The good news is that butcher blocks can be made from almost any kind of wood! However, maple is the most popular choice, due to its clear grain and hard surface. If you are looking for a wood that is rich in color, cherry and red oak wood offer the most vibrant color options. If you want a more sustainable option, butcher blocks can also be constructed from bamboo. 


What About Butcher Block Countertops?

If you’re opting for an entire countertop butcher block, make sure you DON’T seal the wood. Sealed countertops are not good for food-prep surfaces, and they can also damage your knives. If you do opt for an unsealed butcher block countertop, make sure it isn’t near a sink, as exposure to water over time can lead to rot. 


Butcher Block Maintenance 

When you get a butcher block, it is important to keep it maintained in order to reduce cracking. Butcher block countertops require oiling every six months. Don’t use cooking oil, as this can damage the wood. 


What Is The Cost?

Prices will vary depending on a variety of factors. The type of wood, the type of grain, and the thickness all factor into the overall cost. Custom-made, high quality butcher blocks range from $75-$150 per square foot. 


If you are ready to add a butcher block to your home, be sure to contact Capitol Granite. As experts, we can help you design a butcher block that works beautifully in your kitchen. Contact us today!


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