Have you ever wondered if it’s worth getting butcher block countertops? You might be put off by the fact that they need to be maintained. While this is true, butcher block countertops are a beautiful addition to your home and can add value to your home.

Anything worth having will require some type of maintenance at some point, just like your car, your appliances, and your water filtration system. Wooden countertops are no different, and the pros outweigh the cons.

The biggest pro is that butcher block countertops are beautiful and come in a variety of wood species, including maple, cherry, oak, walnut, and even teak, bamboo, hickory, and mahogany. They’re affordable, easy to clean, durable, and last for a long time. However, they do require maintenance.

Caring for butcher block is like caring for cutting boards

Do you own any good wood cutting boards? If so, they require the same type of maintenance as butcher block countertops. If you’ve never cared for your cutting boards, it’s something you should consider because it will make them last for a long time and prevent them from degrading.

If you’re already familiar with maintaining your wooden cutting boards, then maintaining butcher block countertops won’t be difficult. In fact, you could do your routine maintenance all at once.

Maintaining a butcher block countertop is easy

When you hear about how butcher block countertops require maintenance, you might think this means you’ll have to spend considerable time and energy to maintain the wood. This isn’t true. Maintenance is actually pretty easy.

Before getting into how to maintain your countertops, it’s important to understand the source of the problem that creates the need for maintenance: moisture. Wood has its own natural moisture that needs to be maintained at a certain level inside your countertops, while moisture from the outside can damage the wood.

The best way to create a moisture barrier is by using food-grade mineral oil. The way you apply the oil is as follows:

· Clear everything off your counters.

· Wipe down your counters with a damp rag or wet paper towel.

· Use a dough scraper to remove anything that has been stuck to the counter’s surface.

· Surface stains can be scraped away using a razor blade.

· Any stains that won’t come off with a razor blade will usually come off with 180-220 grit sandpaper, but this will lighten the area.

· After scraping away stains, wipe the counter down again.

· Pour some food-grade mineral oil directly onto the countertop and rub it over the entirety of the counter with a lint-free cloth.

· Wait several hours for the oil to absorb into the wood. It might take all night, depending on your counter’s construction.

· Wipe the counter clean to remove any leftover oil residue.

How often should you maintain butcher block countertops?

Keeping up with maintenance is important, but you don’t have to do it that often. If you use your countertops frequently for prepping directly on the wood, or if the wood dries out fast, you should oil your countertops once every 1-2 months.

If you never prep food directly on your countertop, you’ll probably only need to apply oil every 3-4 months. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to apply oil more frequently in cold months and less frequently when it’s warmer and the air is humid.

If you don’t want scratches, use a cutting board

While many people choose to prepare food directly on their butcher block countertops, that’s not for everyone. Doing this can make your countertop look worn pretty quickly. You might end up with knife marks and food stains, some of which won’t ever come out. If you don’t mind and you actually like the way this looks, you’ll still need to maintain and oil your countertops.

If you care more about keeping the aesthetics of your counters clean, then make sure you use a cutting board for preparing meals. Also, check with the maker of your countertops because some styles are not actually meant to be used as a food prep surface out of the box.

Butcher block countertops are beautiful

When you’re remodeling your kitchen and it’s time to choose your countertops, consider butcher block countertops. They’re timeless, beautiful, durable, and they’ll make any kitchen feel cozy.

Samuel Brown

Samuel Brown is an Auburn University graduate with a Furniture Design degree who has been an authority in furniture craftsmanship and design for 20 years. His prior experience includes working as a furniture designer and a lecturer. His background includes roles in product development for furniture brands and design consulting. In his leisure time, he is an amazing sculptor and a volunteer in community art projects. He enjoys antique restoration and participates in local design exhibitions.

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