How Much Does a Butcher Block Countertop Cost?
Butcher block countertops offer a down-to-earth and traditional feel in the kitchen. While popular as a choice for the surfaces of kitchen islands, butcher block can also be used for the entire countertop surface in a home. The finish of the butcher block countertop can be designed to match the same wood as the kitchen's flooring and cabinetry for a cohesive final look to the room.
- The average minimum cost per square foot of butcher block countertop is $39.87.
- The average maximum cost per square foot of butcher block countertop is $56.30.
In addition to the cost of the wood used for the butcher block countertop, there are some additional expenses associated with this type of home remodeling project. Supplies such as grout, screws, nuts, bolts, oil and sealant are needed to complete the project. This adds an average of $3.05 per finished square foot of butcher block countertop surface. Installation for butcher block countertop averages $71.50 per hour for basic services. Installing a butcher block countertop with more than two seams or more than one cutout for a sink is more time consuming and will add to the overall cost of the project.
Butcher block countertops are made from straight cuts of wood that are glued together. The thick slabs provide a smooth and sturdy surface for kitchen work. There are many types of wood and grades of materials used in this type of countertop surface.
Butcher block countertops can be created out of a wide variety of hardwoods. The wood is cut, sanded, buffed, polished and sealed before it is installed. The primary types of wood used to create butcher block countertops include:
- Ash. This hardwood finishes with a light color and consistent grain.
- Beech. This wood features visual appeal and a light to medium tone.
- Birch. As a fast growing tree, birch offers an interesting effect on the growth rings that is highlighted on the butcher block.
- Cherry. This is the traditional wood used for butcher block countertops as well as kitchen cabinets and flooring.
- Hickory. As a more exotic choice, this wood imparts a reddish brown tone when fully sealed.
- Alder. This type of wood is knotty and offers a rustic look. It works well in homes that have used reclaimed wood for the flooring, beams and furnishings.
- Pine. Pine is a softer wood that is light in color and includes many knots for visual interest.
- Maple. Maple is another traditional choice for butcher block countertops and kitchen cabinetry and floors.
- Poplar. This type of wood has a fine grain and a light color.
- Sapele. The rich coloring of this wood brings a warm feeling to the kitchen.
- Red oak. This type of wood is a popular choice in the northeastern areas of the U.S. and fits in well with colonial style homes.
- White oak. As another tree native to the northeastern U.S., this wood is heavily used in kitchens and features a medium tone and fine grain.
- Walnut. This dark wood is durable, and when polished, it easily highlights the beauty of the grain.
There are three primary grades or levels of quality for butcher block countertops. The most common grade of butcher block countertop is edge grain. It is stronger, more stable and less expensive than other grades. The long and narrow edges of boards form the surface. Flat grain butcher block is laid out, so the width of the board forms the surface. It makes a streamlined look but is not as strong as edge grain. End grain butcher block is formed with smaller blocks of wood that show the knots and growth rings. It is the strongest and most expensive type of butcher block countertop.
There are many different suppliers of butcher block countertops across the nation. Major companies that produce this type of countertop material include Brooks Custom, DeVos Custom Woodworking and Lafor International Wood Products. Homeowners may also find locally sourced butcher block countertops. A homeowner who wants to use reclaimed wood may be able to find a custom butcher block countertop carpenter to create this type of product.
Advantages of Butcher Block Countertops
There are many advantages to installing butcher block countertops in the kitchen. This material offers a high level of aesthetic appeal and works well in traditional, retro and modern kitchens. With a nearly endless array of wood stains, colors and finishes, homeowners can customize the look of their countertops. If the homeowner decides to replace or reface the cabinets, the surface of the countertops can be sanded and stained to coordinate with the new look. Vegetables and meat can be cut directly on the surface of the butcher block. The resulting nicks and scratches can add character to the surface. Butcher block countertops are affordable and cost less than many other popular countertop materials. This material can be sustainably and locally sourced, making for an environmentally friendly choice for the home.
Disadvantages of Butcher Block Countertops
Butcher block countertops require regular maintenance in order to retain their durability, longevity and beauty. The wood should be gently cleaned with soapy water and promptly dried. Food-grade mineral oil should be applied to the wood on a weekly basis to protect it from daily use. Once each year, the butcher block countertops should be sealed with a sealant that is safe for food preparation. Butcher block wood can easily be damaged by knives and other sharp kitchen implements if they are used directly on the surface. Butcher block countertops can be scorched if a hot pan is placed on the surface. Trivets should always be used underneath hot items to protect the surface of the wood countertops. The wood can easily be dented by falling items. While the dents can be sanded or buffed out, this leaves a depression and exposes the wood underneath. Sealing is required if any dents or scratches are sanded.
Last updated on May 10, 2016
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