I want to replace my countertop with a butcher block. I plan on using it as a cutting board. What are my best options?

I'm moving into a new place in November and the kitchen is HUGE. All the appliances, counter tops, and even the sink is from the 1950's-1970's. I love it but the counter could use some sprucing up. In the photo it's the space above the cabinets in the back. I was hoping to put a butcher block on it but wasn't sure what my best options were. I live near a home depot and a lowes. We also have a huge basement I can use to make anything I want. Thoughts?

Jenna Ballinger
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Annie22 September 24, 2015
A proper butcher block should be at least 1.5" thick and an end grain design. Hard Rock Maple will stand up to the most use and still beautiful if you take care of it for the long haul. I like butcher blocks and am ordering mine from a place called Forever Joint, the pricing is reasonable and beautiful all at the same time. They will cut your block to the exact size you want and will even do it to a template you create to replace the counter top you have. I don't usually just sign up somewhere so I can post an answer but had to regarding this question I saw. I was here looking at kitchen gadgets, lol. Good luck on your project.

Annie22 September 24, 2015
Oops! Meant to say "A proper butcher block counter top should be at least 1.5" thick".
nanpieringer September 23, 2015
Ikea has butcher block. Very reasonably priced!
Susan W. September 18, 2015
Here's an article that Amanda wrote. Scroll down to the butcher block. It's so beautiful.
Smaug September 18, 2015
A proper butcher block is made with the end grain as the cutting surface- this requires a lot of pieces glued together, and makes practical the 6" thick blocks you see in butcher shops. The big advantage, other than thickness, is that knife marks will heal. The "butcher blocks" commonly seen in home kitchens are simply edge jointed boards of moderate thickness- a table top, in fact, and don't stand up to use as cutting boards very well. They will take knife marks, and stuff will grow in the marks- molds, bacteria etc. They also won't keep any sort of surface finish. Many people are happy with them in their kitchens, but there is a distinct down side and, at the best, they will take a lot of care on a regular basis. They will not look like finished woodwork for any length of time if you use them for cutting.
sexyLAMBCHOPx September 18, 2015
I am so envious, lol. Here are some past Hotline discussions about this. https://food52.com/hotline/search?q=butcher+block+countertop
sexyLAMBCHOPx September 18, 2015
Do you have any carpenter friends to ask and customize the counter-top by chance?
ChefJune September 18, 2015
I had a butcher block table made to my order 40 years ago that has been my kitchen table and also work space (sometines additional, sometimes "it") ever since. The top of the table is maple, and I have to say it is more beautiful now than when I first got it.
Most "butcher blocks" are glued pieces of hard wood. Is that what you have in mind to make for yourself? I think I'd look for a used one before I'd do that.
Jenna B. September 18, 2015
I'm up for looking for a used one or even refurbished wood. I just want something sturdy and thick.
Hi, I. September 18, 2015
I'd think the important thing is that the portion you'd actually use as a cutting board is distinct (and replaceable). The wood will soak in smells, and the inability to submerge it in water or put in the dishwasher means it might be kinda gross in short order.

Think about what you'd cut on it (and think about those sets of cutting boards that help you separate fish, meats, vegetables, and herbs). Butcher block counter tops can be very beautiful, but I don't think they often actually get used to cut on.

Voted the Best Reply!

ChefJune September 18, 2015
Butcher block counter tops can be cleaned without submerging in water.
Jenna B. September 18, 2015
Butchers blocks are meant to last. You just have to properly care for them.
SallyM September 18, 2015
Amanda put a beautiful Boos block in her remodeled kitchen. Amanda , any advice?
Jenna B. September 18, 2015
It took me a bit but I did find that! She used maple. Definitely a consideration.
Dariusz T. September 18, 2015
When it comes to butcher blocks the most important think to consider is the type wood to use. Bamboo and similar woods have tendency to break quickly especially when they come in contract with water or when they are not maintained properly. Oak would be a good choice and if you really want to get the best teak would take the top spot.
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