Wondering what a butcher block is? They’re those big slabs of wood that have started appearing in place of marble and granite on everyone’s kitchen islands in the past few years. They’re a great alternative to other countertop varieties and can be installed directly onto your cupboards to create a beautiful and functional counter space.
Butcher block countertops are made from sustainable wood that doubles as a cutting surface. They’re easy to use and care for, and basically function like a giant cutting board. Because butcher blocks let you slice and dice right on your counter, they’re an ideal choice for anyone who enjoys experimenting in the kitchen.
Not only are they convenient, but they’re also stunning. Butcher blocks add a unique touch to every kitchen with a look that is both rustic and elegant.
Thinking about a butcher block countertop for your home? Here are a few of the benefits.
Butcher blocks are made of hardwood varieties like wenge wood, mahogany, walnut, maple, and more. This makes them extremely durable and an excellent choice for home chefs. Think of a butcher block as being an extra strong cutting board that you can do all your kitchen work on. They are highly resistant to nicks and scratches and, with the proper care and maintenance, can last for ages.
You may think that butcher blocks seem difficult to clean or could even contribute to bacterial growth. But in fact, they are incredibly easy to maintain. When constructing a butcher block, Florkowskys’ uses special varieties of wood that are naturally antimicrobial. This means that they inhibit the growth of bacteria, making them a safe surface for food preparation. Keep reading for some additional tips to keep yours clean.
Granite, marble, and laminate countertops all have pretty limited uses. Their surfaces are susceptible to wear and tear, and scratch easily. For the most part, materials commonly used to construct counters can only be used as a surface for the cutting boards you actually use to prepare and serve food.
Because butcher blocks are so durable and naturally hygienic, you can use them in the kitchen for numerous purposes. Butcher block countertops can be used for cutting, chopping, and slicing. You can even use them as a serving platter for cheeses, meats, and other foods.
Butcher blocks are visually appealing and can add warmth and character to any kitchen. Because butcher blocks are made out of wood, each block will be unique. You’ll also be able to choose the type of wood and colour that best matches your kitchen aesthetics.
If you have an area of the kitchen that’s an unusual shape, a butcher block countertop is an economical choice since it’s far easier to custom carve wood than it is to shape real or synthetic granites and marbles.
Many of the common materials used to make kitchen countertops are synthetic, incorporating plastic, lacquers, concrete, and more. While they remain a popular choice, they can have a negative impact on the environment. Their production releases harmful chemicals into the atmosphere, and when they need to be replaced, the old countertops will almost never break down.
On the other hand, butcher blocks are made from renewable resources, making them an environmentally friendly choice. They are recyclable and biodegradable. If you want, you can throw your old butcher block right into your own backyard. New sustainable hardwood farming practices have furthered butcher blocks’ status as the countertop choice for nature lovers.
The benefits and potential of a butcher block counter are unlimited! But to reap the rewards, you must take proper care of your butcher block. This will ensure its longevity and hygiene.
You can read all of our care tips here but these are a few butcher block basics:
• Clean it regularly
Butcher blocks are naturally antibacterial, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to take care to clean them. If you leave food on your countertop for too long, it can cause unpleasant odours and potentially damage or stain the wood.
To clean your butcher block countertop, it’s as simple as wiping the surface with a damp cloth or sponge and mild soap after each use.
• Sanitize it
While you may want to use a plastic cutting board for meat, you can sanitize your butcher block countertop pretty easily after using it to slice other foods. To disinfect the butcher block, wipe it down with a solution of one part white vinegar to four parts water. Alternatively, you can use a food-safe disinfectant spray.
• Oil it regularly
Oiling your butcher block countertop will keep it looking and feeling amazing. Oil will bring out the natural colours and patterns of the wood. It will also keep wood from drying out and cracking. When oiling your butcher block, you should do so with food-grade mineral oil or beeswax. Apply a thin layer of oil with a clean cloth and let it sit for several hours or overnight before wiping off any excess. Depending on how often you use your butcher block, you should oil it every 2-4 weeks.
• Avoid heat and moisture
Butcher blocks are durable, but they’re still wood. Excess heat and moisture will negatively impact your butcher block by causing the wood to warp or crack. Avoid placing hot pots or pans that have just come out of the oven or off the stove directly onto your counter. If you spill large amounts of liquid while cooking, be sure to soak them up off your butcher block quickly.
• Call in the professionals
With proper care, your butcher block countertop will look and feel new for many years. But if you use your butcher block regularly, you may occasionally want to call the professionals in to help spruce it up. They’ll be able to sand out scratches and other imperfections and re-oil it with high-grade oils.
At Florkowskys’ Woodworking & Cabinets, we think butcher blocks are a great choice for any home chef. They’re durable, sustainable, and make cooking and cleaning up a whole lot easier. If you’re ready to install a butcher block countertop of your own, Florkowskys’ has over four decades of experience, and we offer butcher blocks in a variety of colours and finishes that can be customized to your preferences.
Come by our showroom to find out how Florkowskys’ experienced woodworkers can design the kitchen of your dreams.