Rock maple butcher block kitchen countertop for food preparation
This article was updated on 06/27/20.
A butcher block countertop made of rock maple in the modern or vintage kitchen combines beauty, functionality, and durability. Its easy to maintain with mineral oil and bees wax.
Remodel Your Kitchen with a Butcher Block Kitchen Countertop
There arent many things that reveal the functionality and the curb appeal of a contemporary or vintage kitchen space as much as its countertops. When most kitchens are on the drawing board or are under consideration for a much needed remodeling project, the countertops are one of the first objects to be considered.
And of course, its a big factor affecting the projects price tag. If youre remodeling your kitchen in order to make it stylish and functional, youll have to know how butcher block countertops are installed.
This type of kitchen counter is usually constructed of pieces of rock maple or some other hardwood, laminated together. Hardwood is known for its beauty and durability.
While youre replacing your kitchen countertops, you might want to consider matching the style and color of your cabinet doors.
Tools for Installing a Butcher Block Countertop
1/4 Lag bolts (lag screws)
Ratchet and socket for installing bolts
Countertop Project Preparation
One consideration is the age of your home and kitchen. If you have a vintage kitchen youll probably want to make all efforts to keep that retro kitchen look. There are special considerations for restoring vintage kitchen cabinets.
Unless you have built the butcher block countertop yourself, you undoubtedly had the dimensions taken and had it custom made. Either way, the wood must be sealed to avoid any warping or cracking because of moisture or lack of it.
Nevertheless, like any wood product, bring it into your home several days before installation to let the wood stabilize with your homes interior conditions.
Prevent Warping and Finish the Wood
As soon as youre ready to begin installation, youll need to make all the cuts needed. Then its crucial to seal the countertops open wood grain rapidly. This is to prevent cracking. Finishes used for this are oils formulated specifically for cutting boards or quality bees wax.
Installing the Countertop
A butcher block countertop is heavy and needs a good solid foundation. So it needs to be mounted on a 3/4 plywood surface, preferably exterior grade plywood. When humidity in the kitchen is elevated, butcher blocks will tend to absorb the moisture despite the rock maples tight grain structure. This will cause expansion. During times of less humidity, such as in the winter, it will contract.
When installing your new butcher block, remember to make allowances for humidity changes. Most cabinetmakers slot all the mounting holes allowing the countertop a degree of freedom. If yours has been slotted, make sure that your bolts are placed in the middle of the slots.
This will allow for both high and low moisture conditions. If the slots is arent there, fix this yourself by drilling holes in your plywood 3/8 bigger than the lag screws shaft.
Securing Your Countertop
Youll use a washer between the bolt head and the plywood. Pre-drill the underside of the butcher block
with a bit thinner than the lag bolts. Then attach your butcher block countertop to the plywood base from
beneath with the lag bolts.
The length of your lag bolts depends on the thickness of the block so use bolts that are long enough to penetrate half of the way through your block. One bolt each linear foot is enough to be sure its secure. You will find it easier to screw the bolts in if you rub a small bit of bar soap on the threads.
Now the installation is done and you can start enjoying your new butcher block countertop. Keep in mind that when it gets in bad shape from regular use, you just restore its natural beauty with light sanding and then resealing it.
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About the Author:
Kelly R. Smith was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.