Stunning Butcher Block Counters . . . Are Not for Everyone

butcher block counter
Butcher block counters are so gorgeous! They evoke French country kitchens and a slower, more thoughtful time.

Kitchen before and after In truth, they are not for everyone. More than one homeowner has rued the day butcher block was chosen, If the finish is not rock hard, they can get stained, gouged and encrusted with years of accumulated foodstuffs.

I visited a home remodel done by aspiring professional chef Ian and his wife. It was a lovely and expensive remodel and included a butcher block counter. The contractor told Ian he would regret that counter, especially in combination with the tall professional-grade faucet he chose. But Ian wanted that look.

A few years later, I contacted Ian and asked about any regrets. I like doing that, getting the old 20-20 retrospective from folks who have remodeled. And sure enough, he hated those blasted counters. They were constantly stained from the faucet overspray. He so wishes he had chosen something rock hard.

But . . . if you’re not an aspiring chef, and you’re fairly careful and diligent about wiping them off, well then I guess you’ll be OK.

Butcher block counter I’m certainly happy for Vanessa of This and That blog. She and her husband stained and installed the gorgeous IKEA butcher block counters you see here. What an improvement fromt the kitchen before (above right).

And, they did it on a budget. Check this out:

Butcher block: (Ikea for the whole kitchen) $393

Sink: (scratch and dent at Home Depot) $67

See a complete tutorial on how this resourceful couple pulled off this graceful project and check out the whole kitchen.

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3 Comments on Stunning Butcher Block Counters . . . Are Not for Everyone

  1. Bobbie

    As a professional kitchen/bath specialist, I would NEVER countenance an undermounted sink with a butcherblock countertop. Mold, mildew, warping, let alone finish issues-OMG! Self-rimmed sinks at the very least should be spec’ed.
    I prefer to use SS with integrated drainboards. Over time,
    all countertop materials will lose that fresh, new look, and at least BB can be sanded and resealed to bring it back. A bit of advice: check the Mohs Scale for your chosen species- the hardness of wood can vary a great deal.

  2. devand

    Do I need to take special care of my new granite counters? I got them done here.

  3. Remodeler Howell Michigan

    As a home remodeler (from Howell Michigan) that specializes in Bathroom and Kitchen remodeling I have installed everything from tile to wood counter tops and I agree 100% that the wood finish installed looks a lot different 6 months from now than it did on the day you installed it.
    I can see maybe lasting 3-5 years may be worth the appearance but honestly I have never seen it last more than 6 months.
    A quick tip however… if you refinish it every 3 months you could keep it going for likely up to 10 years, however it may not be worth the hassle.
    -Bryan (T&B Construction)