Countertops, whether made of stone or not, are the cornerstone of a kitchen layout. They catch the eye almost as soon as you walk into the room. Their color and design pattern anchor the other design motifs.
33 North Homes & Construction offers a range of kitchen countertop solutions and would like to highlight butcher block countertops in conjunction with other countertop materials. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, countertops are crucial workspaces. We depend on them to be stain resistant, durable, and easy to use.
Butcher Block Countertop Features
Butcher block countertops, like actual butcher blocks, consist of wood, usually dense, sturdy wood like maple and walnut. The butcher block style does not require that the countertop material functions as a cutting surface, so you can fashion less durable wood types into butcher block designs.
Butcher block countertops use thick slabs of wood. Their appearance varies depending on the type of wood and the orientation of the wood grain. You can use a sealant such as polyurethane on the wood to prevent it from absorbing water, food stains, or odors. Alternatively, you can use mineral oil to keep out stains. The result is a combination of a rustic and visually pleasing appearance and sturdy construction.
Alternatives to Butcher Block Countertops
To appreciate the benefit of butcher block countertops, it is essential to consider how they differ from other types of countertops. Butcher block designs have several advantages, but they are also relatively expensive and require some maintenance.
Laminate countertops consist of layers of wood covered with a layer of polymer plastic. Often the outer layer bears a design that resembles wood or granite. The top layer can pull away from the wood layer, or delaminate, exposing the relatively fragile wooden layers. Laminate countertops are less expensive than other wooden designs but also less durable.
Granite and marble countertops are durable and visually striking. The downsides of granite countertops are that they are heavy, expensive, and difficult to fix if damaged. The same is true of most slate and stone countertops.
Developing Your Kitchen Counter Designs
A countertop by itself is only a surface. Your new butcher block countertop needs to work within the context of a well-designed kitchen counter. As you plan your counter, consider your movements as you cook, clean, and navigate through your kitchen space.
Consider the height of your kitchen counter, bearing in mind that different family members are likely to be more comfortable at different heights.
Explore different kitchen counter configurations, pay close attention to the directions you need to move, and create clear lines of sight to other house areas.
Some homeowners, for instance, create countertops and islands that they can access from adjacent rooms of the house, transforming the counter into a waystation between the kitchen and the living room or dining room.
When deciding whether or not to use butcher block, do not neglect the uses you expect your kitchen counter to have.
● Are children going to be playing at your kitchen counter?
● Will you be cooking and baking frequently?
● Are you planning to place hot or sharp objects on your kitchen counter?
If you can anticipate the sources of wear and tear that your counter will face, you can discuss them with your contractor.
Types of Wood for Kitchen Countertops
The most important decision to make when choosing a type of wood for a countertop is whether you plan to use the countertop as a cutting surface or just as a surface for placing dishes and cookware.
Using a stronger type of wood, like maple, gives you a more robust surface but might cost more.
Using a less sturdy type of wood allows a broader range of colors and designs and can save money, although it reduces the countertop’s functionality.
If you consider a typical piece of wood in three dimensions, there are three different styles of butcher block based on which side of the wood forms the countertop surface.
Edge grain is known for its stability and is a standard style for wood countertops. In the edge grain design, the long, thin edge of the wood forms the countertop surface. The pattern is a series of narrow stripes.
In end grain design, the smallest dimension of the wood forms the countertop surface. It creates a sturdy grid-shaped pattern.
Face grain design places the broad flat surface of the wood upward as the countertop surface. The wood grain is more exposed in face grain orientations, making the countertop more vulnerable to scratches.
Kitchen Remodel Ideas
Once you’ve decided to incorporate a butcher block countertop into your next kitchen remodel, you have many options, ranging from a simple L-shaped countertop or an island to a more complex countertop with irregular or multilevel shapes. As you develop your ideas, consider options such as:
● Integrated knife blocks and cutting boards
● Drawers and containers for condiments and utensils
● Folding or moveable countertops to increase the functionality of counter space
● Integrating outlets and computer connectors or devices into the countertop
If you are interested in butcher block, let the 33 North Homes & Construction team help you develop the perfect blend of materials, design, and installation plan for you.
Professional Butcher Block Installation from 33 North Homes & Construction
33 North Homes & Construction has spent 15 years perfecting quality kitchen remodeling techniques, including installing high-quality butcher block countertops. We go beyond construction to help our customers achieve their dream kitchens. As a family-owned business, we care more about the years of joy a kitchen can provide you than making a quick sale.
We’ve completed more than 550 kitchen remodels, and you can see what we’ve achieved in our kitchen remodeling portfolio. To learn more about your options for kitchen remodeling, including the butcher block designs that we carry, fill out our contact form. We look forward to working with you!
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Kitchens provide many functions, making them essential in any home. More than places for cooking and eating, kitchens host countless memories with family and friends.