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Pros and Cons of Butcher Block Countertops

When choosing new countertops, the possibilities are endless. Granite, quartz, laminate, concrete, solid surface – there’s a myriad of materials to choose from. With the farmhouse trend continuing its upswing, butcher block countertops are coming back in style. Here we’ll explore the pros and cons of butcher block countertops to determine if they’re right for your home.

Pro – Timeless Beauty

Butcher block never goes out of style. It’s wood, and wood will always be a part of home décor. If the color of the wood goes out of style, you can always stain butcher block countertops. This could be the versatile solution you’re looking for, depending on the other factors below.

Con – Frequent Maintenance

Butcher block may seem maintenance-free, but that is far from the case. You must persistently clean and oil the countertops to keep them looking their best. If a liquid spills on the countertop, you need to clean it quickly to avoid staining the wood. Butcher block countertops are not made for cutting on. Thus they should be sealed differently than a butcher block cutting board. It’s important to know the distinction before investing in counters for your home.

Pro – Affordability

Butcher block countertops range in price, but they tend to be more affordable than stone and solid surface countertops. They are not as easy to install as they appear, so installation does add significantly to the material cost. From purely a material standpoint, a slab of butcher block is going to be less expensive than a slab of granite. There are other factors that affect the price though.

Con – Not as Durable as Stone

You cannot set a hot pan on butcher block like you could stone. Of course, you shouldn’t put a hot pan on any countertop surface without a trivet underneath it. Nevertheless, butcher block is much more susceptible to dents, scratches, heat marks, and other issues when compared to stone. If you’re looking for countertops that withstand heavy abuse, butcher block may not be the right choice for you.

Pro – Great for Food Prep Stations

Butcher block countertops can work well on food prep stations. You still need to use a cutting board over the countertop, but if you happen to get a scratch or stain, that’s what the station is made for. Butcher block can be cleaned with soap and water, so you can wipe down food messes when you’re finished. Butcher block is also great for food display areas, such as a coffee bar or buffet in the dining room.

Con – Not Ideal for an Entire Kitchen

Because of its maintenance requirements and lacking durability, butcher block is not ideal for an entire kitchen. Many homeowners say that wood countertops show crumbs and dust more than stone countertops. This means you may have to clean the counters more often than you wood stone or other materials. You can certainly use butcher block throughout your kitchen. You just need to be aware of its flaws.

Are Butcher Block Countertops Right for My Kitchen?

Butcher block countertops can be a beautiful addition to a kitchen, but they are not ideal for all situations. You may be excited about the idea of a giant cutting board for a countertop, but proceed with caution. These countertops are not meant to be used for slicing and general abuse like a cutting board would be. They need persistent care to stay looking great over time.

As a compromise, you could use butcher block as an accent countertop over an island or other feature. For instance, if you have a set of cabinets that are completely separate from the rest, you could use butcher block over that area and tie the color of the wood in somewhere else in the kitchen. The butcher block becomes a design element at that point, purposefully placed to bring warmth into your kitchen.

Our professional kitchen designers would love to help you find the perfect countertops for your home. O’Hanlon Kitchens offers top-quality kitchen remodeling services in Maryland and Pennsylvania. To schedule an in-person design consultation, contact us at 443-285-0558. Your dream kitchen may be just around the corner!


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