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Butcher Block Countertop Cost Guide for 2019

We put together a butcher block countertop cost guide which includes the prices of all types of these countertops as well as tips on maintenance.

If you are looking to achieve a traditional feel with a touch of organic warmth for your kitchen, then your choice of countertop material should be butcher block. These types of countertops add an authentic appeal to your space, they are cozy, inviting and have a grain appeal that brings an element of classic traditional look that is simply charming.

Butcher blocks are made from wooden strips that are cut and glued together to form a thick and sleek slab. Not only do butcher block provide you with a functional and a sturdy space, but they also have a timeless beauty that blends in with other parts of your kitchen such as the cabinets and wooden floors. They are particularly stable, a quality that makes them ideal for your multifunctional countertops.

Butcher blocks have been around for years and are most popular for making kitchen islands. However, when it comes to countertops, granite, and quartz, which are some of the most popular countertop options can feel a bit cold if used in the entire kitchen. Butcher blocks create a contrast with an earthy grain like appeal which brings a nice feeling of warmth.

Butcher blocks come with a host of advantages and benefits for your kitchen. Here are some of the reasons why should consider installing butcher blocks for your kitchen countertops.

A Traditional Classic Appeal

Butcher blocks have a warm natural effect that effortlessly creates a cozy and inviting ambiance. They bring about a classic and timeless look for your kitchen that no other countertop material can match particularly for wood lovers.

The wood tones and the grain appeal looks very attractive in your kitchen and tend to set your kitchen in a timeless colonial theme with a touch of elegance. More so, the bocks can be sanded, sealed and stained to match your kitchen islands, floor and cabinets.

Adds a Unique Character to Your KitchenButcher block countertops create a unique appearance for your kitchen that is warm and inviting. They make a kitchen feel warmer, bright and different in a good way. Butcher block countertops effortless blend in with wooden floors and create a contrast that makes your kitchen space to stand out. If you feel your kitchen is a bit dull, adding butcher block countertops will make it shine and add character to it.

Creates a Fabulous Style and Contrast

Butcher block countertops can blend in with different types of materials and bring out the most beautiful contrast. For example, they will mix other countertop materials such as marble, granite, quartz, stainless steel. This makes them a great choice for your kitchen countertops because you can typically achieve any style you want with this material.

For example, if you have white kitchen cabinets and drawers, you can break the look by matching butcher block countertops with your wooden floors. The contrast will give your kitchen a fabulous, timeless classic look and make the room appear warm and inviting. If you have stainless steel fixtures or appliances, you can install cherry butcher block countertops for a beautiful contrast that balances everything in your kitchen.

In addition, butcher block countertops are available in wide range of colors. This gives you an opportunity to create a style of your choice that goes well with your kitchen and the theme your home altogether. For example, teak and cherry have a dark, dramatic effect appeal that looks so stunning on your countertops. If you prefer a classic timeless feel you can go for oak. If you need your kitchen to a have a modern feel but still maintain the look of wood, bamboo butcher block countertops will be ideal for you.

The style choices when it comes to butcher block countertops are endless. This countertop material gives you an option to define your style even further by settling for a specific type of wood grain. You can opt to go for edge grain or end grain surface depending on your preference and style.

They Are Durable and Easy To Repair

Butcher blocks countertops are sturdy, durable and strong. They handle the pressure of kitchen activities well without getting damaged. They are pretty good at hiding marks left by knives or any other sharp object in the kitchen, and so it will serve for years and still look elegant. The butcher block countertop surface if well maintained can last for almost 20 years, which is almost at par with the ever mighty durable granite countertops.

It’s a functional countertop material that is easy on your dishes but takes a beating like no other countertop materials. With proper maintenance, butcher block countertops can serve you for a very long as they age gracefully.

They are popular because of their low maintenance requirements. With just a wet towel, you can easily clean the smooth surface, and the countertop will be looking fresh and vibrant in just a matter of seconds. Additionally, they are easily repairable. In case they get scratched, chipped or stained or discolored by water, you can just sand them and maybe do a little bit of wood filling. This way you will have the countertop surface looking as good as new. No need of going through the pains of replacing your countertops all over again because of stains and a few marks.

Easy To Maintain

If properly maintained, butcher block countertops are surprisingly easy to maintain. Most countertop materials such as granite, soapstone, marble and even concrete have to be maintained as well, and each has its requirement and maintenance routine. If you seal wood countertops properly, they become so easy to maintain.

They Are Affordable and Relatively Easy to Install

Butcher blocks are more affordable countertops materials as compared to other countertop materials in the market. If you are handy enough or love DIY projects, butcher block countertops are relatively easy to install. All you will need is to acquire a few tools that you might already have in your home and time.

Types/Designs of Butcher Block and Their Related Costs

Butcher block comes in three design types namely:

  1. Edge Grain
  2. Face grain/flat grain
  3. End Grain

The three-grain options have their distinct functions depending on the intended chores. Your choice of grain option will depend on the intended function and preference. The prices listed on each of grain category below are for common types of wood and have a single edge. The prices do not include the cost of finish.

Edge Grain

This the most common butcher block construction style. It’s known for its durability. It makes strong and stable countertops and its way less expensive as compared to the other options. It’s designed by placing the edges of the boards on their sides and joining them in such a way that their narrow edges foam a working surface.

The boards in this particular design can be laid in a single continuous length without foaming any joints in between. Or, they can they can be laid in random lengths with pieces of boards attached in a finger-jointed manner. The edge grain design resembles wood flooring and has a less busy look. A 2ft x 2ft block of edge grain butcher block cost around $175.

Flat/ Face Grain

The boards in flat grain design are laid flat and adjoined with their widths to form a wide surface that acquires a streamlined appearance. This option displays the decorative pattern of wood grain, and it’s considered to be more appealing and attractive.

However, the face grain butcher block design is known to be susceptible to knife cuts marks that result from chopping vegetables and other kitchen activities and therefore it’s less suitable for kitchen countertops. You can use it for non-working surfaces or simply as a table top. A 2ft x 2ft of flat grain butcher block will cost around $123.

End Grain

End grain butcher block is the strongest and most durable among the above options. It’s also the most expensive option as compared to flat grain and edge grain. It’s ideal for working countertops that take a lot of chopping and cutting because it hides knife marks very well. This option is also very popular with professional chefs and the surface of this type of a block it’s quite gentle on knife blades.

End grain butcher blocks are made by cutting the boards into small rectangular lengths which are then positioned in an upright position to form a checkered look. The ends are usually noticeable on the top surface. A 2ft x 2ft block of end grain design will cost you around $299.

Cost of Butcher Block Countertops

The cost of butcher block countertops differs depending on various factors such as the type of material, whether it’s finished or unfinished, size among many others. The average cost of butcher block ranges from $39.87 per square foot to $56.30 square foot. If you have an average sized kitchen that has countertop area of about 30 square foot, you will spend around $1200 to $2520.

Types of Butcher Blocks

The cost of butcher block countertops varies depending on the material of wood used. Butcher block countertops can be made from different varieties of hardwood. To obtain a butcher block, the wood is usually cut into a standard size of 11/2 inches in thickness and 25″ in depth. The measurements can increase in from 6 inches all the way to 48 inches.

The block can either be left raw of finished. A raw butcher block is mostly referred to as unfinished, and it particularly has no edges, and, it’s not sealed. Some home improvement stores specialize in unfinished home furnishings, and you are likely to find raw butcher blocks in such stores.

The finished butcher blocks are ones that have been sanded, buffed, sealed, have edges and are already oiled ready for installation. They are ideal for working surfaces, especially for chopping and cutting. In any case, if they get stains or scratches, you can simply sand them. The finished butcher blocks are normally straight and have a rounded top and bottom edge.

Butcher blocks are usually made from different varieties of wood. Each type of wood comes with a different price tag. Different types of wood varieties have their distinct differences. The choice of wood for your butcher block countertops will depend on your taste and requirements. Here are some of the different types of woods used to make butcher block countertops and some of their estimated prices. The prices indicated are for raw/ unfinished wood.

Maple

Maple butcher block countertops are more of a traditional choice. They feature a light color and have fine, clear grain. Even though maple butcher blocks have a smooth texture with a flat grain, they are durable, strong and very resistant. This makes it an ideal choice for kitchen countertops materials and it’s actually one the most popular wood options for butcher block countertops. Maple butcher block countertops cost about $83 per square foot.

Cherry

Cherry butcher blocks have a natural rich red color. They can also feature a red-brown color which tends to get darker into a deep-brown color as it ages. It has different textures ranging from wavy, to straight streaks and sometimes it can be curly. Cherry butcher blocks that have end grains that face upwards are considered to be the strongest.

However, cherry butcher blocks are not among the most durable options, but it makes fabulous looking countertops. This butcher block wood option cost about $152 per square foot.

Bamboo

Bamboo butcher block countertops are durable, strong and practical for working surfaces. They are eco-friendly and are considered to be an environmentally friendly choice. Apart from being durable and resistant, bamboo butcher blocks have a natural microbial making them ideal for kitchen countertops. This butcher block material can be darkened using a variation of colors in the finish. They cost about $72 per square foot.

Birch

Birch butcher block comes from a fast-growing tree. As a result, they feature the associated rings on the surface which creates an interesting effect on countertops. It has fine grain with a light color tone that tends to darken as the wood ages. It is considered to be relatively inexpensive as compared to other types of butcher block wood. Birch butcher block cost about $34 per square foot.

Teak

Teak is considered to be exotic and an excellent choice of wood that makes a statement in your kitchen. Teak is naturally beautiful, and features a medium brown color with tone of gold and orange hues. It is highly textured with sharp grain making it ideal for a stylish modern kitchen. Unlike other types of wood that have to be applied with oil to make them more resistant to water, teak has its natural oil which is retained in the wood even after it has been processed and manufactured. Teak butcher blocks cost about $184 per square foot.

Hickory

Hickory butcher blocks feature a reddish brown tone with a warm effect. It is considered to be an exotic choice of wood, which comes from a heavy wood making it very durable. It has a beautiful texture that makes it ideal for a modern kitchen setting. Hickory butcher blocks cost about $30 per square foot.

Zebrawood

This option of wood originates from Africa and features light grains which appear very attractive. It is a heavy wood making it ideal for butcher block countertops. It is durable, strong and stable. It costs about $72 per square foot.

Red oak

It is a timeless option that is ideal for a colonial style kitchen. It features a golden brown color with a varied grain pattern. It creates a warm effect in your kitchen and blends in perfectly with other surfaces. Red oak butcher block cost about $4 per square foot.

American cherry

American cherry butcher blocks are considered to be a traditional choice that make a timeless statement for your kitchen countertops. They feature reddish brown tones and have a smooth texture. American cherry butcher blocks cost about $152 per square foot.

These are just but a few among the many choices of butcher block wood options. The choices are many, and your preferences, requirements, and budget will determine the kind of wood to settle for when installing butcher block countertops. Butcher block usually measure about 1.5 to 2.5 inches thick. If you opt for blocks with end grains displayed on the surface like the case with cherry butcher blocks, the sizes in thickness are around 4 inches.

Cost of Installing Butcher Block Countertops

One the advantage of butcher block countertops is that they are relatively easy to install. If you have time by your side or you are a DIY enthusiast, you can manage to install the counters by yourself. However, it’s important to note that the process will take time and you will have to buy the necessary tools and have proper knowledge of how to use them.

If you cannot manage to save time for a DIY or you feel you are not skilled enough for the installation, you should hire a professional to do the installation for you. The cost of installation will include the labor charges for the contractor and cost of materials. You can also choose to purchase the butcher block countertop materials yourself and negotiate with your contractor to charge you for the installation process only.

Here are the installation costs for butcher block countertops:

Cost of butcher block counter top – the estimated cost of countertop itself will also include the extra material required to cover for overage during the trimming and fitting process. It will also include enough material for repairs. In addition, it will include transportation charges to your home. Therefore, if you are installing butcher block countertops for a surface area of about 100 square feet, expect to spend approximately $3,250 to $4600 to purchase the countertops.

Labor charges – If you hire professional to do the installation expect to spend on labor charges. A professional contractor will charge an hourly rate of about $58 to $77 per hour. If you are installing counters for an area of about 100 square feet, it will take the contractor approximately 10 hours to complete the installation.

The job involves the acquisition of materials and equipment. The contractor has to do adequate planning and preparation, step-up the site of installation and materials, install the countertops, and then do a clean-up after installation. The total cost of installing butcher block countertops for 100 square foot countertop surface comes to about $580 to $770.

If you are installing butcher block countertops that have several seams, it will take more time during installation. Similarly, if you have more than one sink, the installation will take more time since the contractor has to use more than one cutout. These are some of the factors that can add to the cost of installing butcher block countertops. This is because you will have to factor in the additional time and the extra materials needed to accommodate these specifications. Most homeowners spend an average cost of about $4,035 to $5,135 to install butcher block countertops, which includes the cost of materials and labor charges.

Cost of supplies and materials needed installation – The installation process will require other necessary supplies such as fasteners, glue, caulking, sealants. And fabrication consumables. For 100 square feet countertop, expect to spend approximately $215.

Cost of equipment allowance – these are costs associated with special equipment and tools needed for quality and efficient installation. These include pneumatic finish nailers, belt sanders, and electric planners. The costs are on rental basis. Expect to spend about $60 -$350 for a single job.

Additional Cost Factors

Before a contractor gives you a quote, they have to take measurements of your countertop area and make an assessment. This way, they will know the number of materials needed and get the right size of countertops material that will fit the area correctly.

However, there are other things that you will need to discuss with your contractor that might add to the overall cost of butcher block countertop installation. These are not usually part of the cost installation quote, but you will be charged for extra cost if they come up. They include:

Removing existing countertop – if you are remodeling your kitchen and want to replace the existing countertops with butcher block countertops, you will be charged for the removal. The process will involve protecting the flooring, removing some cabinetry and appliances that might be close to the countertops. The contractor will also remove the countertop itself from the surface and dispose of the materials which will include dumping charges. For a 100 square feet countertop area, the job will take about 3 hours. Expect to spend about $56 to $300 for the removal process.

Installation involves dealing with Plumbing system, HVAC, electrical wiring, and ventilation – If the installer has to deal with any of the above systems and alter them to accommodate the new butcher block countertops, you should expect to spend more on the overall cost of installation. This will happen if you are remodeling your kitchen and changing the layout of your countertops or you need to bring the said systems up to the required codes during the installation.

Whichever way, if you have to alter the mentioned systems, the contractor has to be licensed and experienced. They will also need to acquire the necessary permits before making any alterations.

Permits – Installing countertops often does not require you to obtain permits unless the installation involves altering the electrical and plumbing system. However, it’s advisable that you inquire from your local authority if there are any permits needed just to be on the safe side. If it’s confirmed that you need a permit, you should discuss with your contractor to ascertain who should get them.

DescriptionSquare feet/quantityAverage cost
Cost of purchasing butcher block countertops. Includes the cost the blocks, waste overage, and extra material for repairs. Also, the cost includes transportation charges100 square foot counter area$3250 - $4600
Cost of labor - the installation process includes preparation, drawing a layout, getting the necessary materials, set up and clean up.Charges per hour - $58 to $77
The job takes approximately 10 hours
$580 - $770
Supplies – include fasteners, caulk, sealants, glue, fabrication consumables, etc.100 square feet$215
Equipment allowance - for a quality job. Includes the cost of renting pneumatic nailer, belt sander and electric planner. One job$60 - $350
Getting rid of existing countertop - preparation, removing any cabinetry that might be close to the countertop, removing the countertop material, disposing of the materials. The job takes around 3 hours$56 - $300

Other Essential Cost Considerations

When planning to install butcher block countertops, it’s important to take your take and consider your options and what’s available. Butchery blocks are available in standard precut sizes, which you can purchase as they are and do a little of trimming. However, you can also buy raw butcher blocks and cut them to the required sizes during installation.

The precut option is usually referred to as off the shelf, and it’s most popular among most homeowners. They are already precut into specific sizes which makes them easy to install. They have little wastage since you do not have to keep on cutting them to fit, you just need to do a bit of trimming during installation.

The off the shelf butcher block usually come in sizes of about 251/8 inch in both sides i.e. front to back. With this, you make a countertop of about 24 inches wide with an 11/8 inch overhang. This means that the countertop will be about 11/1/8 inches thick. Regarding length, the pre-cut blocks measure about 6 to 8 feet, and they usually have an extra length, just a little to allow for trimming.

Off-shelf butcher block countertops-precutAverage costs
Oak – 98 inches $190
Beech – 74 inches $130
Birch - 98 inches $170

The most bought size of the pre-cut options is usually the 2ftx2ft size. This is the ideal size for an average sized kitchen. If you are not planning to install your entire countertop area with butcher blocks but intend to mix it with other countertop materials, the pre-cut sizes are ideal for you. They cost about $20 to $25 for the 2ft x2ft sizes.

Important DIY Tips

The greatest advantage of installing butcher block countertops is the fact that, unlike other countertop materials, you can manage to install them by yourself. The process might be quite involving and time-consuming, but if you are handy enough, you can successfully install the counters on your own.

It will take longer than it would with a professional, but in the end, you will have saved yourself a great deal of money on labor charges. All you need is to make sure you take the right measurements for your countertop and gather the necessary tools and supplies required for the job.

However, as you embark on the installation job, make sure you take into consideration the following essential tips.

Take the right measurements of the countertop area – These are measurements that will enable you to know the quantity and sizes of butcher block countertop materials that will fit correctly in your kitchen. Make sure you have included the overhang allowance together with the extra material to cater for overage and repairs.

Consider your sinks and faucets – first you need to take into account the number of sinks you have, in some cases they can be more than two. After this, make sure you get a template that will suit the sink area and around the faucets. Take the right measurements so that the template fits correctly as well.

Remove the existing countertop material – before you start installing the new butcher block countertop you need to get rid of the existing countertop material. Make sure you follow the product’s instructions especially when installing the sinks and the faucet area.

How to Take Care and Maintain Your Butcher Block Countertops

Butcher block countertops are beautiful, elegant pieces that give character to your kitchen. If properly taken care of, wooden countertops can maintain their timeliness charm for years to come. This masterpiece counter material is simply gorgeous and gives your kitchen a special kind of warmth that brightens even the dullest kitchen. They hold up to all forms of abuse from knife cuts to pot marks.

However, as much we love butcher block countertops, regular care and maintenance is a must if at all they are they to remain stunning as they should. Taking care of your wooden countertops prevents them from occasional splintering. It also keeps the surface clean and prevents it from attracting and absorbing food stains which can leave ugly marks.

Here are important regular maintenance routine practices that will keep your butcher block countertops looking stunning and clean all the time.

Regular Oiling

Butcher block counters require regular oiling at least once a month in the first year of installation. After the first year, you can schedule the oiling routine to be twice a year. Since the countertop is mostly used as a food preparation area, you need to be careful with the kind of oil you use to oil butcher block countertops. You need to use food grade oils just to be on the safe side.

Below are some of the oils you can use to oil your butcher block countertops:

  • Coconut oil
  • Food grade mineral oil
  • Pure tung oil
  • Walnut oil/almond oil
  • Raw linseed oil

The above oils have their distinct benefits, but most importantly they are safe to use on countertop surfaces. Mineral oil is usually a popular choice for most homeowners. Its available in most stores and pharmacies.

When choosing an oil to use on your countertops, you need to be aware of oils to avoid. These include oils that are used for cooking such as vegetable oil, flax oil, olive oil among many other culinary oils. These type oils can easily become rancid and may end up contaminating the food that is prepared on the surface of the countertops.

Other oils such as Danish oil which contains chemicals such as mineral spirits should not be used on butcher block countertops. Also, you should avoid using stain on your wooden countertops. They also contain chemicals that can be harmful to your body. It doesn’t matter whether you seal your stained countertops, the seal will eventually come off and expose your food to the chemicals in the stain.

Additionally, you should avoid using polyurethane to oil your kitchen countertops. As much it can protect your butcher block countertops, it contains harmful chemicals that should not be ingested.

Clean and Seal Your Butcher Block Countertops

Butcher block countertops need to be cleaned deeply at least once a year using hot soapy water. When deep cleaning, scrub the surface using a scrubbing pad to be able to get rid of food particles that may have stuck in the wood over time. After scrubbing, rinse the surface with hot water. You can sanitize the surface after cleaning using a solution of water and white vinegar.

To remove odors and stains, make a paste of lemon juice and ¼ cup of salt and scrub it on the surface where you poured the vinegar solution. After scrubbing the surface, rinse it off with clean water and get off the water on the surface as much as possible.

Once you have removed water from the surface, pour mineral oil on the freshly cleaned surface and use a soft cloth or paper towel to rub it in. Keep adding more oil as it soaks in the wood until the surface absorbs all the oil. Once the wooden surface stops absorbing the oil, you can wipe the excess oil using a paper towel. At this point, your butcher block countertops are sparkling clean and well-sealed.

Always Protect Your Butcher Block Countertops from Heat

One of the downsides of butcher block counter blocks is that they are not heat resistant. Thus, if you want to maintain them, you have to keep trivets and coasters close always.

Conclusion

Butcher block countertops are timeless stunning and beautiful additions to your kitchen. They can transform your kitchen into a colonial, traditional look and still maintain a classic modern style. They are durable stable and functional masterpiece in your kitchen that will serve you for years to come and still retain their beauty with minimal maintenance.

If you planning to install butcher block countertops, you have an endless choice of wood, from American cherry, to maple, to bamboo among many others. Each of these has a distinct character, and the choice boils down to your budget and your countertop requirements. Whichever the case, installing butcher block countertops comes with lots of benefits, and top it up they are beautiful, warm and cozy.

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