You’ve probably heard the term “butcher block”. We’ve seen a lot of confusion around this wording. At some point in time, many people started calling any solid wood tables or countertops “butcher block”. (Not to point fingers or anything, but we’re thinking it may have been thanks to Ikea) There is a difference between the two, and treating your counter the same way you would a butcher block could result in long term damage to the wood. So, we think it’s important to make the distinction.
What is a butcher block, anyways?
A butcher block was originally used as a surface for taking large portions of meat and splitting them into smaller pieces using a meat cleaver.
While the butcher block was originally using tree rounds, we evolved and machines became more commonplace. With these new developments, woodworkers were able to perfect the butcher block to increase durability and make sure that it was sanitary.
As things evolved, the thick wood surface was usually made of a hardwood species – a preferred choice because of its durability. The material was oriented with the grain pointing upwards. This made it more durable so that it could stand up to all of the hacking over time. Some butcher blocks were so durable that a butcher could use them for the entirety of their career. However, when they did wear down, a professional woodworker could flatten it and refinish the surface, making it good as new!
While we don’t make butcher blocks, we do make beautiful solid wood countertops.
Solid wood countertops are different to butcher blocks in that they cannot handle the intensity of hacking meat. While these days, many use the term “butcher block” when referring to solid wood countertops, it’s important to understand that they were not designed to handle the same stress as traditional butcher blocks.
Your solid wood countertop can however, handle food and spills such as coffee, tea, wine, etc. Their resilience is thanks to their food safe finish. All of our custom solid wood countertops are finished with an environmentally friendly, food safe finish. No nasty chemicals, ever!
Wood countertops offer a great balance of bringing warmth and elegance to your space while maintaining function in the kitchen. These countertops are resilient – just please don’t take a meat cleaver to it! That’s when you need a butcher block countertop, and we don’t make those. But hey, maybe we can make you a custom cutting board instead! 😉