My kitchen remodel is underway. I’m sure you are tired of me posting about it on instagram ; ) But this project has pretty much taken over my entire life! I feel as though I have been excommunicated to the garage until further notice!
So when this all started this is what I thought…. “I’m going to paint my cabinets, install counter tops, and do a backslash” now I get that to someone who doesn’t work on projects all the time, this sounds like a lot! BUT this is my job. I build, paint, and spend countless hours editing photos, and writing these posts up. Not to mention all the social media stuff! I seriously thought this was going to be an open and close project! Obviously it has been to long since I have undertaken a big project! It is never open and close when you are redoing an entire space! Tons of little bitty things pop up all over the place and before you know it, that “couple of weekends project” turns into the “never-ending project”!
So let’s forget about all those little things for a bit and focus on choosing butcher block, mainly because my brain needs a break, and I’m sure you would rather look at pictures of pretty counter tops than pictures of caulked holes and sandpaper ; ) That’s coming soon enough!
This is one of my favorite things to think about when I imagine my finished kitchen. I have always wanted butcher block counters. They are so home-y yet stunning and beautiful. They are simply fabulous! Don’t you agree! However, when I started seriously pursuing these counters, I realized it’s not just grab some wood and stick it on there. There are different types of wood, different ways to finish them, and of course installing them! I’m no expert by any means, but I wanted to take you through my thought process and hours of late night internet searches and share with you how I have come to choose my dream counter tops!
There are lots of different types of wood. You can get cherry, maple, oak, the list continues depending on who you will be purchasing through. At first I thought I wanted dark counter tops. I love dark wood… I really do, but the vision I have for my kitchen does not include dark wood. I want to eventually have dark wood floors in my kitchen/dining area, so I felt like having two different types of dark wood together would be a bit too much. I just decided to go with the natural look!
So here are some examples of what you can find. Miss Mustard Seed has a STUNNING kitchen, and has used the walnut counter tops from Lumber Liquidators. This originally had me thinking dark counters because well… look at that kitchen! I had my mind set on these for a while, but taking my overall style into account, and the end result of how I want my whole kitchen dining room to look, I had to reconsider.
So I moved onto considering something a little more natural like these from White Ironstone Cottage. I love how these look like the could have been taken from outside and just put in the kitchen, no other work necessary. Obviously that’s not the case, but they just feel organic don’t they?
So do some research on the type of wood you are looking for when choosing butcher block. Some are more durable than others which definitely matters if you plan on using them for any type of food prep. This brings us onto our next tip!
The Finishing Coat
How you choose to finish your counter tops will also play into the color you achieve. Here are some of the things I have thought long and hard about!
– Waterlox (which is all Miss Mustard Seed Used on hers)
– Mineral Oil
– Regular ole wood stain
Food Save vs Not
Waterlox and Mineral Oil are both food safe, however they only enhance the type of wood you purchase. So this is where it is important to decide if you want Cherry, which gives you that rich tone with a little bit of red in it, or maple, which is a little more yellowish. You can see a little chart below what some of the different types of wood look like. I headed down to my local Lumber Liquidators to see for myself. I’m an extremely visual person, so the internet can only take me so far! Luckily they had this display of what each type of counter looks like in its natural unfinished state, and how it looks having applied a butcher block oil (that they sell there). After internet shopping, and seeing these first hand, I had no doubt in my mind which one I was going to choose! Even if you decide not to go food safe, choosing the correct type of wood is vital. Different types of wood take stain color differently!
I can’t tell you which one I got (you can probably guess), but that takes away the surprise of the reveal doesn’t it? Here is what each of these are:
1. American Cherry
3. White Oak
5. Builder Grade Maple
Go with YOUR Style
1 and 2 feel a bit more traditional to me, but could easily be worked around into many different styles. 3 and 4 have a very smooth and “flawless” appearance (not that they are in fact flawless – this is wood we are talking about) but I can see these in a modern kitchen for sure! The good thing about butcher block is that it’s very versatile. 5 is a bit rustic showing some of the knots of the wood, naturally I would say this would go in a………….. you guessed it, rustic kitchen. But don’t stop at the obvious! You can totally mix it up.
I love how in this kitchen below the dark “traditional” style wood was used in more of a cottage kitchen. The result is fabulous! So don’t feel limited!
Here are a few more pictures of some stunning butcher blocks to inspire you!
This one I found on Design Sponge. I love the wood paired with the white sink! Of course I love everything white : )
If you don’t intend on using your butcher block to prepare food and prefer to stain it, Stillwater Story shows you how she got this beautiful color!
Vanessa at This and That also shares how she stained hers, also a fabulous color! Not to mention I just love her whole kitchen!
So what is your favorite style? Which one would you choose in the picture above? 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5??
I’ll be sharing a tutorial very soon about installing them, and getting that perfect finished look!
Choosing Butcher Block
In the meantime, when choosing butcher block counters, be sure and head check out Lumber Liquidators! They have fantastic choices at a great price. Sometimes their central warehouse is out of stock online, but just give them a call. They have been so helpful to me when I called a million times before ordering. They can also tell you exactly when a specific counter will be ready to ship if the one you want happens to be out of stock!
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, however Lumber Liquidators did provide me with butcher block counter tops for me to install. As always, all opinions are 100% mine!
Bonnie Mauney says
Love the look of the dark stained one with the white cabinets! gorgeous!
Kimberly @ A Night Owl says
WOW – amazing tips and examples Ashley! I also love the dark stained counters, but they’re all stinkin gorgeous!
Happy Valley Chow says
I love butcher block counter tops and I am so jealous of you right now that you are getting some. Best of luck, can’t wait to see the finished results!
Happy Valley Chow
I’m knee deep in countertop selections and never even thought about butcher block. It looks so warm and pretty! I might have to re-consider. ;)
I can’t wait to see which one you picked. My husband and I looked at butcher block counter tops when we remodeled our house. The selection is amazing.
I am choosing new countertops right now. I have been doing so much research, and I think I am going to go with butcher block too. There are so many choices and things to consider! It gets a bit overwhelming. This post is a great roundup of all the important info. Thanks for pulling it all together – very helpful!
You are very welcome Megan! THanks for stopping by! You are going to love the butcher block! I’m just finishing up applying the waterlox to mine and hope to get them installed this weekend! I need my kitchen back, lol
Did you stain and then waTer lox and where do I get water lox
capturing joy with kristen duke says
That looks AMAZING!!!
Thanks so much Kristen! We are loving them!!
Dawn Williams says
We’re thinking of doing butcher block but I have a few questions. Can you put anything hot on them? Are they sanitary at all? Meaning if I cut chicken on a cutting board and got a bit on the counter is it pours like granite? Thanks for all your help. This article was super helpful.