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Butcher Block Countertops: Maintenance and Upkeep

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Creation Cabinetry has had the pleasure of working with hundreds of homeowners to help turn their dream kitchens into realities. That being said, we’ve dealt with all kinds of people and personalities throughout the building, designing, and installation process. With such varying degrees of opinions and styles, we’ve come across quite a few customers that opted to utilize butcher block countertops rather than taking the traditional granite, marble, or quartz route.

What we’ve come to find with butcher block countertops is that people are either a) infatuated with the material and the look that it offers or b) completely turned off by the idea because of the maintenance and upkeep required to keep it in pristine condition.

While the upkeep concerns are certainly legitimate, it’s not something that should keep homeowners from purchasing butcher block as their countertop material, as the worries are often overblown. Yes, you do have to maintain the countertops, but the process of doing so is relatively simple.

To ensure that the surface stays clean and germ free, simply wipe the area down with hot, soapy water and rinse with a vinegar-water solution. Be sure not to let the water sit on the countertop for an extended period of time, though, as it’s possible that stagnant water can cause mold over time – this is more so a problem with dish strainers and things of that nature.

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Other household countertop cleaners can be used, just make sure that the cleaning product isn’t abrasive in any way; doing a little bit of research on said product before hand can go a long way in the perseverance of your butcher block countertop. The cleaning process is pretty straight forward and usually isn’t the aspect of butcher block that turns people away – it’s the finishing and re-finishing of the surface that does so.

In an effort to keep butcher block countertops in tip-top shape, it is recommended that homeowners keep up with the oiling process. Almond, Coconut, Pure Tung and Walnut oils are considered to be the best options for this, as canola and vegetable oil have a tendency to get rancid.

To apply oil to the butcher block, spread a healthy amount along the surface of the countertop and wipe it down with a wash rag, paper towel, or hand. Doing so will help increase the absorption rate of the oil. If you happen to notice areas that look dried out, simply apply more oil to the area. It’s possible that you’ll need to apply a number of additional coats – do so until the wood no longer accepts the oil, and be sure to cover the sides and edges in addition to the top of the countertop.

Keep in mind that the amount of oil needed will vary from block to block, and some countertops will require more time and attention than others. That being said, homeowners should try to re-oil their butcher block countertops at least once a month.

If you have any further questions regarding butcher block countertops, feel free to contact Creation Cabinetry at (610) 562-4700 or reach out to us via email at You can also find us on Facebook if that’s more your style.

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