The cost of an oak butcher block countertop compared to a solid wood kitchen countertop is roughly about $15 to $20 per square foot. Birch is a pale, light-colored wood with a fairly even, straight grain. The grain is also fairly even in texture – no too dramatic or overly pronounced.
Solid wood kitchen countertops are built by gluing hardwood veneers to a steel or wood core and then using a process called sanding to buff the veneer surfaces. This results in a smooth, flat surface that has subtle edges. The ends of the edges run a bit sharper than the center, so that when the surface is textured, you can see the natural curl of the wood edge grain.
Hardwoods like birch are beautiful to look at and durable enough to last for decades. However, the best wood for a butcher block counter top is red oak or maple. They are slightly darker than birch and have a distinct grayish tint. They are also very tough and resist stains much better than do lighter woods. There are some advantages to using these woods over softwoods. They are easier to work with because they require fewer nails and are more resistant to splitting and cracking.
If you decide to build your own kitchen countertops, the best wood for a butcher block countertops is red oak or maple. These woods are naturally durable and do not need to be treated with preservatives like some hardwoods do. When you compare hardwood kitchen countertops with butcher block countertops, you will see that the former is much sturdier and will last longer.
Another option you have for butcher block countertops is to leave them unfinished and paint them yourself. This is a great way to get the look of the wood you love without spending a fortune on the project. You will want to use a high quality wood stain that is recommended by professional carpenters. You will also want to buy some wood brushes to buff the finish and to remove any scratches and other flaws. Once you’ve sanded the unfinished surface down, you will then want to stain it a color that is close to the color of your choice. Some people choose to use a mineral oil finish as a sealer, but I find that this is messy and tends to leave a funny smell in the air.
Oak, maple and birch are common woods used for making butcher block counter stops. The advantage of using these woods is that they are easy to work with and they are strong and durable. They can be used indoors and outdoors and they can provide both beauty and durability for any type of kitchen. Another plus to these types of countertops is that they will blend well with many different styles and themes in your outdoor kitchen.
Prefinished butcher block materials generally come in four different colors: white, black, red and wood tone. All four colors have the ability to easily match most kitchen cabinets, appliances and other fixtures in your kitchen. One thing you need to be careful about is choosing an oak material that has been stained or painted. Many wood materials are more porous than others and these can be easily damaged if they are not properly protected.
If you have decided to use a wood stain, be sure to choose one that is designed specifically for use on butcher block materials. You may also want to consider purchasing a wood conditioner to protect your new countertop from damage caused by food and liquids. Be sure to clean the tops of your butcher block project with a wood conditioner before applying mineral oil. Mineral oil is a penetrating agent that can help seal the edges of your butcher block counter top and keep it from sliding around while you cook on it. It can also help reduce the appearance of lifted edges caused by moisture seeping up through the material.