Our clients often ask us what type of wood we use to build our custom butcher block surfaces. Many hardwoods are suitable options for butcher block. You’re certain to find one or more that perfectly complements your kitchen. To make the right design decision, you’ll need some information about butcher block construction styles and how to pick the right style for your kitchen.
Misconceptions about Butcher Block
Many people think that butcher block is a type of wood. A butcher block top is created by putting pieces of one or a combination of hardwoods together to form a food preparation surface. We build custom butcher block tops from leftover wood. This prevents waste and gives you many options for combining hardwoods to make a unique butcher block countertop.
You’ve probably been told that it’s unsafe to cut meat on a wood cutting board. That’s true of cheap, mass-produced wood cutting boards but not of genuine hardwood. A hardwood butcher block top has a built-in resistance to bacteria. You can safely cut both meat and vegetables on one of our butcher block countertops.
Popular Hardwoods for a Butcher Block Top
Walnut is an attractive wood ranging in color from golden brown to chocolate. Walnut’s color variations make it a good choice if you want a butcher block top made from one species of hardwood. The darkest shades of walnut are perfect if your kitchen palette is made up of light, soft colors, and you need a dark piece to center the room.
If you want a light-colored wood that will give your kitchen a country ambiance, you’ll love maple. The color and texture make maple look soft, but a maple butcher block top is strong and makes a hard cutting surface. Maple wears well. Maple countertops will brighten your kitchen and last a lifetime.
Oak is another strong hardwood that makes handsome butcher block. It blends well with other hardwoods as well as granite and marble. Oak is ideal if you want to add a large butcher block surface to your existing countertops. Oak wood butcher block can be a true light brown or reddish brown.
Combining Hardwoods for Butcher Block
A butcher block top made from two kinds of hardwood is one of our most frequently requested items. You can choose complimentary or contrasting hardwoods. We’ve built several butcher block surfaces by combining cherry or walnut with maple. Either combination is a good option if you want a piece that’s useful and eye-catching.
Exotic Hardwood for Butcher Block
Wenge is an African hardwood that we’ve used in a number of kitchen projects. If you want the darkest wood available for your butcher block top, we suggest wenge. To see a gorgeous wenge kitchen island in a traditional style kitchen, please see Wenge under Projects by Wood Species.
Construction Styles for Butcher Block
Our most popular butcher block surfaces are built using edge grain construction. To create an edge grain butcher block top, we take strips from the edge of a piece of lumber and combine them to make the striped surface that people usually associate with butcher block.
End grain butcher block is made from cubes of wood with the ends facing up to create a very hard cutting surface. We can design a butcher block top with a dramatic pattern using end grain construction. End grain butcher block will dull knives much faster than edge grain. Edge grain construction allows your blade to cut into the strips of wood as you work, keeping the blade sharp.
A butcher block top can be just the thing to add an upscale touch to your home. To learn more about options for butcher block in your kitchen, contact Maryland Wood Countertops today at 443-840-7373 to set up a consultation.