Hard maple butcher block countertop

Hard maple butcher block countertop DEFAULT

The Pros and Cons of Maple Block Countertops

When it comes to commercial countertops, there are many popular options: formica, composites, stone or slate, for example. Wood is one of the most elegant, earthy, and practical.

For businesses that need to consider appearance as well as functionality, butcher block countertops may be the answer, specifically maple block countertops. Here is what you should keep in mind as you consider maple block for your restaurant or facility:

Pros: Why Butcher Block Countertops? 

Butcher counter spaces are most popular in restaurant settings. The hard wood can maintain functionality while providing customers with the high-end atmosphere that they are paying good money for. Butcher block countertops are also a favorite in commercial kitchens.

Chefs love them because they muffle the sounds of chopping and food preparations.  In an environment that is already bustling and loud, it is nice to have anything that helps mute noise.

Finally, butcher block countertops don’t offer just a quiet surface; they offer a safe surface. The wood grain helps to grip slippery vegetables so that they don’t slide away from a hurried prep-cook who is holding a sharp knife. 

Speaking of sharp, this lab grade countertop won’t dull a blade as quickly as stone, composite, Formica, or even plastic surfaces. Finally, butcher block countertops are an enduring aesthetic that high-end real estate investors and restaurateurs have come to expect.   

Pros: Why Maple?

The most common form of industrial kitchen wood is hard maple.  It comes from the sugar maple tree and is known for having a tight grain that can withstand knocks and scratches. 

 This tight grain also makes hard maple particularly resistant to water damage and staining.  This is a very big plus when it comes to cleaning up.  Most spills on maple surfaces can be handled with soap and water. 

This impenetrability also makes maple a traditional favorite with meat cutters, because the blood or juices don’t penetrate quickly or deeply into the surface.  Maple also has a natural antibacterial component.

Maple block’s ability to mitigate bacterial development may stem from the fact that it is harvested from sap wood and not the heartwood of the tree.   

 The sapwood often has a gorgeous blonde coloring.  In addition, some sugar maple trees will occasionally produce an exceptionally beautiful version of sap wood called birds eye maple. 

It is called this because the spotty nature of the grain resembles many birds’ eyes.  This special wood is unique, unusually beautiful, and highly prized. Cementing chunks of hard maple into a wood block form makes for a counter of chopping blocks that is all the harder to scar. 

This is because the end grain of the wood is used as the surface.  End grain means the wood is cut across the direction of growth.  From this position, the wood accepts the impact of a chopping or slicing blade by taking it right into the grain without any residence. 

This is what allows the blade to remain sharp. This also allows the wood to essentially self-mend when the blade is retracted. 

The Price of Beauty 

A plus about maple is its cost.  While natural surfaces are harder to come by and more labor intensive to produce, maple block is generally pretty affordable. As far as natural surfaces go, there is nothing more economical than hard maple block countertops. 

Sugar maples are hardy and abundant trees.  In fact, they comprise 15 – 20%  of all trees in many heavily forested areas. Incidentally, their abundance helps keep the price of their wood relatively low.

How much it will cost will depend upon several factors. For example, are you looking at unfinished or finished wood? How much material will you need? With that in mind, maple block countertops will usually cost somewhere around $83 per square foot.

 Another cost factor is that sugar maple is a wood that is often reclaimed from second-hand sources when available.  This is specifically done for creating butcher block and countertop installations.  

Potential Cons of Maple Block Countertops

Hard maple is a very resilient form of wood, but it is still wood.  And a natural product is subject to dings, scars, and burns. Maple is usually easily repaired by sanding. 

But it is not staining or waterproof.  You can’t leave a puddle of chicken blood standing on it indefinitely like you can with plastic or Formica.

Polymer surface is going to be more hygienic.  So, while hard maple is not porous for wood, plastic composites are going to be almost completely non-porous by comparison.  They are also much easier to clean and sanitize.

 Maple block can last a good twenty years with proper care.  This is a testament to the wood’s durability. Even so, you will still have to oil it on a bi-weekly basis and refinish it as needed. 

Not to mention, you have to weigh this against the fact that there are composite products that will outlast any wood without any care whatsoever. Also, unlike stone or artificial materials, maple block countertops are not designed for the outdoors.

Maple wood needs a drying off period, so it can’t just be left out in the rain. It will expand and contract with the changing temperature which can affect its composition and mounting. 

So, if you are running an indoor/outdoor business, you need to either pick a different material or create a design break in your all wood, a break in your aesthetic as the flow of your operation moves outdoors.  

Your counter space is where the real work gets done.  It can be a make or break proposition.  Let us at OnePointe Solutions help you find the right countertop for your commercial space.

Need Maple Block Countertops?

Give us a call at () to speak with one of our lab countertop experts for more information about maple block and other countertop options we offer.


Sours: https://www.onepointesolutions.com/blog/the-pros-and-cons-of-maple-block-countertops/

After being eclipsed by showy stones like granite and marble and maintenance-free engineered materials like quartz and solid surfacing, natural-wood countertops are enjoying a real revival. Constructed from pieces of hardwood laminated together with glue for strength and stability, they provide a warm, organic landing surface in a kitchen, one that is wonderfully forgiving, gentle on dishware, and able to absorb the noise of a busy household. Wood can also be revived if damaged; if it gets dinged, stained, or gouged, you can refinish it.

Why go with wood countertops?

The majority of wood countertops are made from traditional butcher block, and while they may see some mild meal prep, they’re rarely used for chopping these days. They’re favored more for their looks. Less expensive woods often line the kitchen as a handsome, budget-friendly surface; pricier species top islands or breakfast bars, where they provide a welcome textural contrast or a furniture-like finish.

The variety of woods available is impressive, from subtly grained maple to deep, rich walnut to dramatic mesquite to exotic iroko. Yes, wood is a good choice, but it does require some attention. This Old House’s guide to buying, installing, and maintaining these countertops will ensure that the surface you select will look and perform beautifully for years.

Butcher-Block Backstory


Up until the s, butchers worked on thick rounds of sycamore, which were prone to splitting. In the early s, it was discovered that pieces of hard maple glued together in big blocks provided a stronger, more durable surface that better stood up to meatcutters' cleavers.

Wood Countertops Key Questions Answered

What do they cost?

From $12 to more than $ per square foot, uninstalled, depending on species, thickness, construction, and finish; add 5 to 10 percent more for most factory finishes.

Do they hold up?

Properly installed and cared for, wood countertops can last as long as you live in your home. Factory finishes generally come with a warranty. It can range from one year to a lifetime—and may only cover glued-joint separation.

DIY or hire a pro?

A homeowner comfortable with cutting and matching can install them in a weekend (making sink and faucet cutouts may void any warranty). For a pro install, add $8 per square foot, minimum.

Where to buy?

Order from kitchen showrooms and custom retailers or shop at home centers and big-box stores.

Wood Kitchen Countertop Pros

Alex Hayden

They lend character and lasting good looks, but they also need some TLC. Weigh the facts before investing:

  • They can be budget-friendly. A butcher-block counter made from birch or beech can cost little more than laminate and less than half the starter price for natural stone or engineered materials.
  • They can be easy to install. DIYers can cut prefab butcher-block tops to fit around corners, sinks, and appliances much more easily than most stone. Finishing wood is even more straightforward.
  • They're strong—and soft. Unlike with stone, there's no clatter when you set down a plate or a glass, and dropped dishes are less likely to break. Wood also quiets the whir of appliances, while stone will amplify such noise.
  • They can be refinished. Knife scratches, deep gouges, even burn marks can be sanded out and a DIY finish restored to look brand-new.
  • They're green. Most companies offer sustainably grown, Forest Stewardship Council-certified woods, including exotics. And while wood counters last for years, once worn out, they can be recycled.

Similar to shown: 1½-inch edge-grain teak; about $ per sq. ft., uninstalled; devoswoodworking.com

Wood Kitchen Countertop Cons

  • They move. All wood expands and contracts with changes in atmospheric moisture, so there is the potential for these countertops to cup, warp, and gap if not properly constructed, installed, and maintained. The thicker the counter, the more stable it will be.
  • They require maintenance. Unfinished wood counters need monthly oiling. DIY clear-coated surfaces may require refinishing every five years or so. Factory-finished counters may never need recoating, but if they do, you'll pay to ship them, even under warranty.
  • They demand a watchful eye. Liquids can penetrate wood, causing stains, cracks, and joint separation—vinegar can actually dissolve glue—so spills, especially water around the sink, should be wiped up right away.
  • They're not fireproof. Wood and stove burners don't mix; check with your stove maker for required clearances. To prevent scorching, use trivets under hot pots.

How They're Made

Arthur Mount

Edge Grain

The most common type of butcher block is made from boards placed on their sides and glued so that the narrower edge forms the surface. The strips may be continuous lengths with no joints, or random- length pieces that are finger-jointed.

Best for: Large areas, like a long kitchen counter or island top. Because wood only moves in one direction, across its width, edge-grain butcher block is more stable than other wood countertops. It can also be less pricey.

End Grain

Blocks of edge-grain wood are turned on end to form a grid that's glued together. End-grain butcher block requires more wood and labor, so you'll pay about 40 percent more than for edge grain.

Because it’s also more prone to movement, end grain is often thicker, to counteract cupping and warping.

Best for: Cutting on, since end grain is easiest on knives and least likely to show blade marks. Now favored more for its checkerboard look than its functionality.

Face Grain

Also known as flat grain or plank grain, 4- to inch-wide boards are laid flat and edge-glued, forming an almost seamless surface that highlights the natural patterns in the wood.

This may expose soft areas in the grain, making these tops more likely to show scratches, dents, and dings.

Best for: Dining islands, table and bar tops, desks—wherever you want a fine-furniture appearance, not a workhorse.

Wood Types, Choices, and Textures

Note: All prices are for 1½-inch-thick butcher block, uninstalled, except as noted.

Lisa Shin


These edge-grain samples showcase just 10 of the more than 40 hardwoods available today.

Price: $12 per sq. ft.

Maker:IKEA; sold only as a 1⅛-inch-thick prefab top.

Highlights: Neutral, light-colored wood with a fine grain.

American Walnut

Price: $60 per sq. ft.

Maker:John Boos & Co.

Highlights: Prized for its rich chocolate colors and striking black grain; perfect as an accent piece on an island.

Lisa Shin


Price: $ per sq. ft.

Maker:DeVos Custom Woodworking

Highlights: Hardest domestic wood. Mineral streaks add character to reddish-brown strips.

Brazilian Cherry

Price: $ per sq. ft.

Maker:The Grothouse Lumber Company

Highlights: Hardest of the woods shown, this fine-grain exotic is tough to scratch or dent.

Lisa Shin


Price: $ per sq. ft.

Maker:The Grothouse Lumber Company

Highlights: An African import; bright gold boards mellow in time to a teak-like brown.


Price: $98 per sq. ft.

Maker: Heirloom Wood Countertops, sold at The Home Depot

Highlights: Imported grass; heat-treating can give it a caramel hue.

Lisa Shin

Bolivian Rosewood

Price: $ per sq. ft.

Maker:The Grothouse Lumber Company

Highlights: Dense, heavy, variegated wood with black stripes on a rich brown background.

Hard Maple

Price: $40 per sq. ft.

Maker:John Boos & Co.

Highlights: Classic butcher-block material that is exceptionally strong, with a straight, uniform grain.

Lisa Shin

White Oak

Price: $12 per sq. ft.

Maker: Williamsburg Butcher Block Co.; sold at Lumber Liquidators only as a prefab top.

Highlights: Showy grain on warm brown strips.

Saxon Wood

Price: $ per sq. ft.

Maker:The Grothouse Lumber Company

Highlights: New South American find; yellow-brown wood with gray and black streaks.

Give It an Edge

Wood is easily tooled, so it lends itself to intricate designs. Here are standard edge profiles as well as a few fancier variations.

Lisa Shin


This simple, classic profile (also called an eased edge) is slightly rounded. It goes with any style interior and makes sweeping up crumbs a breeze.

Sample edge profiles: DeVos Custom Woodworking


Also known as a beveled edge, this profile boasts a bold angle that works for contemporary as well as traditional kitchens.

Lisa Shin

Large Roundover With Fillet

A steeply rounded edge with a decorative ridge, typically 1/16 to ¼ inch high. An elegant, traditional look that requires a little more attention when cleaning.


An edge that curves in and then out, somewhat like an S. This version is topped with a fillet for added dimension.

Large Roman Ogee

The S-curve is reversed, and the steep arc lends a more formal look.

The Slab Look

Lisa Shin

A single slice of wood, often with a live edge that follows the contours of the tree, is a sought-after look for a counter that doesn't see heavy use. But slabs' variable density and limited supply make them impractical in a kitchen. Search online for custom and specialty suppliers or find a local woodworker to source and install one.

Tips to Help You Shop Smarter

  • Look for solid wood. Avoid particleboard or MDF with wood veneer, which can swell when exposed to moisture and limits sanding to fix stains or nicks.
  • Measure correctly. To get an accurate price, measure the tops of your base cabinets, then factor in the overhang you want; 1 to 1½ inches is typical. On an island, a to inch overhang allows for pulling up stools.
  • Inspect for gaps. Joints between strips or boards should be minuscule and consistent. If there are noticeable gaps, it's more likely they'll open up farther, becoming noticeably unglued.

Finish Options

Lisa Shin

A wood kitchen counter is incomplete without a food-safe protective coating on all sides and edges.


For a matte look and a food-safe surface you can cut on, use FDA-approved mineral oil. It seeps in to make wood moisture-, heat-, and stain-resistant. Or try a nonpetroleum-based walnut oil or a "curing oil," such as pure tung oil, that hardens to form an imperceptible film that will wear but won't peel.

Oil-Wax Blend

Made from mineral oil and beeswax or paraffin wax, this finish formula adds another layer of protection against moisture and helps seal the oil into the wood. Apply liberally with a clean cloth in the direction of the wood grain, let sit for 20 minutes, remove excess, and buff to a satiny finish.

Clear coat

Urethane, acrylic, or resin-curing-oil finishes provide superior protection against water, stains, and wear and are food-safe once fully cured. But reviving a worn or damaged top means stripping it and refinishing. Proprietary finishes offered by some companies cannot be matched but may never need recoating.

To Stain or Not to Stain?

Lisa Shin

Adding a stain can enhance the color and grain of a wood countertop, but you'll pay 5 to 10 percent more than you would for the same species in its natural state. You can get a pricey look for less, however, by choosing an inexpensive, light-colored species (such as beech) and staining it a rich color (like walnut).

To DIY, sand off any finish and use a lint-free cotton cloth or natural-bristle brush to apply the stain, then wipe off the excess. When dry, add a food-safe clear coat. But never use stained butcher block as a cutting surface.

Consider the Sink

Lisa Shin

For a water-resistant barrier, all cutouts, edges, and surfaces must be treated with your choice of finish to seal out moisture. "Undermount sinks are ideal with wood countertops," says Paul Grothouse, owner, The Grothouse Lumber Company. Cutouts that extend slightly beyond the sink lip and over the bowl prevent standing water from saturating the edge, making the counter easier to maintain.

Drop-in sinks work best with clear-coated or factory-finished countertops along with a flexible sealant beneath the rim to protect the wood. Avoid marine varnish; while water resistant, this high-VOC finish is not food safe.

DIY Wood Countertops Like a Pro

Lisa Shin

Use cardboard templates to trim prefab tops to size with a circular saw and a router, or send templates to a manufacturer; many will cut and ship slabs for free (cutouts and curves cost extra). On open-top base cabinets, fill with plywood fastening strips every foot; for solid-top cabinets, create air space with thin furring strips to allow moisture to escape. Center holes in the strips and drive a screw fitted with a fender washer up through each hole, into the countertop.

Find the full step-by-step at How to Install a Butcher-Block Countertop.

How to Maintain Wood Countertops

Kolin Smith

Clean and Sanitize

Wipe down the surface daily with a damp cloth and a small amount of dish soap; follow with a clean, damp cloth. To de-germ, spritz with a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 4 parts water; let sit for 10 minutes, then wipe away. Avoid harsh cleansers with ammonia or bleach, which can eat away the finish and raise the grain.

Remove Stains and Odors

Sprinkle the affected area with a generous amount of table salt and rub it in with a lemon quarter, squeezing juice on the counter-top as you go. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, then wipe with a clean, damp cloth.

Hide Scratches and Burns

Rub on a colored paraffin-wax stick, such as FastCap Softwax, in a shade that matches the wood. Remove excess with a plastic scraper and buff with a cloth. To remove deeper cuts and burns, begin with a coarse sandpaper, step up to finer grits, and finish with a very fine grit; reapply oil or an oil-wax blend to finish.

Fill Spaces

Melt a 1-to-4 mixture of beeswax or household paraffin wax and mineral oil in a double boiler. Rub the warm mixture into any splits or cracks with a clean cloth to seal them.

Wood Counter Styles

Polished Traditional

Dominique Vorillon

With its rich color and fancy edge profile, this glossy island top looks at home with a marble backsplash and copper range.

Similar to shown: 2-inch iroko, about $ per sq. ft.; jaaronwoodcountertops.com

Organic Classic

Sours: https://www.thisoldhouse.com/kitchens//all-about-wood-countertops
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Maple Wood Countertops, Bar Tops, Butcher Block Countertops

Hard MapleDescription: Hard maple is one of the most commonly used woods in butcher blocks and is known as one of the most reliable hardwoods found in North America. It is heavy, strong, straight-grained, and has a uniform texture. The grain can sometimes be curly or wavy. Hard maples are approximately 35 % harder than most soft maples. It can be difficult to work with, but it moulds and paints well. Hard maple has excellent resistance to abrasion and wear. All of these qualities make a Hard Maple Wood Countertop a great choice for your kitchen.

Alternate Trade Names: Rock Maple, Sugar Maple, White Maple, Hard Rock Maple, Black Maple, Black Sugar Maple

Origin: Canada and United States

Color: Uniform pale red-brown or light tan, the sapwood is white with a red tinge

Grain: Very hard, typically straight, sometimes wavy or curly, lightly grained

Janka Hardness:

Hard Maple Facts: The tree is typically 70 to feet high (20 to 37 meters). The trunks diameter is typically about 2 to 3 feet ( to meters. The maple leaf is on the coat of arms and the flag of Canada. It is a common symbol of strength and endurance. The maple tree has been chosen as the national tree of many countries, such as Canada. Maple trees are also used for making syrup, ornamental plants, and the smoking of food. Maple is very commonly used in baseball bats. In the maple bat was introduced to Major League Baseball (MLB) by Sam Holman of Sam Bats. It is now the standard bat used by most professional baseball players replacing Ash. The necks of electric guitars are often made of figured maple wood, for example Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster necks were originally entirely made of maple wood. Hard Maple is available FSC certified.

Click on any image to see a larger version and learn more about the image.

Custom Hard Maple Wood CounterCustom Hard Maple Wood Counters

Maple Butcher Block CountertopMaple Wood Butcher Block Countertop

Hard Maple Wood CounterHard Maple Wood Counters

Sours: https://www.glumber.com/wood-countertops-design-guide/wood-countertop-species/hard-maple/
How To Cut And Sand A Hardwood Butcher Block Counter Top- 1-1/2\

Premium Quality Wood Butcher Block Countertops,
Plank Countertops and Stair Treads
15% Off All Online Orders
(Prices displayed reflect discount)

Use this price calculator to get an instant price for any size butcher block, unfinished or prefinished. Simply enter your dimensions and specifications and click on "Instant Price Quote". Then click on "Add To Cart" to go to the shopping cart and view shipping charges. You can view product specifications by scrolling down. To add a second block, add your first butcher block to the cart and then click on the product in the cart to go to the full product page.
Your selected top edge profile will be applied to the four top edges. If you do not want it applied to certain edges, you MUST put a note in the comment section of your order

View edge types

Unfinished orders ship in two weeks and prefinished in three. To view shipping charges, add the product to the cart.

Maple's exceptional beauty and durability make it a perfect choice for your new kitchen countertop. Our Maple Wood Butcher Block Countertops have a creamy white to reddish brown heartwood, while the sapwood is a pale creamy white.

Add beauty and value to your home with our custom made Maple Wood Butcher Block Countertops. Our Maple Wood Butcher Block Countertops are quality made with sturdy construction to your specifications. Our butcher block countertops feature full length strips that are 1" wide. The first and last strip may be less than 1" wide. They are offered in edge grain with any thickness up to 5" and almost any length. Maple Wood Butcher Block Countertops are offered in standard and custom sizes.

Maple wood butcher block countertops are available up to 15 feet long, 84 inches wide and 5 inches thick. If you don't see your desired size online, request a custom butcher block quote.

Finishing Choices

If your butcher block will not be used for any food preparation, conversion varnish is the recommended choice.

Unfinished: Apply the finish of your choice. All butcher blocks must be sealed and finished. There are many choices available from your local paint store, online and various other outlets. The butcher block you will receive will be fully sanded. Light sanding may still be required before and between coats of finish. You can also stain your butcher block countertop prior to finishing. If you will be preparing food directly on the block, please check the label or with the finish manufacturer to determine if it is food safe. Most stains are not food safe.

Mineral Oil: Two coats of a food safe mineral oil are applied to all surfaces. After you receive your butcher block, you should apply one coat of mineral oil to the top surface daily for one week, and monthly thereafter. You should also apply one coat of mineral oil to the sides, edges and any exposed areas underneath on this same schedule. Frequency of application can vary, but it is important to keep the butcher block well oiled. Food safe mineral oil is available at most drug stores. This is appropriate if the butcher block may be used for food preparation.

Conversion Varnish: Three coats of our 45 sheen commercial grade conversion varnish are applied to the top surface. A special catalyzer is added for durability. Two coats are applied to all other surfaces. This is not appropriate if the butcher block may be used for food preparation.


2nd order from Country mouldings. Could not be happier! Maple butcher block top is flawless. Arrived well packed and shipped on time. I will be ordering a walnut bar top soon.
- Russ G.
Maple butcher block countertop, unfinished, /2" x 28" x 40"

I ordered the maple butcher block. The product that I received went way above my expectations. The wood was absolutely beautiful. My contractor that installed it was very impressed. I am very satisfied with it and would happily refer Country Moulding to friends and family.
- Joanna W.
Maple butcher block countertop, prefinished with mineral oil, /2" x 25" x /2"

Extremely satisfied with my purchase of maple BB! I'll send a photo shortly. Thank you!
- Sally N.
Maple butcher block countertop with eased edges, unfinished, /4" x /4" x 25"

We ordered a butcher block counter top. It arrived very securely boxed and well protected. The counter top is beautiful! Exactly what we ordered. Couldn't be happier with the product and service.
- Vicki B.
Maple butcher block countertop with roundover edges, prefinished, /2" x 44" x 34"

The maple butcher block was gorgeous and delivered promptly. I highly recommend Country Mouldings products.
- Jacquelyn G.
Maple butcher block countertop, unfinished, /2" x /2" x 24"

The links below are for unfinished butcher blocks. For prefinished, please use the calculator above or visit prefinished maple butcher block countertops.

Below are photo(s) of our maple butcher block countertops shared by our customers. Some have been prefinished at our factory and some have been finished on site. Lighting conditions vary. These pictures are from many different settings. While they can give you an idea of the overall beauty of a maple butcher block, these pictures should not by used to determine the wood color or other specific characteristics. Please visit the product listing above for a description of the wood and other specifications.
Sours: https://www.countrymouldings.com/store/

Block butcher countertop maple hard

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How to Build \u0026 Seal Wood Countertops

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