While many design shows would have you believe that granite counters are the only kind worth having, in reality, many homeowners are turning to more traditional materials, like wood, for their counters. Wood counters bring rich character to your kitchen and create a warm, inviting atmosphere. A particular type of wood countertops, known as butcher block countertops, are making a comeback because they serve as a work surface, allowing you to chop and slice on them without using a cutting board.
Butcher block countertops are made of strips of wood bonded together and can be anywhere from two to twelve inches thick (hence the “block” in butcher block). The strips can be assembled in a few different ways, which are referred to as grain types for the direction the fibres of the wood are oriented.
- Face grain or plank grain positions the strips with the wide side facing up, similar to the planks in a deck. The resulting surface is great for showcasing the beauty of the wood, but is not as strong as other grain types. It’s best used for eating areas rather than for a heavy duty workstation.
- In edge grain, the long edges of boards the face up. This creates a stronger counter than face grain, but still not as strong as end grain. However, many find that the long stripes of edge grain give a cleaner look than end grain.
- End grain, or true butcher block, positions the ends of the boars upwards, so that the wood grain runs up and down. A true butcher block countertop is the strongest of these three grain types and can stand up to heavy chopping. It has a distinctive checkerboard appearance.
If you are interested in adding butcher block countertops to your kitchen, call our team at Northern Granite Works to discuss your options.