Butcher block counter tops
November 3, 2013
Are butcher block counter tops good for around the sink area?
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Main Line Kitchen Design
I would use Butcher block in areas other than around a primary sink in a kitchen.
    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 10:45AM
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Teak may be acceptable near a sink. Otherwise, I would go for a waterproof material like engineered stone. Otherwise you go crazy wiping up water so it doesn't sit on the wood.
    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 10:53AM
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Tina Devereaux
You guys are the experts, of course, but from personal experience: we have gorgeous wood counter tops. I have a 143 year old house. When we purchased the home 6 years ago the kitchen was horrid. Although we wanted to "re-do" the kitchen, we didn't want to put a kitchen in this freedman servants cottage that would be completely and utterly out of place. Thus, we removed, and never replaced, all upper cabinetry, and had all lower cabinetry custom made from 200 year old barn wood. Yes, including the countertops, sink area, and breakfast bar. We topped them with many coats of food grade sealant. We sealed the cut edges of the sink area with water proof sealant before dropping in the antique double drain board sink, then ran a bead of clear caulk around the sink. After all these years, there is not a mark of discoloration from water, or anything else for that matter. Now, it is true, we don't walk off and leave puddles of water standing around on the counters. The finish will need to be re-applied at some point... but so far ours is still going strong, and I use Clorox wipes on them every day, multiple times a day.
    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 11:23AM
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Main Line Kitchen Design
Hi Tina,
I'll bet your 200 year old barn wood may very well have been Longleaf Pine hardwood. A type of wood that was used for building until we used it all up 150 years ago. Since a Hardwood pine tree took hundreds of years to mature once it was all used up it couldn't be replaced. Hardwood pine was more resistant to water damage and insects than cedar or redwood. And it was so dense it didn't even float. If you have anymore of the wood it is very valuable now.

Reclaimed from old barns and from the floor of the Great Lakes where barges tipped over 150 year ago and their wooden cargo sank to the floor, it is primarily used for very expensive railing systems in the highest end homes.

Here's a link to a little about it on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reclaimed_lumber

It's a fascinating story.
    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 11:51AM
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Main Line Kitchen Design
Here's a picture of a hardwood pine floor. Wish I could afford it. We have cypress in our bedroom a cheaper alternative.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 12:01PM
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Vincent Longo Custom Builders
That is awesome! I have had success finding that from a reclaimed lumber company in Tennessee but it is rare to find a good lot of it!
    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 6:47PM
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We have butcher block in our kitchen and LOVE it. We have an undermount, stainless steel farmhouse sink and treated our butcher block with Waterlox.
    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 6:58PM
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Craft Art Elegant Surfaces
Butcher block wood countertops can be perfect for use by a sink - and yes, that includes undermount sinks! The key is truly in the finish. Our wood countertops, for example, are finished with a modified Tung Oil blend that is waterproof and stain resistant. I know that it's one of those things you may have to see to believe, but it really is true. You should definitely test it on a sample so you can check it out for yourself. About 50% of our tops include a cut out - which means there are Lots of people with sinks in their wood tops out there!

The modified Tung Oil fills in the pores of the wood so liquids just sit on the surface rather than seeping in. That means you won't get white rings, water damage and food items won't leave a stain. You will only need to re-apply oil every 3 to 5 years if you notice water isn't beading up on the surface like it used to. I hope this helps!
1 Like    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 9:41AM
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Wood offers a nice look. The key, as stated, is proper maintenance. The examples above are very beautiful.
    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 9:54AM
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Galileo Construction Inc.
Bonjour, We do it on our projects, make sure you treat it with butcher block oil and we always suggest to our clients not to use it for cutting raw meat or poultry.
    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 10:06AM
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Vincent Longo Custom Builders
That is the key! Proper maintenance. I have had to deal with multiple water issues and surface issues due to misuse! Same with Marble!
    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 11:02AM
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Tina Devereaux
Thanks for the link to the article! Although I'm in a small town the wealthy Charlestonians frequented during the sweltering summer months, the wood looks the same. In fact, the floors in our balloon framed house are even the same. In the bedroom of our home the floors are absolutely untouched, other than a light refinishing. No boards have been replaced. 143 years old, and absolutely gorgeous. Sigh, I love this house.
    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 1:40PM
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