Care And Maintenance For Butcher Blocks Countertops And Kitchen Islands

The wood is​ widely considered the healthiest building material in​ the world. The solid wood represents a​ reliable, sturdy material that can last very long without requiring excessive protection. However, wood is​ a​ natural living material and, unlike man-made materials, it​ reacts to​ different environments in​ specific ways. We would like to​ draw your attention to​ the basic maintenance instructions for the solid wood countertops, island tops or​ butcher blocks. Following these directions will result in​ having a​ great looking, easy to​ maintain custom countertop that will last for many years.

Tops with a​ Mineral Oil Finish

The panel must be oiled carefully on top, bottom and sides, giving a​ special attention to​ the end-grain area, as​ the section that the wood is​ most likely to​ absorb humidity through. Each cut or​ drill you make in​ the panel (either for size adjustment, sink cutout or​ other purposes) must also be oiled thoroughly. Proterra mineral oil (Hesse, Germany) is​ a​ product that we recommend for kitchen tops applications given that it​ was specially designed to​ come in​ contact with foods. For situations where there is​ a​ great deal of​ humidity involved (like sinks, water faucets, etc) the mineral oil only will not assure the best protection and it​ is​ advisable to​ use polyurethane or​ any other similar finishing instead.

With a​ soft brush, oil the wood generously on all sides or​ simply pour a​ small quantity of​ oil on the wood and then spread it​ with the brush. Let the wood soak the oil for about 20-30 minutes and then remove the excess with an​ absorbent paper towel. When the top is​ first installed, it​ is​ advisable to​ apply 2-3 successive coats of​ oil, after which, the oil can be applied once several months or​ whenever needed. Every time you sand the area to​ remove scratches or​ cut marks, a​ new coat of​ oil must applied.


In order to​ keep your wooden top clean, periodically scrape or​ brush away any food residues existing on its surface, wash with warm soapy water and dry it​ well using either a​ dry cloth or​ paper towels. Apply a​ new coat of​ oil any time needed. Alternatively, you can warm up a​ 1:4 combination of​ beeswax and mineral oil until the mixture becomes homogenized and then apply it​ uniformly on top’s surface, thus getting supplementary protection against both stains and humidity.

Avoid setting your wood top next to​ extreme heat sources like stoves unless there is​ appropriate insulation between the heat source and the top. Avoid spilling vinegar on a​ wood top having a​ mineral oil finishing, as​ it​ can cause cupping or​ cracking. Do not use corrosive chemicals or​ excessively harsh detergents on a​ wooden top having a​ mineral oil finishing, as​ they can cause irreversible depreciation.


If properly installed and sealed and periodically oiled, there is​ no reason that your top won’t last a​ long period of​ time in​ the same good shape it​ was when new. Sometimes however, due to​ poor maintenance and improper environmental conditions, some problems might arise; it​ is​ our duty, therefore to​ inform about these problems and the way to​ solve them.
· Cupping and warping
Are prone to​ appear whenever there is​ a​ significant difference of​ moisture between the topside and the bottom side of​ the panel. if​ possible, place the top on a​ flat, hard surface, concave side facing down. On the convex side, uniformly place some fairly heavy objects. it​ will take up to​ 12 hours until the panel will straighten completely, after which, oil it​ abundantly on all sides.
If it​ is​ not possible to​ manipulate the top, simply apply generously mineral oil on the concave side until the panels straightens. in​ this case, however, you might need to​ repeat this operation several times to​ obtain the desired result.
· End splits
Will manifest whenever the panel is​ placed in​ an​ excessive dry environment without being properly sealed. to​ repair, mix wood sand with a​ small amount of​ water-based wood glue and fill the cracks thoroughly. Allow 15-20 minutes to​ cure, sand the area with a​ 120 grit sand paper and then oil the top freely.
· Scratches, cut marks and food stains
Can be removed by sanding uniformly the affected area, brushing away the resulting wood dust and applying a​ new coat of​ mineral oil. The finger-jointed panels can be sanded to​ a​ 3/8” depth, while for the continuous lamella panels and the end-grain butcher blocks, there are no such restrictions.

Tops with a​ Polyurethane Finishing

A solid wood surface finished with polyurethane based finishing requires no maintenance at​ all. However, scratches, cut marks and other damages will be difficult to​ repair; therefore extra care is​ required.

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