Wood Countertops Add Warmth to Your Kitchen
With a few materials and basic tool skills, you can install your own butcher block countertops that add warmth and style to any kitchen!
Installing butcher block countertops in your kitchen is not a difficult or time-consuming DIY project. You just need to know how to use a tape measure and a circular saw to get the job done!
This video is sponsored by Woodcraft. However, all opinions and advice are 100% my own!
Measure and Cut Butcher Block To Size
Cutting butcher block without a table saw can be pretty nerve-racking! You only get one shot! But here are a few tricks to get it right the first time!
Measure the width of one section of countertop at a time. Depending on the layout of your kitchen and where you are putting your butcher block, you may need to add an inch for an overhang on one or two sides. In my case, it’s flush with the cabinet on the sides.
Transfer your measurement to your butcher block, paying attention to the direction of the wood grain. Make one mark on each end, then use a straight edge like a level to connect the marks and make one long cut mark.
Be sure to watch the video above for a good visual of this process!
Now for the cutting part! Grab 2 clamps, your level, and a circular saw. Line up the blade of your circular saw on your cut line, making sure the shoe of the saw is flat and straight. Then you’ll want to set your level on the countertop so it butts against the saw’s shoe. Hold it in place while you clamp it at both ends.
To be extra cautious, you can measure the distance from the level to the cut line on one end and make sure it matches the same distance on the other end.
Sanding Butcher Block
While cutting your countertop correctly is important for obvious reasons, sanding may actually be the most important step.
Sanding prepares the wood for the sealer and makes it smoothes. If it’s not sanded well or is still rough, dirt and dust can stick to it. And ain’t nobody got time for that! It also allows the sealer go on evenly. A splotchy countertop is also something we don’t have time for!
The wood I ordered from Woodcraft.com* was actually pretty smooth right out of the packaging. But I still started sanding with 80-grit sandpaper to get the roughest spots knocked down. Then after sanding the top and all 4 sides, I switched to 220-grit sandpaper to polish it off!
It’s easier to sand before you install your butcher block, so keep that in mind!
Glue and Screw Installation
The cabinets I’m working with are fairly new and in good shape. So I didn’t need to modify them to make the countertops sit level on top. Dry-fit your countertop with a level to make sure it’s level both side to side and front to back. If it is not, you’ll need a slim piece of scrap wood or a shim to make it level. Just set it on top of your cabinet before setting the countertop in place.
I used a quick-drying construction adhesive for this project. But you can use a standard construction adhesive too! Run a thin bead on top of your base cabinet and set your countertop in place! Bonus points if you can do it without getting adhesive on your fingers!
Once my countertops were in place, I slide underneath with some drywall screws. One screw in each corner, through the corner braces, is all it takes! JUST MAKE SURE YOUR SCREW IS NOT LONGER THAN THE THICKNESS OF YOUR COUNTERTOP OR YOU WILL BE REALLY SAD!!
Seal Your Butcher Block
The final step is actually a multiple step process, including dry time in between! It’s important to seal your butcher block (either before or after installation) to protect it from moisture and stains. And the more coats of sealer the better, just like with polyurethane!
But since this is in a kitchen, you can’t just use any sealer. You want something that is safe for food contact. That’s why I love Woodcraft. They know wood! I was able to compare different butcher block sealers online and order the one that suited my situation.
I went with Waterlox* because it doesn’t change the color of the block, just enhances the color and grain of the wood. And after it dries, it’s food-safe! (I also got my applicator pads from Woodcraft too!) The directions do not require sanding between coats, but you can if your block feels a little rough after the first coat dries. I’d recommend a minimum of 4 coats for your initial setup.
Then in a year or so you can do a maintenance coat to keep your countertops looking fresh!
Do you love adding wood tones any chance you get like I do? Here are some other projects where I prove my love for wood tones!😍
Thanks for Checking In! ~Chelsea
*This post contains affiliate links.*