How to Build a Butcher Block Counter Top

A butcher block counter top can be shaped to sit on either side of an oven, or act as the top of a kitchen island. The counter top is made utilizing the same basic methods used to make a butcher block cutting board, only on a larger scale. Measure your space and adjust the process to suit your custom requirements.

Pasta on top of butcher's block

Step 1

Planks of woods on shelves

Purchase a hardwood, such as maple or mahogany. You can mix and match hardwoods for a striped effect. Hardwoods are available at all national home and decorating stores.

Step 2

Men measure kitchen counter

Determine the length and width of the butcher block counter top. Adhere to the measurements of your existing counter tops, or make the space longer, shorter or thicker, depending upon your needs and design preferences, such as curved corners. Add 5cm to the final measurements each way. It is better to have a little extra wood to work with than not enough.

Step 3

Circular saw

Determine the number of 1-by-2 pieces of wood you will need to suit you width and length measurements and cut to length. Use a circular saw and clamp table (wearing safety goggles, gloves and a mask) to cut the pieces, or ask for them to be cut at the time of purchase at the hardware or home store.

Step 4

Hand sanding a piece of wood

Perform a dry run with the wood pieces and arrange them in the final design without gluing them down. Check for bumps and lumps that may require a little hand sanding with a piece of sandpaper. A small number penciled onto each piece may assist in keeping the pieces in the desired arrangement.

Step 5

Glue being applied to a piece of wood

Attach the wood together using a FDA-certified wood glue. Glue the 2-inch sides together to create a sturdy finish. Smear glue over both pieces of wood before fitting them together; any additional glue that squeezes out of the seams can be cleaned up later on.

Step 6

Wood clamp

Secure the counter top together using wood clamps placed at least every 10 inches along the length of the block. As the clamps are tightened, expect glue to seep out from between the wood seams.

Step 7

A cloth wipes wood

Use a damp cloth to wipe away any glue that appears on the wood’s surface after clamping. Place the block in a warm place to dry. Avoid placing the block near a window or other draft source to prevent dust and debris from sticking to the surface as the glue dries. Adhere to the instructions on the glue container when it comes to determining the drying time.

Step 8

A woman uses sand paper

Sand the surface of the dry block after removing the wood clamps. A medium sand paper is adequate for removing glue debris from the block’s surface.

Step 9

Woman wearing goggles and dust mask

Use a fine-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface of the dried block. Always wear goggles and a dust mask when sanding.

Step 10

Woman applies oil to wood

Wipe the surface of the block with an oil treatment using a clean cotton cloth and linseed oil or mineral spirits. This will feed the wood and create a waterproof seal. Soak and rub the oil into the surface until it is no longer absorbed. This will ensure that the wood is saturated and ready for use.

About the Author

Trish Popovitch is a freelance writer with 10 years of professional writing experience and a degree in the social sciences. A former print journalist and current blogger and magazine writer, her content writing is a reflection of her varied background.