Butcher block countertop on island
I am moving and am remodeling the new kitchen right now, and am including a nice big island. I have decided to go with CaesarStone for the countertops (have it in my current kitchen and love it). On the island, my kitchen designer suggested that I consider butcher block, especially since the island will be a prep area with a sink (the thought being I could chop on it). He also thought it might add some warmth with the wood, since my cabinets will be white. Photos of kitchens with it are beautiful.
Does anyone have one? Do you chop on it? How's maintenance? How long-lasting is it, assuming average diligence with sanding, oiling, etc.?
Hi. I don't have a built-in butcher block, but butcher blocks can last if you take care of it. That being said, the ironic part is that it is easier to take care of a free chopping block than a built-in one. There are tons of method to prep your chopping blocks like oil it with mineral oil vs tung oil, or beeswax it or to put high salt water into it to imbed salt to prevent future bacterial growth. At the end, there is a simple tradeoff. The more you take care of it, the longer it lasts, but eats up more of your time. Some believe a chopping block is just a tool and should not be baby-sat and should be tossed away every few years.
If you are going to get a chopping block, make sure it is end-grain. It is most likely going to be end grain, but just make sure.
I had butcher block in my kitchen before I remodeled it, and really didn't like it. Granted, I wasn't the original owner, and it was in rough shape before I got it. I particularly didn't like it around my sink, where it looked sort of mildewy. Compared to hard surfaces, it takes a lot more care to keep it looking decent. Maybe you could find a different way to warm up the kitchen (eg changing the cabinets to ivory or using a different color cabinet for the island).
I have a huge Boos block next to my stove that I use to chop veggies every day. I would never use it for fruits or meat, due to odor/bacterial transfer. I would never install a butcher block island. If you care most about how it looks, go ahead. If you're concerned with functionality, don't do it.
Butcher block counters surrounding a sink can mean the wood gets damaged from repeated exposure. If it were me I'd either get a Boos board or install the butcher block counter somewhere other than where the sink is located.