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Butcher block countertops are a kind of surface often used in butchers, along with traditional residential kitchens. These kinds of countertops are meant to serve as cutting blocks, normally for meats, however in domestic kitchens, for any kind of food cutting. These countertops are manufactured from several kinds of woods, maple and oak being the most popular. The positioning of the wood pieces used to make the countertop gives the surface a unique appearance and makes it strong.
Edge grain and end grain countertops are the two most common types of designs available. The edge grain models have wood pieces positioned so that the sides or edges of the wood face upwards, to serve as the surface for cutting. End grain designs feature wood pieces that are fixed or glued together, with the ends of the wood pieces facing upwards. This allows the end grain to be used as the surface for cutting. Each of these designs offers durability and strength, although the look of each respective countertop will contrast significantly. End grain countertops look like checkerboards, whereas edge grain countertops have a stripey, long appearance.
Also, butcher block countertops come in a couple of different kinds of finishes. One of these finishes is for display and service, whereas the other is for food preparation and cutting. Sealed butchers blocks are simple to maintain and clean, however they are not suitable for cutting. It would be too easy for knives to mark the surface, leaving visible scratches that are difficult to sand away. Sealed designs are usually water resistant, and retain their appearance and color through time.
Oil finished or unfinished butchers block countertops are ideal for slicing and cutting. The wooden material is covered in oil for protection. This retains moisture and allows any scratches or stains arising from food preparation to be rapidly eliminated, using a sanding block. You just have to sand away the scratch and apply a dash of oil. After this, the countertop will look pristine. One disadvantage though, is that unsealed butcher blocks can become blackened or warped from surplus water. This is why you should refrain from installing these types of blocks close to sinks, or other water supplies.
While butcher block countertops are used for slicing in many modern kitchens, occasionally they are used simply as a visually appealing surface to prepare meals on. Lots of chefs like to use these countertops, because the strong and stable design is perfect for putting bigger meat cuts on, to be sliced and prepared. These countertops have an antibacterial surface, which is a wise option for meal preparation. Notwithstanding, the countertops will need some care and maintenance to stop any deterioration.
The biggest benefit of butchers block countertops, aside from their convenience in meal preparation and aesthetic appearance, is the fact that they can be refinished. It is possible to sand down and refinish sealed countertops, which gives homeowners new looking countertops almost free of charge. When regularly maintained, these countertops will last for a long time and offer you years of useful service.