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The original butcher blockers were literally blocks up to sixteen inches thick: hard rock maple pieces were often dovetailed together for extra strength, set end-grain up to take the maximum beating in the time when meat was cut and packed by hand.
Listen to BOB VILA ON BUTCHER BLOCKS, or read the text below:
You can still get something like that for a thousand bucks and up, if your kitchen needs a thousand-pound conversation piece. If you just want the look and functionality of a butcher block countertop, however, you can find edge-grain beech, maple, oak, cherry, or eve walnut butcher block countertops for anywhere between ten and fifty dollars a lineal foot.
Besides the attractive price point, the great thing about butcher block is its care: you can prep food right on it, and if you scratch or stain it, you can sand it. Wood has natural antimicrobial properties, so you don’t need to, no should you, bleach it. Beeswax is a great protective finish, and if you keep butcher block clean and oil it occasionally, it’ll last for years.
Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.
For more on countertops, consider: