How Much Do Butcher Block Countertops Cost?

Interested in a natural countertop material but the price of granite, marble, and quartz is out of reach? Butcher block countertops cost between $1,200 to $15,000, with the national average at $3,500.

By Katie Flannery | Published Jan 10, 2023 1:01 PM

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Butcher Block Countertops Cost

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Highlights

  • Butcher block countertops cost between$1,200 and $15,000 to purchase and install, with many homeowners paying around $3,500.
  • Some of the factors that can affect butcher block countertop cost include the size and material of the countertops, the type of wood grain, and the cost of labor and materials.
  • Butcher block countertops are an affordable, long-lasting, and sustainable option, as well as being easy to maintain and refinish.
  • A homeowner with experience installing countertops may be able to complete this project on their own, but those without experience will want to leave it to a professional.
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Butcher block countertops are constructed from wood strips that are affixed together to create a countertop that’s installed on top of a kitchen island or cabinet. Common wood varieties that are used to create a butcher block countertop are oak, walnut, teak, and maple. Compared to other natural countertop materials, such as marble or granite, a butcher block counter lends a warm and inviting atmosphere to a kitchen. According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, the price of butcher block countertops ranges from $1,200 to $15,000, with many homeowners spending about $3,500. The wide range in cost for butcher block countertops depends on the quality of the wood, the countertop square footage needed, and any custom countertop designs. Homeowners can expect to pay between $50 and $100 per square foot, including installation and materials. For those who want to install exotic hardwood countertops, the price can increase to $400 per square foot.

Labor to install a butcher block kitchen ranges from $500 to $3,000 per 100 square feet. This price range typically includes planning, prep, material, equipment, installing butcher block countertops, and cleanup. The final labor prices hinge on the size of the countertops and the number of surfaces. Butcher block countertops pricing varies based on the wood type, countertop panel size, design, and manufacturer. This guide will examine the important factors that influence butcher block countertop price, several additional costs and considerations, the different types of butcher block countertops, and how to save money on butcher block countertops cost.

Factors in Calculating Butcher Block Countertops Cost

Unlike the cost of other types of countertops, butcher block counters are included among more budget-friendly countertop options. How much do wooden countertops cost? That depends on a few important factors. The average cost of butcher block countertops can vary from the national average due to countertop size, material type, grain type, local labor pricing, materials, and the equipment needed for their installation. Homeowners will want to carefully consider the pros and cons of installing butcher block countertops before they commit to installation.

Countertop Size

The price of butcher block countertops is typically cheaper than the cost of quartz countertops, but these countertops are more expensive than laminate or Corian countertop options. It’s common for butcher block counters to run from $50 to $100 per square foot, or about $3,500 on average for materials and installation. The cost of butcher block materials ranges from $20 to $70 per square foot, and the price to install wooden countertops in a 50-square-foot kitchen can cost between $2,000 and $5,000 with materials and installation. Newer kitchen designs usually include countertops that measure between 50 and 60 square feet; older kitchens typically have 30 to 40 square feet of counter space.

Homeowners who have a large kitchen or want to install expensive hardwood counters can expect to pay more than $10,000. Custom work and designs can cost $200 per square foot, and the total price for countertops with these features can reach upwards of $15,000. The more square footage of countertop and kitchen island space, the more expensive installing butcher block counters will be.

Material Type

Material type, wood finish, and whether the wood is finished or raw influences the overall cost to install butcher block countertops. Some popular materials include maple, cherry, red oak, bamboo, birch, beech, walnut, and teak. Each material type and the differences between finished and raw wood are discussed in sections below.

Grain Type

Butcher block materials are available in a few different grain types. The most common are end grain, edge grain, face grain, and blended grain. Below are the grain types and their average prices.

Wood Grain TypePrice Range per Square Foot
End grain$75 to $350
Edge grain$50 to $275
Face grain$30 to $200
Blended grain$50 to $325
  • End grain. To make a butcher block countertop, the end grain is glued together in squares along the grain. This style of countertop typically looks like a checkerboard made of two contrasting wood colors. It’s usually not as durable as face grain or edge grain, and it ranges in price from $75 to $350 per square foot.
  • Edge grain. Edge grain countertops use the edge of the board, which is typically the most durable part. It’s generally considered to be not as attractive as end grain countertops, and it looks like thin strips of wood affixed together. Edge grain butcher block countertops run from $50 to $275 per square foot.
  • Face grain. Face grain countertops have wider panels that make up the surface. These countertops are made with the face of the wooden board and cost from $30 to $200 per square foot.
  • Blended grain. Blended grain countertops use a mix of end, edge, and face grain to make the entire countertop surface. This type of counter can cost from $50 to $325 per square foot.

Labor

Labor prices can vary from $500 to $3,000 per 100 square feet, or approximately $60 to $100 per hour. This price range can include the planning, prep, equipment, material, installation, and cleanup, but it’s always recommended for homeowners to check with their countertop installation professional to see if any of these services are charged separately. Raw wood installation will end up costing more due to the required edging, cutouts, and finishing. Custom work can increase the labor costs to $150 per square foot, but as a rule of thumb, labor to install countertops or a butcher block island makes up 30 to 50 percent of the overall total costs.

Materials and Equipment

Butcher block countertop installation supplies and materials cost from $100 to $250. The materials can include sealants, glue, fasteners, caulking, and cleaning supplies. Many professional countertop installers will include the price of equipment in with their estimate, but it’s always good to double-check to make sure it’s not an additional fee. The equipment that’s used to install butcher block countertops includes belt sanders, pneumatic nailers, miter saws, and electric planers.

Additional Costs and Considerations

When budgeting for butcher block countertops cost, homeowners will discover additional price factors and considerations that can change the project total. These can include raw versus finished wood, plumbing, electrical, backsplash installation, sink installation, island top installation, old countertop removal fees, waterproofing, and regular maintenance costs.

Raw vs. Finished

Unfinished butcher block slabs are constructed of raw, unfinished wood and can typically cost between $100 and $650 per block. A straight or a bullnose edge (an edge with a curve along the bottom and the top of the counter) can be added for an additional charge of $30 to $50. Finished butcher blocks run from $160 to $1,400 per block. They already have a butcher block finish on the surface and include a radius, straight, or bullnose edge.

Plumbing and Electrical

Butcher block installation in a new kitchen that requires new plumbing and electrical lines will cost more than just the price of materials and labor. New plumbing can cost from $200 to $500, and electrical wiring costs range from $500 to $2,000. If a new sink with a disposal needs to be installed in an island where there wasn’t a sink previously, it will cost extra ($200 to $600) to hire professionals to ensure the installation is done correctly and that all the plumbing and wiring is up to local building codes.

Backsplash Installation

Butcher block backsplash installation usually costs from $100 to $500, in addition to the price of the wooden countertops. Backsplash installation costs are usually included in the overall bill, but it’s always good to check the estimate to make sure it’s not an extra charge. The pricing can vary due to the cost and amount of the materials, as well as the length and type. A 4-inch cherry backsplash that measures 2 feet long can cost between $50 and $60, not including labor, with a maple backsplash of the same size running about $25.

Sink Installation

Kitchen sink installation ranges from $200 to $600 per sink. If new plumbing lines are needed, it can double that price range.

Island Top Installation

Kitchen island butcher block installation costs the same as for a countertop, which starts at $40 per square foot for installation. Costs can increase if a sink or outlets are needed. These items require professional installation, which can drive up the overall price.

Old Countertop Removal

Removing and disposing of the old countertops will add to the overall price of the installation project. It can cost between $20 and $100 to remove each section of an old countertop, and disposal fees are typically extra. Homeowners will want to check with their contractor for accurate removal and disposal fees.

Waterproofing and Maintenance

It’s necessary to waterproof butcher block countertops. This can cost between $5 and $35 per application, and it’s an appropriate DIY project for any homeowner. If the wooden countertops do not have an epoxy sealant, they will need to be waterproofed once or twice per year, depending on the condition of the countertops.

Regular maintenance for butcher block counters can run from $5 to $50 per year. Surface repairs can require a professional to visit the home at a cost of approximately $250. Depending on what type of finish is on the butcher block countertops, this may require sanding, staining, waterproofing, lacquer, and cleaning. Unfinished, raw countertops will need oiling about once a month for the first year, then twice a year after that to keep them in good condition. If a homeowner decides on staining butcher block counters, they will rarely require additional maintenance, aside from restaining them in 3 to 5 years. If there is a concern about excessive moisture on the countertops that can lead to bacteria growth, sealing butcher block countertops with an epoxy coating can help keep them germ-free.

Types of Butcher Block Countertops

Homeowners can expect a wide fluctuation in butcher block countertop pricing based on the species of wood they choose and the finish. Below are the most popular types of wood to use for butcher block counters and the average price range for each.

Type of WoodAverage Cost Range Per Square Foot
Bamboo$50 to $125
Beech$40 to $100
Birch$25 to $75
Cherry$50 to $275
Maple$40 to $225
Red oak$15 to $50
Teak$100 to $200
Walnut$75 to $300

Bamboo

For homeowners who are environmentally conscious and are concerned with using environmentally friendly materials, bamboo is an excellent option. While not exactly wood in the traditional sense, bamboo offers natural antibacterial properties. At a price range between $50 and $125, bamboo countertops are a budget-friendly option compared to other butcher block options.

Beech

The prices of beech butcher block countertops run from $40 to $65 per square foot. Custom edges and imported wood varieties can increase the installation cost to $100 per square foot.

Birch

American Birch is another popular budget-friendly option at a cost of $25 to $75 per square foot. Plain birch is less expensive than finished wood, but the installation price will increase when the wood is finished to keep it in good condition.

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Cherry

Known for its warm and rich color, American cherry is a durable choice for butcher block countertops. This wood can cost from $50 to $275 per square foot, although many installations don’t cost more than $100 per square foot. Speciality orders and custom finishes can raise the price to $275 per square foot.

Maple

The light color and hard, clear grain make maple a popular choice for butcher block countertops. This material can cost from $40 to $225 per square foot, but it’s common for it to run between $40 and $60 per square foot. Custom finishes, more complex edges, and specialty orders can increase the price to $225 per square foot for this type of wood.

Red Oak

This off-the-shelf option for butcher block counters is a popular budget-friendly option. Red oak countertops can cost from $15 to $50 per square foot and are usually simple to find in most wood supply stores.

Teak

Teak is the most expensive butcher block option at a cost of $100 to $200 per square foot. Since the wood is extremely hard, it’s difficult to work with, hence the relatively high price point.

Walnut

Homeowners who are interested in a dark butcher block countertop typically choose walnut. Popular in high-end kitchen designs and for custom finishes, walnut costs from $75 to $350 per square foot.

Butcher Block Countertops Cost

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Benefits of Butcher Block Countertops

All-purpose butcher block countertops come in an assortment of colors, wood varieties, and designs. Compared with other natural materials and options such as stainless steel countertops, butcher block counters add a warm and inviting atmosphere to any kitchen. Some pros of butcher block countertops are that they’re affordable, long lasting, versatile, available in multiple wood options, and easy to maintain and refinish—and they’re a sustainable natural countertop material. Below are some benefits of butcher block countertops.

Affordability

While they’re not as budget-friendly as laminate kitchen countertops, they’re less expensive than countertops made of other natural materials. On average, butcher block countertops run from $50 to $100 per square foot, depending on wood type, size, and finish.

Durability

With regular maintenance, butcher block countertops can last 20 years or more, which is comparable to the longevity of granite countertops. For homeowners who are looking for natural beauty on a budget, butcher block countertops are an excellent option.

Versatility

While butcher block countertops require regular maintenance, they are a versatile kitchen work space material; they are excellent as a food prep surface because of their durability. Butcher block counters are available in end grain, edge grain, face grain, and blended grain for a variety of design options. They can be made with a variety of different wood types to match a homeowner’s needs and design aesthetic.

Multiple Wood Options

With multiple colors, hues, and design options, butcher block countertops can match the existing color scheme and design of any kitchen. From a rustic farmhouse look to industrial modern, butcher block counters can be made from maple, cherry, red oak, bamboo, birch, beech, walnut, teak, and more wow-worthy woods.

Easy to Maintain and Refinish

Soap and warm water is typically all that’s needed to clean a butcher block surface. For stubborn stains, it’s recommended to pour salt over the stain and rub with half of a lemon. For new countertops, the surface should be oiled once a month and then at least every 6 months after that. Oils that can be used on butcher block countertops are raw linseed, pure tung, walnut, almond, food-grade mineral, and coconut. If the wooden surface has scratches, stains, or dents, it can be sanded in the direction of the grain and re-oiled to restore the original look of the countertop.

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Sustainability

Wood countertops are an eco-friendly choice and can be recycled when the material has reached the end of its usability as a work surface. Bamboo countertops are an excellent option for homeowners who are interested in incorporating environmentally friendly materials in their home.

Butcher Block Countertops Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional 

Unlike other types of countertop materials, butcher block can be a DIY project if a homeowner has the time, tools, and skill set to install a countertop. It takes a team of professional installers about a full day to install butcher block counters, so for a DIYer, it could take considerably longer. This isn’t a one-person job, so homeowners will want to keep in mind that extra hands will be needed to maneuver the heavy butcher block material. Below are some potential risks and disadvantages for homeowners to know if they are considering installing a butcher block countertop on their own.

  • Risk of injury. Because of the weight and the size of the butcher block countertop, it’s not very easy to move and install. DIYers who don’t have the experience and knowledge to complete this particular DIY project safely will want to defer to the services of a professional.
  • Cut and fit issues. If the countertop area isn’t measured properly or cutouts aren’t in the correct place, a whole new butcher block counter will need to be ordered.
  • Fabrication details. DIYers will want to keep in mind that the butcher block countertop surface will need to be cut, edged with a router, stained, or oiled. Having the correct tools and supplies for the job, such as an electric saw, router, stain, and oil, can add to the cost of installation.
  • Time. The time it takes a DIYer to cut the countertop and ensure the sink cutout is in the correct spot will be much longer than it would take a professional. If the job needs to be completed as quickly as possible, it’s worth it to hire a kitchen countertop expert.

How to Save Money on Butcher Block Countertops Cost

Even though butcher block countertops are more budget-friendly than some other countertop materials, installation costs and additional price factors can quickly add up. Below are some money-saving tips for installing a butcher block countertop.

  • Get multiple estimates. Get at least three estimates from reputable kitchen countertop installers in your area to find a price that works with your budget.
  • Mix and match materials. If you have your heart set on another countertop material but a whole kitchen install is out of your price range, mix and match materials. Butcher block countertops can make up the majority of the surface area in the kitchen, while a more expensive option can be used for an island area.
  • Opt for a standard edge. Standard countertop edges are usually included in the price of a finished butcher block countertop. More elaborate edges can drive up the price of installation.
  • Do some of the work yourself. Removing the old countertops on your own can save money on labor and fees for hauling them away. Just be very careful to not damage the cabinets.
  • Shop around. While it’s convenient to purchase plumbing fixtures, faucets, and sinks from the countertop company, you may save money by comparing prices and styles from other sellers.
  • Do your own maintenance. Butcher block countertops require regular maintenance such as oiling and sometimes sanding. By doing these tasks on your own, you can save money on service and labor costs.

Questions to Ask About Butcher Block Countertops

Asking a kitchen countertop professional the right questions can help avoid miscommunication, save money, and will help you get the features you want. Below are some questions for homeowners to ask about butcher block countertops cost and the installation process.

  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • Do you offer free estimates?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you have any professional accreditations?
  • Will you provide references?
  • Do you have photos or examples of previous butcher block countertop installations you’ve completed?
  • What types of countertops do you typically install?
  • Do you offer any customization options for butcher block countertops?
  • How much do you charge for a 10-foot butcher block countertop?
  • Do you have wood samples for purchase?
  • What type of regular maintenance do you recommend for butcher block countertops?
  • Do you hire subcontractors? If so, do they have prior experience working with one another?
  • How long will the countertop installation job take?
  • Who will install the butcher block countertops?
  • What is your cleanup policy?
  • How do you handle any damage that occurs to the kitchen during the installation process?
  • Can you explain the pricing structure for different types and styles of butcher block countertop?
  • Do you offer a warranty on materials and installation?
  • Do you sell sinks, plumbing fixtures, or faucets?
  • What finishes are available for the butcher block countertops?
  • Do you provide plumbing services?
  • Do you have a repair service?
  • What is your payment plan?
  • How can I leave a review of your work?

FAQs

Before hiring a countertop installation professional, homeowners will want to make sure they have all the information they need regarding butcher block countertops and the installation process. Below are some frequently asked questions about butcher block countertops, maintenance, and installation to help guide the decision-making process.

Q. How do I install butcher block countertops?

Before installing butcher block countertops, the contractor or homeowner will need to remove the doors and drawers to the lower kitchen cabinets to avoid damage. The sink will also need to be removed and the plumbing lines disconnected. To ensure the correct sizing of the countertop, the butcher block material should be acclimated in the installation room for at least 72 hours while avoiding excessive heat or dampness. After the installer makes exact measurements, a template needs to be made of thin wood or cardboard. The pieces should be glued together to create a continuous template to ensure the correct fitting of different pieces of butcher block. After the template is traced on the butcher block material, the countertop and sink area will need to be cut to size. If parts of the countertop need to be joined to turn a corner, a miter joint or a butt joint will be needed. Prepping the butcher block material with sandpaper and using a router for the edges will need to be done before staining or sealing is completed. Construction adhesive is used on the top edge of the cabinets before putting the countertop in place. After the countertop pieces are screwed and bolted together, they need to be clamped in place. Once the clamps are removed, the area should be caulked all around the walls and the sink area.

Many homeowners prefer to hire a professional to take care of butcher block installation to avoid costly mistakes that could result in injury or the need to purchase a new butcher block countertop.

Q. Are butcher block countertops hard to clean?

No, butcher block countertops are not hard to clean. Using soap and warm water to clean the counters is typically all the cleaning you need to give them to keep them looking good.

Q. How do I finish butcher block countertops?

If a butcher block countertop is new and unfinished, or if an existing countertop is stained and needs to be refinished, the process typically has three steps. Use 120-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface while collecting the sanding dust from the countertop. The sanding dust can be mixed with food-safe wood glue to create a mixture to fill in cracks or scratches. After the wood glue has dried, sand with 120-grit and then 150-grit sandpaper to ensure a smooth finish. At this point, stain or oil can be applied to the surface. For staining, sand in between each layer of stain for a smooth surface. A professional can finish butcher block countertops in much less time than an inexperienced DIYer. A countertop pro has the knowledge and experience regarding different oil- or water-based stains and will make sure the job is done correctly to ensure the countertop looks its best.

Q. How do I seal butcher block countertops?

Due to the porous nature of wooden countertops, they need to be sealed to protect them against water damage and to prevent bacteria growth. There are three different types of sealers that can be used on butcher block countertops: oil, wax, and film finishes. Oil finishes can be polymerizing or evaporating, and the type of sealer that you choose for the countertops should be chosen based on how the surface will be used. A countertop professional will know which sealer will work the best and how to apply it safely.

Q. How long do butcher block countertops last on average?

With regular maintenance, butcher block countertops can last up to 20 years, which is comparable to the lifespan of granite countertops.

Q. Are butcher block countertops cheaper than quartz ones?

Butcher block countertops are not as expensive to install as quartz or natural countertop materials such as marble. The cost of marble countertops runs about $3,000.

Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, Forbes

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