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Butcher block has been a mainstay in restaurants, home kitchens, and, of course, butcher shops for centuries. As wood tends to warp with repeated exposure to water, homeowners of the past typically used butcher block for stand-alone islands in the middle of the kitchen. Nowadays, people have largely forsaken butcher block, turning instead to countertop materials like granite and marble, but butcher block has several advantages over these trendy stones. It adds visual warmth, it isn't too difficult to maintain, it's usually one of the cheaper countertop alternatives—and, unlike most other materials, you can safely cut on it.
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