And it’s known to age gracefully.

By Patricia Shannon
August 27, 2019
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Lizzie Cox

Concrete, granite, marble, and quartz—what do all of these materials have in common? At one time or another each one has taken the helm as the trendiest countertop surface around. While we doubt they’ll be falling off the grid anytime soon, they’re in a continuous flip-flop of appeal. Some years we’re gung ho concrete fans, whereas other times we’re ready to write it off as too cold, too harsh, or even too gray. There is one countertop material that has withstood the tumultuousness of trends: butcherblock.

Butcher block countertops are synonymous with cottage style. They’re right at home with inset Shaker cabinets and antiqued brass hardware. They pack a warm-and-cozy punch and are one of the more affordable countertop options, clocking in at around half of what you might shell out for stone and quartz options. Don't let the upkeep dissuade you from taking the plunge and going for this classic style. Follow a few simple guidelines and your butcher block countertops will stand the test of time.

To start, pick the right finish. If you’ll be using your butcher block countertop for meal prep, use a butcher block conditioner or a food-safe mineral oil. If your butcher block already has a varnish, you’ll need to sand it down before applying a more natural-looking finish. For more on how to care for, refinish, and condition your butcher block countertops, click here.

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A couple more things to remember:

Use Cutting Boards

Tempting, we know, but it’s best not to use your countertops as a giant cutting board—particularly when it comes to ease of cleanup. Avoid stains and nicks by reaching for a cutting board instead (dishwasher safe is ideal).

Don’t Let It Puddle

Spots and stains are inevitable, but you can cut down on their likelihood and potential damage by wiping up spills as soon as possible. But what happens when that first stain appears? We recommend embracing the patina—and also keeping in mind that you can always sand and restain the blcok for a fresh start.