Not very many things define the atmosphere and curb appeal of the contemporary kitchen like its countertops. Indeed, when a kitchen is initially designed or goes on the design table for a well deserved remodeling project, the counters are one of the primary objects under consideration.
And indeed, it can greatly affect the price of the project. If you find yourself remodeling your kitchen to make it not only stylish but user friendly, you need to know how to install a butcher block counter. These counters are made out of Rock Maple. As you might gather from the name, this wood is extremely durable.
Tools Needed for the Butcher Block Counter
- Electric drill
- Drill bits
- Lag bolts
Unless you built your butcher block counter yourself, you took the dimensions and had it custom made. In either case, the wood is sealed to prevent warping and cracking due to environmental conditions.
Nevertheless, as with any wood product, it is advisable to bring it into the home a few days before scheduled installation to allow the moisture content to stabilize with the interior conditions.
When you are ready to proceed with installation, it’s time to make any cuts that you need to make. Once you do, it’s important to seal the open wood grain as soon as possible. This will prevent cracking. The usual finishes are an oil formulated for this purpose or hand-rubbed bee’s wax.
Installing the Counter
The counter should be mounted on 3/4” plywood. During times when the humidity is high, butcher blocks have a tendency to absorb the humidity despite the tight grain. This causes expansion. During periods of lesser humidity, usually in winter months, the opposite happens and it contracts back to the original dimensions.
When you install your butcher block, make an allowance for these humidity changes. Many cabinet builders will slot the upper mounting holes for the bolts to allow some forgiveness.
If yours have these, ensure that the bolts are in the center of the slot. This allows for both conditions. If the slot is not there, you can fix this by drilling your hole in the plywood counter about 3/8” wider than the bolt shaft.
Now use a washer beneath the bolt head. Attach the butcher block counter top to the counter base with 1/4” lag bolts. Obviously, the length of the bolt will depend on the block, strive to use bolts long enough that they penetrate half way through the block.
One bolt/foot is sufficient to attach the countertop widthwise. Also, use a at least four bolts at both ends. Plan on using one bolt/every two feet to attach the length on both sides.
Now that installation is complete you can begin to enjoy your new butcher block counter. Just remember that if it gets in rough shape you can restore its natural beauty with a light sanding and resealing.
See Also: Butcher Block Maintenance