Since wood is known to absorb moisture and moisture helps create an environment for bacteria to grow, are butcher block countertops sanitary and safe to use? Most butcher block manufacturers claim that these countertops are some of the most sanitary in the countertop market. Some people who do not advocate the use of butcher block countertops complain that they have to be cleaned and scrubbed thoroughly with soap every time they are used. But when a person really thinks about it, don’t all cutting boards have to be cleaned this way before they are used?
Some advantages of butcher block countertops have that other countertops don’t is that it can be sanded down and refinished or oiled if it becomes stained, scratched or otherwise damaged. No other countertop, including more expensive ones such as granite, marble, and corian, can claim this advantage. Even when it is sanded down, it doesn’t have that patched up look. It looks completely new! Regular maintenance on the countertops helps to minimize the need for the whole countertop to be sanded down. Routine light sanding with a block sander and applying mineral oil about every six weeks will keep the butcher block countertop looking great.
Another advantage of butcher block countertops is that a home owner will get an extremely pleasing look for a fraction of the cost of other countertops. A person may choose to just do a portion of their countertop in butcher block, such as an island or area by the stove. The great thing about butcher block countertops is that it goes well with other types of countertops and a vast array of appliances. Also, sharp knives will not become dull after repeated use on the butcher block countertop. Remember that butcher block tops require maintenance to keep them sanitary and looking new for years. It is important to use cutting board oil regularly to make sure you can achieve the look, and food ready surface you are looking for.
Some of the sturdier butcher block countertops are made of Hard Rock Maple or Appalachian Red Oak. If left unsealed or oil-finished these types are perfect for preparing and cutting food directly on them. If a homeowner chooses another type of wood, especially expensive, exotic woods, he or she may want to consider having the countertop sealed and not use it for cutting on. Most special order woods are not strong or hard enough to cut directly on them and can become damaged beyond repair if they are repeatedly used for such type of work.
So if you are shopping for a new kitchen countertop, you might want to consider the beauty, practicality, and durability of butcher block countertops..