We will be celebrating 3 years in our house this summer! I’ve wanted to share thoughts on building a house along other content related to our home for quite a while. It seemed best to wait until we’ve lived with our choices, and now I’ve started gathering post ideas and thoughts. Even at 2 1/2 years later, I remember so much about building the house and making all the choices! That’s how much I loved it. Today is all about our butcher block island and what we think about it 2 1/2 years later.
When we decided to build a new house, even before we sold our first house, I started gathering tons of inspiration. I mostly used Pinterest, because it’s an easy way to keep inspiration organized. Every picture that inspires me for our new home was pinned. Every week or so, I would go through the images and cull out the ones that no longer inspired me.
There was a recurring theme with the kitchen inspo, and that was butcher block counters. I love the warmth that wood adds to a kitchen. I absolutely fell in love with the idea of a butcher block island. During our build, the decision for a butcher block island actually wasn’t easy one because we had so many options to weigh throughout the house.
We would narrow down decisions one by one, but the butcher block was kind of looming over our heads. It was going to be an extra cost, and of course we were trying to stay on budget (spoiler: we didn’t stay on budget. But seriously, who ever does?). It was one of the last major decisions we made after going over budget on appliances and lighting, and trying to manage being under budget in other areas to make up the overage from the (then, potential) butcher block island.
And after all that, of course we went with it. And I am so glad! It has come with its frustrations and a bit of a learning curve. So, first let me lay out the pros and cons of our butcher block island.
Butcher Block Island Pros Beautiful
- Ages well with time
- Conversation starter
- But not too unique 😉
- Easily customizable with stains
- Did I mention beautiful?
Butcher Block Island Cons
- High maintenance
- Requires weekly oiling (if not sealed)
- Can’t get wet
- Or hot
- Or cold
- And can’t put leather or rubber on it
Well, as you can see the major con is the maintenance. I’ll talk about the cons first before diving into the pros. Our butcher block island is not sealed. I’m not sure if we should have sealed it (we were not given the option), but I like the look of natural wood. So, we might not have sealed it given the option.
I oil our butcher block island every week with the oil our counter guy recommended to us. At first it felt like a hassle but it truly helps repel the water off the wood. I have noticed less and less water stains the more it’s oiled. Of course, we always use coasters and you simply can’t put a wet glass on the wood. But, the odd water drop from washing dishes is less noticeable now.
The day we moved in, June 23, 2017.
Hot, cold, leather, and rubber also effect the wood. I once placed my leather bag on the counter over night. When I picked it up the next morning, the stain had lifted from the wood. Now, the really odd thing was that it went back to normal after a few hours. The same has happened with rubber-backed hot pads. We are simply careful with what we place on the butcher block island. Now, it’s second nature but there was an adjustment period.
While all the cons point to the wood being high maintenance, all the pros point to the wood being beautiful. I have thought many times over the past 2 1/2 years “would we choose this again?” And the answer is always yes. The look and style outweighs the high maintenance aspect of the butcher block island. Oiling it is just one of my weekly cleaning tasks that I worked into my weekly cleaning day.
If you are interested in getting a butcher block island or butcher block countertops, I hope this has helped you. Everyone is different, so if you feel that oiling it every week is too high maintenance for you I would suggest looking into getting a sealed butcher block counter or finding a stone option with the same warm tone. If it’s not sealed, oiling is a must! I had a contractor ask me about a year ago how I was keeping such good care of ours, because he had another client who hadn’t been oiling hers and now needed to get it replaced. At $2000+ (depending on the wood, of course), you don’t want to be replacing this! Oiling it every week will keep it looking beautiful and make it last for years.
If you are looking for a butcher block oil recommendation, this is the one our counter guy gave us when we moved in. We’ve never used anything else, and it’s been wonderful. It’s very easy to use and it’s kept the counter looking gorgeous.
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