Trends are shifting from previous, gray granite countertops paired with sleek, white kitchens. Nowadays, people bring warmth into the kitchen by installing butcher block countertops. If you are updating to a trendy kitchen, you probably wonder how much butcher block countertops cost. We've done the research to give you a comprehensive guide for butcher block costs and considerations.
Butcher block countertops range in cost from $15.00 to $350.00 per square-foot. That seems like a wide range, but you'll be relieved to know that several considerations affect the overall cost, like:
- Size (length and thickness)
- Type of wood
- Grain (end grain vs edge grain)
Choosing butcher block countertops based on the above considerations proves huge savings for a DIY kitchen remodel. Not only does wood add style, but butcher block countertops are incredibly versatile too. Read on, as we delve into these cost considerations to learn how each affects the overall price of butcher block countertops.
What To Consider To Price Butcher Block Countertops
As you've just learned, there are several considerations when purchasing butcher block countertops. Let's take a closer look, so you'll know how to upgrade your kitchen affordably.
Standard countertop depth is 25 inches, but the length of countertops does vary. Surprisingly, you will pay more per square-foot for shorter lengths of butcher block. For example, Saman wood from Lowes increases from $25 per sq-ft for long pieces (120" x 25") to $35 per sq-ft for short pieces (48" x 25"). See a finished, Saman countertop pictured below.
Consider buying a longer piece of butcher block to cut costs, and then cut the block to the length needed to fit your kitchen counter. You get a customized length for a great price.
Also consider the thickness of the butcher block when pricing it. For example, 3 to 4 inch thickness tends to cost more than 1 to 2 inch. So, if you can slim down the thickness you'll slim down the price too.
Sizing countertops to coordinate with cabinets can be tricky, so we've got incredibly useful information for you. Check out this additional article about sizing kitchen cabinets. For even more great tips, this article explains how far an oven should stick out from cabinets.
Type Of Wood
Butcher block countertops can be made from a wide range of wood types. Affordable wood types tend to be ash, birch, and rubber wood; prices range from $13 to $18 per sq -ft. Higher-end wood types include red oak, cherry, maple, and walnut; custom-order prices range from $175 to $350 per sq-ft.
Veneer is an alternative material that might not come to mind initially. Veneer is less durable than wood, but it still brings warmth to the kitchen and provides a stylish alternative to stone countertops. Ikea created an entire line of chic, veneer countertops that don’t break the bank. Check out Ikea's walnut veneer countertop for $13 per sq-ft, pictured below.
Consider two main types of grains when purchasing a butcher block countertop, end grain and edge grain. End grain shows fewer signs of distress over time. According to Armani Fine Woodworking, end grain is the best for knife work due to its ability to absorb cuts. On the other hand, edge grain butcher block remains the most durable. Chefs prefer edge grain for rolling dough and prepping food.
End grain butcher block looks more fashionable on the surface because the ends display a checkerboard pattern.
Edge grain butcher block looks smoother, displying lengthwise, laminated pieces.
End grain butcher block costs significantly more at $250 to $350 per square-foot because it must be custom ordered from high-end specialty companies. Whereas edge grain is mass-produced, and due to availability only costs $15 to $50 per square-foot.
Amazon offers great selections of edge grain butcher block. Click here to see this unfinished, Big Bison countertop and be redirected to Amazon.
To give you an idea of how the brand can affect the cost of a butcher block countertop, we've compared brands found at Lowes and Amazon.
Lowe’s offers two brands, Baltic Butcher Block and Sparrow Peak. Baltic Butcher Block is more affordable at $18 per sq-ft for birch wood. Sparrow Peak is a slightly more expensive, but it offers more variety of wood types including bamboo butcher blocks like the one pictured below.
Amazon offers John Boos and Big Bison brands. Comparatively, these countertops vary in price by wood type more so than brand. For instance, the John Boos cherry butcher block countertop is $53 per square-foot, whereas the John Boos blended walnut countertop is $40 per square-foot.
Click here to see the John Boos cherry countertop and be redirected to Amazon.
Click here to see the John Boos blended walnut countertop and be redirected to Amazon.
Custom-made butcher blocks that must be special ordered are the most expensive because they cannot be purchased off-the-shelf.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Butcher Block Countertop?
Butcher block countertops are not just about style, but also provide a low-maintenance, versatile work surface for your kitchen. Check out the pros and cons of installing butcher block countertops.
- Easily remove unsightly scratches from knife marks by sanding the wood surface for a new finish.
- Bypass the cutting board and prepare many foods right on the countertop.
- Cut installation costs by installing butcher block countertops yourself for a DIY kitchen project.
- Customize countertops to fit any kitchen, by measuring and cutting butcher block lengths with standard tools.
- Wood provides a soft surface, gentler on your dishes and kitchenware.
- Wood provides a sound-absorbing surface, to minimize the noise of clanging plates, pots, and pans while you cook.
- Butcher block countertops add a cheerful hue to your kitchen, as opposed to cold-toned marble.
- Wood surface needs regular maintenance to apply food-safe oil.
- Stains can be difficult to remove, even by sanding to refinish the surface.
- Because wood is an absorbent surface, you'll want to continue to use cutting boards to prepare moisture-rich foods like meat and fruit.
Is Butcher Block Cheaper than Granite?
Butcher block tends to be cheaper than granite which averages between $40 to $60 per sq-ft. But, remember the considerations we've discussed for butcher block because size, type, grain, and brand all factor into the overall cost. Edge grain butcher block is the most affordable. Save with edge grain, versus granite, by using 2 inch thickness and lower-cost types of wood like birch or ash. Butcher block countertops can becomes more expensive than granite countertops when you select high-end wood types, custom-ordered end grain, or thickness of 3 inches or more.
Considering other types of countertops like marble, butcher block is more affordable. Butcher block is similar in price to quartz, unless you select custom-made lengths from expensive wood grains and types.
Overall, butcher block countertops live up to their price tag. They serve as practical work surfaces that can be refreshed with a bit of sanding and oiling after years of use. Options for rich, dark wood tones add a modern touch to any kitchen. If you aren’t sold on the look or functionality just yet, replace an island countertop first to see how butcher block works for your kitchen. A butcher block countertop on the island is a nice accent, especially for a kitchen that could use a bit of warmth.