Hardwood Lumber Company offers several different butcher block and wide plank top finishing options including, acrylic urethane finish, mineral oil finish and unfinished. We also offer a large variety of edge detail options to compliment your own unique design.
Finishing your Wood Countertop
If your butcher block or wide plank top is prefinished with mineral oil please follow the installation, re-sealing and cleaning instructions below.
If your butcher block or wide plank top is prefinished with acrylic urethane please follow the installation and cleaning instructions below.
It is important to finish and install unfinished butcher blocks and wide plank tops within one week after receiving to prevent any warping, bowing, or cracking. In drier climates, you should begin finishing immediately after receiving your butcher block or wide plank top. Run your hand over the good side, edges and corners to see if there are any rough spots. Sand with a 220 or 320 grit sandpaper and clean with a tack cloth.
Food prep, chopping and finishing instructions
If you plan on using an unfinished butcher block or wide plank top for a food preparation chopping surface, you will need to seal the bottom side with a polyurethane finish, and then apply a generous amount of Hardwood Lumber Co. Butcher Block Oil (call to place a phone order) to top and sides, or any surface that is exposed. Allow the oil to absorb into the wood for 2-4 hours, then wipe off excess oil with a paper towel or clean cloth. If the grain raises slightly after the first oiling, sand the surface lightly with 220 or 320 grit sandpaper and wipe down with a damp cloth, then apply another coat of butcher block oil. A new unfinished butcher block or wide plank top should have at least two coats of butcher block oil before being used.
Non-food prep finishing instructions
You will need to finish all surfaces (top, bottom and sides) of your unfinished butcher block or wide plank top with a commercial grade polyurethane or Waterlox finish. Follow manufacturer's instructions on the polyurethane or Waterlox for finishing coats (usually four coats).
Re-season instructions for oiled butcher blocks and wide plank tops
Hardwood Lumber Co. Butcher Block Oil or Butcher Block Conditioner should be re-applied as needed to reseal the pores and keep butcher blocks and wide plank tops conditioned (maybe once a month); do not let the butcher block or wide plank top dry out.
All four corners, and then every 18" to 24" (on larger tops) of the butcher block and wide plank tops must be screwed down securely to keep the corners from bowing. This is especially important in climates that experience changes in humidity. You can screw right to your cabinet, or use "L" brackets. Pre-drill the screw holes and use a 1" to 1-1/4" wood screw on 1- 1/2" thick tops (at least 1" of screw should go into the butcher block or wide plank top). Do not glue your butcher block or wide plank top down – this will void the warranty of butcher blocks or wide plank tops.
An overhang of 8" to 10" would not need any additional support. An overhang exceeding 10" would require additional support, such as decorative "L" brackets, legs or skirt board. Tabletops will need skirtboards all the way around or additional support that would cover up to 8" of an overhang.
Varnished Butcher Block Tops
Cleaning can be done with soap and water or with white vinegar and water (one cup of vinegar to one gallon of water). White vinegar is a good antibacterial cleaning agent. Butcher blocks and wide plank tops can be polished with a furniture polish if desired.
Mineral Oiled Butcher Block Tops
For fruits and vegetables, a damp cloth can be used before and after food preparation. For meat, fish or dairy products, a damp cloth with water can be used before food preparation. When food preparation is completed, clean the butcher block with soap and water or full strength white vinegar. The acetic acid in the vinegar is a good disinfectant, effective against such harmful bugs as E. coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus. 3% Hydrogen peroxide is also a good bacteria-killer.
You may need to re-season your butcher block or wide plank top after cleaning.Allow the cutting surface to dry completely before attempting to re-season with oil or conditioner.
Lemon or lime juice with salt will help remove odors if you've been working with onions, garlic, or other strong scented foods. Sprinkle your cutting surface with salt. Cut a lemon or lime into quarters and use these quarters to rub the salt into the cutting surface. Let sit for 2-3 minutes and then wipe the cutting surface clean with a damp cloth. Baking soda may also help remove odors.