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Aug 26, 2022/Stone Care Guides

How to Install Butcher Block Countertops

butcher block countertop

Butcher block countertops are more than just an eye-catching way to upgrade the look of your kitchen—they're also straightforward to install! If you follow these simple steps, your new butcher block countertops will be installed in no time. What's more, you can even do the installation yourself with some simple DIY skills.

Planning the Installation

You may be reading this blog post because you are interested in learning how to install butcher block countertops. It may seem difficult, but it is not! Installation should be easy with the right supplies and a little bit of knowledge on how butcher blocks work. Just follow these instructions, and you will have your new counters installed in no time at all!

Before installing, ensure that the counters are appropriately prepped by sanding them down. If they have any screw holes or scuffs (which they most likely will), fill those in with wood putty and let it dry before moving forward. Also, take care to measure the space available for installation as well as the thickness of the boards so that everything fits correctly. When this is done, apply a coat of primer sealant to help protect against stains and water damage. Then finally, follow up with two coats of paint in your desired color and finish it off by wiping everything down with mineral spirits and then finishing up with wax or oil for protection from moisture. And voila! You now know how to install butcher block countertops!

Tools You Need

You need the butcher block and the finish material of your choice. You will also need a few items specific to the finish you've chosen. For example, if you want a polyurethane finish, you'll need some mineral spirits, turpentine, and paint thinner for thinning the polyurethane. Additionally, you will need an oven cleaner, putty knife, or scraper for removing excess dried glue and silicone sealant from the edges before applying sandpaper.

Materials You Need

  • cardboard
  • wood screws (1 1/2 inch and 2 inch)
  • sharp knife
  • sponge or cloth with dish detergent in it.
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • square or straight edge that can be laid on the counter.

Step 1: Preparing the Surface

  1. The surfaces must be free of any adhesive, old countertop, or linoleum.
  2. Prime and sand the surface.
  3. Clean the surface with a good disinfectant wipe or household cleaner and dry completely.
  4. Apply a bead of oil (or soap in winter climates).
  5. Sand again and recheck for oil/soap residue.
  6. Clean the surface once more, and it's ready for the new butcher block!

Step 2: Cutting the Blocks

  1. Lay out the blocks next to each other. Make sure the straightest edge on one block faces the matching straight edge on another block. When installing more than one row of blocks, make sure that the blocks in adjacent rows are directly opposite each other and not offset from one another.
  2. Line up one of your saw blades at a 45-degree angle along the matched edges, and cut through both pieces of wood.
  3. Move the blade over until it is aligned with the next matched pair of edges, then repeat step two for this new set of cuts.
  4. Continue this process until all of your blocks are neatly trimmed into individual boards.
  5. Now you're ready to move on to step three!

Step 3: Placing the First Row

Lay the first row of planks with at least one end touching the wall, and then carefully hammer in the screws. You may need two people: One person to hold and line up each plank while the other person carefully hammers in a screw before moving on to the next plank. Ensure you have enough screws for each row, as you will use them as support from below. Start from one side and alternate sides each time a new row is laid until all of the planks are placed and secured.

Step 4: Gluing and Screwing Down the Second Row

Gluing the joints and screwing the screws ensures that your blocks will hold together. You can use a plastic spacer on each joint if you want to create a 1/4 air gap between the top and bottom blocks, but it is not necessary.

Attach your safety barriers around the edges of your countertop. Spread out an even layer of glue all over one side, including over any joint gaps you are sealing. Make sure the surface is completely covered with glue. Place another row of boards down, so they are flush against the first row, making sure to get the corners right. Once again, ensure everything is level before applying any pressure. Now firmly press down on each board in turn, going from left to right across the entire length of the board for five seconds before moving on to the next one.

Step 5 – Finishing Up!

Always make sure to seal the wood with food-safe mineral oil, as these countertops are meant for use in kitchens. If you do not have a sealer, any type of cooking oil will work as well. Applying it with a clean rag is all that's needed.


Overall, the process of installing butcher block countertops is very straightforward. It will not take long, either. With a little bit of preparation and the information provided in this article, you can install new butcher block countertops for your kitchen in no time.

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