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Butcher Block Ideas

Butcher block was invented in the late 1800s in response to the needs of butchers for a strong, sanitary working surface that could be thoroughly cleaned and withstand the rigors of a butcher’s work. It was discovered that end-grain wood pieces, laminated together to form a slab, provided an ideal solution.

One of the oldest manufacturers of butcher block, The Michigan Maple Block Company, introduced the butcher block around the turn of the last century. In the history section of the company’s website, the story is that “the end grain laminated hard maple butcher blocks were enormously successful, easily replacing the old sycamore rounds, whose tendency to split had created sanitation problems. Today, properly dried, hard maple remains the ideal wood for butcher blocks. The close grain provides a smooth surface, easily cleaned and cared for.”

Butcher block surfacing is widely available now from a variety of sources, and is used for countertops, workbench tops, furniture, food service island tops, and an array of gourmet products, such as cutting boards and kitchen work carts and tables. It continues to be used in the butcher industry and is also used in research labs, school science classrooms, and industrial arts departments.

For homeowners who love the warmth of wood and appreciate the craftsmanship and sturdiness of butcher block surfacing, there are lots of options for use in:

  • Kitchens
  • Workshops
  • Patios and Outdoor Areas

Great ideas for the gourmet chef – or those who want a gourmet kitchen even, though their culinary skills may not be up to par with Cordon Bleu standards – can be found at Butcher Block Co. There are lovely tables, islands, carts, cutting boards, and countertops to choose from. and the company offers free shipping – a big plus, considering the weight of the products.

Old World Butcher Block Furniture offers butcher block products with flair and boasts some movie credits as well – their products were featured in “Julie and Julia” and “The Cat in the Hat.”

In an article called Butcher Block Kitchen Countertops, author Kelly Smith gives instructions for installation for the do-it-yourselfer. These instructions are useful to review if you’re considering adding the vintage look to your kitchen – or your workshop. And for the serious do-it-yourselfer, you can learn how to build your own butcher block table in an episode on the DIY Network: http://home-interiors.suite101.com/article.cfm/butcher_block_kitchen_countertops.

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