Small DIY Butcher Block Projects

Small DIY Butcher Block Projects

Small DIY butcher block projects can make a big impact! While often easy, fast and affordable, they can result in a huge sense of accomplishment, too. Butcher block is ideal for the kitchen, but also cleverly used in other places in the home: check out all these creative projects our customers have tackled!

DIY butcher block kitchen island

Restore a vintage buffet with a new butcher block top to make a kitchen island that is not only practical, but a showstopper! Tip – remember to always remove the original top and place butcher block on an open base cabinet to prevent possible warping. Featured – White Oak Edge Grain from BB Co. brand.

Create a DIY butcher block Coffee Bar in a sweet niche with a wood countertop and attractive backsplash or quaint signage. Tip – oil your butcher block once a month to protect and moisturize. Featured – Boos Walnut Edge Grain.

Wet bars are becoming increasingly popular. For a nice contrast, consider butcher block in one of 15 different species. Tip – order conversion varnish or Waterlox finish for more water proofing. Featured – BBCo. brand Ash Edge Grain.

Cherish an heirloom table for years to come with some fresh paint and an upgraded butcher block top. Makes for a great food prep surface and dining spot. Tip – order oil finish if you intend to use as a chopping block, or Varnique finish for dining. Featured – Boos Blended Grain Maple.

Our DIY butcher block customers have made practical kitchen carts from vintage pieces, end tables and even (tool) rollaways, by adding a butcher block surface for the top. Tip – remember to always remove the original top and place butcher block on an open base to prevent possible warping. Featured – 4.5″ thick Beech Edge Grain BB Co. brand.

DIY butcher block pantry

Every serious baker deserves their own bakers’ pantry to keep their precious specialty appliances and necessities organized and easily accessible. Tip – order custom sizes, and a conversion varnish finish for low maintenance countertops and shelves. Featured – BB Co. brand Beech Plank-style.

DIY your own custom cutting board by choosing the dimensions to exactly fit your kitchen space. Choose from 1 of 15 different wood species. Tip – remember to request reversible (15% upcharge) if needed. Featured – BB Co. brand Maple Plank-style 1″ thick.

Butcher block is not just for kitchens! Make your own coffee table by simply adding sturdy hairpin legs. Tip – order with varnish finish and treat it like the piece of fine furniture that it is. Featured – Boos 7″thick Maple End Grain.

DIY butcher block desk

Consider a DIY butcher block desk. Again, choose a varnish finish for low maintenance and add some vintage hairpin legs. Tip – End grain is very hard wood, so to prevent it from cracking always pre-drill holes before screwing in legs. Featured – Boos Walnut End Grain.

There are endless clever uses for butcher block, like this custom speed bag made by another creative DIYer. Tip – order custom sizes and shapes of butcher block by calling us at 877-845-5597. Featured – Boos Maple Edge Grain.

It’s easy to start a DIY butcher block project. Visit our online configurator for ordering a custom John Boos butcher block or a Butcher Block Co. brand butcher block. Then send us your pictures so we can feature your creation in an upcoming blog!

Overhang Supports for Butcher Block Countertops

Overhang Supports for Butcher Block Countertops

Here is one more way we are your one-stop-shop! We sell hundreds of butcher block countertops each month to DIYers, contractors, designers, and small businesses. And very often, their plans involve countertop or island overhangs designed to accommodate seating for dining. One of the most common requests we have is for us to sell overhang supports to aid in proper installation.

Butcher Block Co. is pleased to announce we have added overhang supports, including steel brackets and corbels, to make it possible for our customers to source these products and experience a one-stop shopping experience.

BRACKETS

When to use them: We recommend any butcher block with a side overhang of 8″ or more or an end overhang of 12″ or more, be properly installed with support brackets (or support corbels).

side overhang
Side Overhangs

end overhang
End Overhangs

What types do we have: We carry 5 different steel support brackets to meet your installation applications.

How to choose the right bracket: Use this decision tree to help you choose the right bracket for your application. Most people choose hidden brackets because of the benefits of a) providing a floating appearance and b) not having hardware that could interfere with a person’s leg room when seated at the overhang.

overhang brackets

How to choose the right length bracket: You will need to determine the amount of unsupported overhang that you want. We recommend only 4 to 6″ be unsupported. Then you measure the lengths from either the inside base cabinet (hidden brackets) or outside base cabinets (visible L bracket). For detailed directions see product feature info on each bracket at ButcherBlockCo.com.

How to install brackets: Installation is simple and fast. Generally, it requires screwing the bracket into the base cabinet. The addition of a 1×4 or 2×4 to the inside base cabinet is recommended, for anchoring the support bracket. Hidden brackets are mounted flush with base cabinets by simply notching out for the thickness of the bracket. Then follow standard butcher block installation instructions for anchoring your countertop to the base cabinet (link).

CORBELS

When to use them: Use a corbel when you are looking for both functional support AND a decorative accent to your overhang. Same guidelines apply: for overhangs 8″ or more on sides and 12″ or more on ends of countertops.

What types do we have: We carry 9 different steel, decorative support corbels covering 6 different design styles. (Three designs are available in both a 1.5″ and 2″ width.)

support corbels

How to choose the right corbel: This is easy. It is all about what appeals to you, and what fits your decor and application. Choose the corbel design, then the length required to support the overhang you have planned.

How to install corbels: Typical installation requires a 1×4 or 2×4 support be placed inside a base cabinet to which the corbel will anchor. Refer to our Corbel Installation Instructions for more details.

Butcher Block Co. wanted to offer our shoppers a wide enough selection of overhang supports so every customer would discover multiple options, but not so many that she would feel overwhelmed having to choose from too many.

Summertime Care For Butcher Block With An Oil Finish

Summertime Care For Butcher Block With An Oil Finish

Most butcher blocks come pre-treated with a food-safe, natural oil finish that moisturizes and protects the wood and makes it safe for food preparation, including cutting.

Summertime temperature and humidity changes could cause your natural oil finish butcher block to dry and crack.

With a little TLC now, you can protect your investment for the future.

summertime care TLC

For summertime care, apply John Boos Mystery Oil now, to help moisturize and restore your butcher block.

Mystery Oil is an all-natural blend of white mineral oil, carnauba wax and beeswax that restores wood by replenishing moisture lost through repeated washings and simple evaporation.

Summertime care Oil

Apply Mystery Oil liberally to the surfaces of your butcher block. Spread the oil using a clean, dry cloth. Wait several hours, or even overnight, for it to soak in. Wipe off any excess oil with a paper towel.

Repeat every 3 to 4 weeks to keep your butcher blocks in tip-top condition and to extend their useful lives.

For extra summertime care, apply Boos Beeswax Board Cream after the Mystery Oil treatment to help seal in the moisture.

Customizable Country Work Table Fits Every Kitchen!

Customizable Country Work Table Fits Every Kitchen!

Our John Boos Country Work Table is the most popular butcher block table we sell! Standing at a counter height of 35″, it is the perfect table for food preparation. It provides an additional work surface and more counter space for appliances, if that’s what you need. But the main attraction is that this table is customizable to fit your kitchen decor and space. Plus, with multiple add-on features, it can buy you more storage capacity, too! 

13 COLORS

country work table colors

The Country Work Table is available with a natural wood base (i.e., table apron, legs and shelf/shelves) or it can be finished with one of 12 colors. Nine paint color options run the gamut, from Barn Red to Clover Green and from Caribbean Blue to an orangish Spicy Latte. Or choose one of three wood stains in walnut, cherry or gray. You’re sure to find the hue that complements your kitchen decor.

7 SIZES

country work table sizes

The Country Work Table is available in seven rectangular sizes. The smallest is about 3ft long x 2ft wide and our largest is 5ft long x 3ft wide. Depending on its style and size, you might use your table as a kitchen island for dining, positioned in the center of the kitchen. Or you can set it against a wall and use it for added counter and shelf space. With so many sizes to choose from, you can design the table that best fits your kitchen space.

3 SPECIES

country work table species

Our Maple and Oak butcher block Country Work Tables are by far the most popular versions, tried-and-true for years. However, our newest addition with a blended grain walnut butcher block top is very trendy now, as more customers are gravitating toward the warmth and richness of walnut for countertops, island tops and cabinetry in their kitchens.

STORAGE OPTIONS

storage options

Everyone loves a little extra storage space, especially in the kitchen. Add a drawer to your table to tuck away cooking utensils and kitchen gadgets. Select a few wicker storage baskets, perfect for farmhouse kitchens. And order one or two slatted shelves if you need extra space for appliances, cookware or decorations. Finally, the addition of casters instantly makes your table portable, allowing you to move it when and where you need it, then easily store it until next time.

There are hundreds, actually thousands, of versions of the John Boos Country Work Table given 13 colors x 7 sizes x 3 species x 3 shelf options x baskets x drawers x casters, oh my! So certainly you can design a configuration that’s just right for you and your kitchen!

Now More Than Ever, We Are Baking

Now More Than Ever, We Are Baking

Some of us love the smell of baking; others just savor the tastes. Some of us enjoy baking because we appreciate the science behind it. Recipes call for exact quantities or amounts of certain ingredients to be combined in rigid order, following a time-tested “formula.” Focusing on this step-by-step process can relieve our minds from worrying about other stress in our life.

Some of us enjoy the process of baking as much as the end result. Humans find few things more satisfying than checking a box and moving onto the next task at hand, especially in mouth-watering anticipation. The more daring among us even relish the chance to add a pinch of baker’s art to that recipe written by Mr. Science.

stress baking

Some of us, looking for productive ways to fill a sudden surfeit of idle time, are indulging in “stress baking” of late. Nothing like pounding and kneading bread dough to relieve some stress! And a little victory now and again goes a long way to help restore our senses of normalcy and accomplishment.

social baking
And then there’s “social baking” – the perfect new way to spend quality time with family. Cap off the experience by indulging in a delicious sampling of the fruits of your labor. And be sure to share! Baking is all about sharing, so don’t let the exultation end there. Celebrate your accomplishments by posting the experience on your favorite social media sites. It will inspire others to follow your lead!

If you’re an experienced baker, you already know that sturdy-but-smooth butcher block is the perfect work surface for baking.

The Butcher Block Co. offers a full range of butcher block tops for kitchen counters and islands, as well as butcher-block tables, carts, and cutting boards that can help make baking a breeze. And, if you’d like to take your home baking to the next level, check out our lineup of John Boos Bakers’ Tables. You won’t find a wider selection anywhere!

Seven Kitchen Design Styles That Americans (And We) Especially Like

Seven Kitchen Design Styles That Americans (And We) Especially Like

Over the years, kitchens have evolved to become so much more than places in homes where meals are prepared and consumed. Today’s “great kitchens” also serve as family rooms, media centers, conference rooms and virtual offices. Now more than ever, with the kitchen serving as the hub of family activity as well as the focal point of the home, it’s important to choose a kitchen design style that suits the needs and tastes of you and your family. With that in mind, the Butcher Block Co. presents an overview of seven of the most popular kitchen design styles.

While a home’s overall design style can dictate, or dramatically influence, the style selection for your kitchen, that’s not always the case. Moreover, realize that most kitchens incorporate elements associated with multiple design themes. This causes the majority of kitchens to be classified into either of two broad style categories: traditional or contemporary.

TRADITIONAL

About one in three North American kitchens can be categorized as Traditional – i.e., incorporating aspects of design from across multiple centuries and common to both the English countryside and modern-day Europe. Considered classic and timeless, but never ostentatious, traditional-style kitchens feature such details as glass-front cupboards, painted wood cabinetry, and vintage hardware and light fixtures. The use of warm, rich colors and plush furniture makes traditional kitchens warm and comforting.

CONTEMPORARY

Kitchen Design Style

About a quarter of kitchens can be classified as contemporary – i.e., incorporating modern, state-of-the-art materials in efficient, minimalistic designs. In a contemporary kitchen you’re likely to encounter such materials as stainless steel, glass, concrete, and chrome used in combination with a simple but bold color palette – sometimes limited to black, white and gray. But it’s not likely you’ll find much decoration, since the Contemporary designer is mostly focused on utility and efficiency.

MODERN

Modern Kitchen Design Style

While “contemporary” and “modern” are synonyms, they describe kitchen design styles that are actually quite different from one another. Whereas the Contemporary style of design is focused on the present, the Modern style harkens back to the mid-century modern era of the 1950s and 1960s, and sometimes more broadly, to the decades of the 1920s through the 1970s. Modern kitchens often showcase wood as their featured material, and color palettes that incorporate earth tones. About one in ten kitchens follows the Modern style of design.

TRANSITIONAL

Transitional Kitchen Design Style

In this case, the term “transitional” alludes to a blending of two styles: Traditional and Modern. In the vernacular, we might refer to this style as a blending of the old with the new. For example, a Transitional kitchen might combine stainless steel or black appliances and fixtures with dark cabinets exuding warmth, all juxtaposed against neutral-colored walls. The Transitional design style is followed in roughly 15% of kitchens.

FARMHOUSE

Country Farmhouse Kitchen Design Style

Kitchens designed in Farmhouse style, typically described as open and inviting, encourage “simpler living.” Cabinets, tables, and chairs are made of quality hardwood. Such a kitchen might well showcase a farmhouse table, an apron-front sink, a wood-burning potbelly stove and a hearth. Another distinguishing characteristic of this style is its use of bright colors we often associate with rural settings, such as red, yellow, and blue, mixed with pastels.

COTTAGE

Cottage Kitchen Design Style

Designers employ the Cottage style of design when the objective is to create a casual and welcoming atmosphere associated with vacation or summer cottages designed for relaxation and entertaining. More often than not, a cottage-style kitchen is characterized by a light and airy look achieved through the use of light, muted colors; white beadboard cabinets; a farmhouse sink; wood floors that add warmth; and vintage light fixtures that provide a “retro” feel.

COASTAL

Coastal Kitchen Design Style

As one might imagine, coastal or beach-style kitchens are likely to be cheery and bright, illuminated by abundant sunlight and featuring gentle and soothing shades of blue, green, white, and beige (in a callout to sand-colored beaches). Lighting tends to be subdued, and seaside or maritime-themed décor typically features seashells, sea life, sailboats and fishing, for example.

We recognize there are numerous other kitchen design styles not covered here, and not one of them is wrong. What’s most important is that YOU find a style that invigorates you. And regardless of your design-style decision, know that the Butcher Block Co. can supply you with butcher block surfaces, furniture, and accessories to make yours a twenty-first-century kitchen: wood counter and island tops; island, dining, work, and bakers’ tables; kitchen carts; cutting boards and chopping blocks; and knives and knife blocks.

How to Clean, Rinse and Sanitize Wood Cutting Boards

How to Clean, Rinse and Sanitize Wood Cutting Boards

With all of us hyper-focused on keeping ourselves, our families and our homes safe and sanitary, we at the Butcher Block Co. wish to share with you some butcher block best practices you should keep in mind every day, including helpful tips to clean and sanitize wood cutting boards.

It’s Important to Clean a Cutting Board Immediately after Each Use
We recommended that you wash any wood cutting board after using it lightly (e.g., for slicing fruits or vegetables). Wipe it down using a clean sponge with mild dish soap and water, rinse and dry. For a more heavily soiled board, you’ll want to follow a more rigorous, comprehensive cleaning regimen.

  1. Use a soft bristled brush, spatula or plastic scraper to remove any particles of food that adhere to the board.
  2. Add a small amount of mild dish soap to a bowl or tub of hot water. Dip a clean sponge or washcloth into the soapy water. Use the sponge or washcloth to clean the surface of the board.
  3. Rinse the sponge or washcloth. Now use it to wipe down the board with clear water.
  4. Once again, rinse the sponge or washcloth, wring it out, and use it to absorb any water that remains on the board.
  5. Finally, using a paper towel or dish towel, thoroughly dry the board’s surface.
  6. If cleaning both sides of a cutting board, be sure to store it on its edge until both sides dry completely.

Our butcher block experts warn that you should never submerge a wood cutting board in water or wash it in a dishwasher, even though you might come across tips online suggesting that the latter practice is acceptable. It isn’t.

Sanitize Wood Cutting Boards Occasionally, and after Handling Raw Meat
It’s wise to deep-clean your wood cutting boards once in a while, and especially after handling raw meat, fish or poultry. Some chefs and homemakers swear by a diluted bleach solution they spread over the board and let stand for several minutes before rinsing with hot water. Bleach advocates recommend a concentration of 1 teaspoon of household bleach in a quart of water.

Another alternative that is highly efficacious is using common first aid antiseptic hydrogen peroxide solution (3%) found in the grocery store.

  1. Pour it directly on the board and spread it around with a sponge. Clean and rinse the sponge.
  2. Let the solution stand for several minutes. Lightly rinse the board with clear water and wipe off the water with a clean sponge.
  3. Use a clean paper towel or dish towel to dab the board dry.

Note: Hydrogen peroxide is a drying agent, so be sure to keep your wood cutting board well oiled to prevent premature drying, cracking or splitting.

sanitize wood countertops

Here Are a Couple of Other Board Cleaning Ingredients You Might Want To Consider

Pure white vinegar (acetic acid), yet another disinfecting agent, destroys some (not all) bacteria and viruses. To apply white vinegar, create a solution of one part vinegar to three parts water. Soak a clean cloth in the solution then wipe down the cutting board thoroughly using the soaked cloth.
For removing grease on a cutting board’s surface try a paste of safe and natural baking soda and water. Simply massage the paste into the wood using a damp sponge. Rinse and dry.

These best practices and every day tips can go a long way towards keeping your cutting boards, chopping blocks and kitchen counters clean and food safe.

Butcher Block Co. Waterfall Edge Wood-Plank Kitchen Island Tops

Butcher Block Co. Waterfall Edge Wood-Plank Kitchen Island Tops

The Butcher Block Co. Now Offers Wood-Plank Waterfall Edge Kitchen Islands
The waterfall edge design theme has taken hold and the Butcher Block Co. has responded. What makes a kitchen island a “waterfall edge island” is the distinction that its top continues vertically down the ends of the island, mimicking the cascading effect of a waterfall. It’s important that the horizontal-to-vertical transition(s) be especially smooth and appear nearly seamless. The resulting continuous-flow look is visually appealing and can have a profound impact on the feel of any kitchen, especially a contemporary one.

Waterfall edge closeup


Of course, a waterfall top can have a single vertical end, such as in the case of a kitchen peninsula or when upgrading a single end of a kitchen counter. Another variation involves adding a waterfall edge to both ends of L-shaped or U-shaped counters. Like water flowing over a rock surface, a waterfall edge wood top brings visual interest to both islands and peninsulas. A nice advantage of waterfall edge islands is the fact that they can serve as kitchen islands with seating when the top and ends of the island are wider (deeper) than the island cabinet they cover, allowing room to tuck in bar stools or chairs.

waterfall edge island

As mentioned, it’s critical that the horizontal-to-vertical corner transitions appear virtually seamless for a sleek, contemporary look. In order to achieve seamless-looking transitions, the Butcher Block Co. uses only wood planks long enough to span the total “combined length” (top + end(s)) of the contemplated waterfall edge island or countertop. There are limits to these combined-lengths; they vary by species.

Waterfall Edge Island


Kitchens come in an incredibly wide range of colors and looks. That’s why the Butcher Block Co. offers counter and island tops – and now, waterfall edge tops – in 15 different wood species. So it’s highly likely we can create a waterfall island that’s perfect for YOUR kitchen. Over half of the species we offer are light or blond woods. Some introduce a hint of a soft yellow, a pinkish red or a light brown. Others showcase medium-to-dark browns. And whereas some woods are neutral or muted, certain others are visually striking. Whether you’re shopping for a waterfall island with a soft, soothing look, or one that makes a bold statement, we can help you bring the beauty of nature into your home.

15 wood species


BB Co. waterfall islands can ship either pre-assembled (provided the island top and sides are at least 1-1/2 inches thick); or knocked-down and ready to assemble on site. We recommend factory-assembled islands, but sometimes the ready-to-assemble option is the only practical solution, such as when home doorways are not wide enough for a pre-assembled island to fit through.

Create a clean, updated look in your kitchen with a unique waterfall design.
If you would like us to provide a price quote on a waterfall island or counter top, please call or email us at [email protected] with specifics.

Medullary Rays Are Naturally Occurring in Oak Wood

Medullary Rays Are Naturally Occurring in Oak Wood

WHAT ARE MEDULLARY RAYS
Medullary rays are cellular structures found in the trunks of trees. In a cross section of a tree trunk, they are visible to the naked eye and appear as radiating lines from the center of the log, perpendicular to the growth rings. These medullary or pith rays are essential and serve as a link between pith (center) and cortex (periphery) of the live tree. They perform various functions like food storage and transport of food and water.

WHAT DO MEDULLARY RAYS LOOK LIKE AND WHEN DO THEY APPEAR
In a finished piece of furniture or countertop, medullary rays may appear as rays, silking, and pith flecks. Depending on where the board is cut on a ray, the appearance can be squiggly lines, straight lines, glowing lines, brush marks or flecks. While these rays functionally exist in all trees, they are especially noticeable in lumber from oak trees, like Appalachian Red Oak and White Oak found in some of our BB Co. products.

Medullary Rays in four tops
Medullary ray patterns

When boards are cut from an oak log, they are usually rip cut along the length (axis) of the log. This can be done in three ways: plain-sawing (most common), quarter-sawing (less common), or rift-sawing (rare). Most of the lumber we use is from plain-sawn boards and will result in wood grain in an oak countertop that will have a varietal appearance. The “normal” grain appearance may show up as “cathedral grain pattern” with high peaks in the grain, or a “long straight grain pattern.” However, in plain-sawn oak there will always exist some quarter-sawn lumber, too. (And even some rare rift-sawn grain may be present in plain-sawn boards.)

In quarter-sawn material, where the wood is cut into boards with the growth rings roughly perpendicular to the face of the board, the medullary rays are more abundant and conspicuous, often producing beautiful markings such as silver grain, medullary spots and pith flecks.

OTHER WOOD ITEMS COMMONLY FOUND WITH MEDULLARY RAYS
In some fine wood instruments, like high-end string instruments, the neck and fretboards may be made from quarter-sawn wood to help them remain stable throughout the life of the instrument and to keep the instrument in tune. In acoustic guitars, quarter-sawn wood is also often used for the sides which are steam-bent to produce the curves. Quarter-sawn is used in part for structural stability, but also for the appealing aesthetics of its wood pattern. Additionally, high-end cabinets may be made from quarter-sawn wood which puts the medullary rays on the face grain of the cabinets. It is also especially desirable for furniture and decorative paneling.

CONSUMER PREFERENCES
Medullary rays are going to exist in oak furniture. Unfortunately, we cannot predict how many, what kind, and how conspicuous they will be. Therefore, a consumer must make a thoughtful decision before they order an oak countertop, kitchen island top or table. Given the size of most countertops, medullary rays are very likely to appear in an oak top. For a smaller table, the likelihood of medullary rays probably goes down, but again, it really depends on the cut rails. If a piece of lumber has many medullary rays and is cut into rails for a table top, they are very likely to appear all in one table.

  • LOVE IT – Some people consider this quarter-sawn wood with medullary rays “prized” and they pay more for it! If that is you, then consider a quarter-sawn plank-style top because when sawn this way the result is boards with the annual rings mostly perpendicular to the faces. The likelihood of medullary rays increases and, when present, are going to be more prominent than in a plain-sawn board constructed as an edge grain top. These medullary rays often produce beautiful markings. Compared to an edge grain oak top, quarter-sawn boards often have greater stability of form and size, with less cupping, shrinkage across the width, and shakes and splitting.
  • HATE IT – We have had some customers think medullary rays look like defects in the wood and they find the overall aesthetic unappealing. While these customers are a small minority, we take their opinions seriously. If you might be that person, we recommend you consider a species other than oak. For example, our best selling Maple Country Work Table is the sister to our popular Oak Country Work Table and a good option to consider. And for kitchen island tops we have 13 other wood species available from which to choose!

Just remember, medullary rays are naturally occurring in oak wood, not considered a defect, and the amount and type cannot be predicted, nor guaranteed. It is part of what makes wood so special. Every piece is truly different, and therefore, every countertop or piece of furniture is beautifully unique!

Houzz Issues Report on 2020 Kitchen Trends Survey

Houzz Issues Report on 2020 Kitchen Trends Survey

Houzz, Inc., focused on home renovation and design, just published a report summarizing their recent survey of almost 2600 U.S. homeowners who either just completed a kitchen renovation project, or plan to launch one soon. Here are some of their findings that we at the Butcher Block Co. find interesting. We hope you will too.

Nine out of Ten Remodelers Upgrade Their Countertops
Countertops are targeted for upgrading more often than any other feature in the kitchen – 89% of the time. Backsplashes (84%), sinks (83%), and faucets and plumbing fixtures (81%) are also upgraded more than eighty percent of the time.
More often than not, upgraders shift to engineered quartz or granite countertops. Slightly more than one in ten (11%) upgrade to butcher block, plank or wood-slab countertops.

It’s increasingly on-trend for homeowners to top their counters and islands with contrasting materials as they seek diversity in both appearance and utility.

Twenty six percent of those surveyed by Houzz reported using different materials on their island top versus their countertops. While engineered quartz was chosen most often for countertops, butcher block (41%) was chosen most often for the kitchen island.

Island Top Materials

Of the remodelers in the Houzz survey opting for an island top color distinct from their countertops (29%), wood-tone island tops are the most popular option (35%), whether in dark, light or medium wood.

Island Color Top

One in three remodelers reported adding a kitchen island, and 22% upgraded an existing island. Another 5% left their islands intact. All told, 60% of respondents wound up with a kitchen island. More than nine in ten who upgraded islands expanded storage space and added overhead lighting.

$35,000 Was the Median Cost of a Major 2019 Kitchen Remodel
Respondents reported they spent $35,000 on average on their 2019 major remodels. That’s up markedly from 2018, when comparable remodels cost $30,000.

Kitchen Cabinet Replacements and Upgrades Remain Immensely Popular
Two thirds of 2019 remodelers (68%) replaced their kitchen cabinets altogether, and another 27% upgraded theirs. Nearly two thirds (64%) of those who upgraded their kitchens refinished cabinet exteriors. Far and away, white was the preferred cabinet color (45%).

Some Other Interesting Tidbits
• Half of respondents (51%) engaged a contractor for their remodel jobs, and 22% hired a kitchen designer.
• Seven percent chose blue for their kitchen walls, up from 5% last year.
• Hardwood was the most popular flooring material (29%).

Source: 2020 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study