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.

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.

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

Why Is My Butcher Block Cutting Board Warping?

Why Is My Butcher Block Cutting Board Warping?

Is your cutting board warping? Properly maintaining, caring for, and storing cutting boards made of wood are the keys to prolonging their lives.

Sandra, the newest member of our team of customer care experts, recognized that warping cutting boards is a common concern from our customers.  In this blog, she will share her knowledge of the subject, answer common questions and address warping cutting board concerns you may have…

Cutting boards can be found in a wide variety of materials other than wood, like bamboo, glass, rubber, composite, and plastic. While each material has its pros and cons, we are partial to wood cutting boards because they have been proven, throughout time, to be an excellent choice for durability, functionality, anti-microbial efficacy, and of course, aesthetics. But wood does require a bit more tender loving care given it is natural… sourced from a living, breathing tree. Even after it is cut down, wood will still react to its environment; it will expand and contract to changes in temperature and humidity. Without proper TLC, butcher block can experience drying, cracking, and warping.

DRYING/CRACKING
If you allow your board to get excessively dry it can lead to splitting and cracking. It is of the utmost importance that you clean and oil your board regularly. An average user should moisturize their board monthly with mineral oil to prevent excessive dryness. If your butcher block undergoes frequent/heavy use, you should oil it every two weeks. Also, it is just as important to NOT over oil your board! Excessive oiling will over-saturate the wood, causing a breakdown of the fibers and construction. We recommend John Boos Mystery Oil.

mineral oil
WARPING

Warping of wood is a result of a moisture imbalance between the top and bottom surfaces. There are 3 common causes of warping in butcher block cutting boards:

  1. Inadequate oiling – The most common cause of cutting board warping is from oiling one surface of the cutting board, and neglecting the rest of the board. You must oil all six sides of the board to prevent warping.
  2. Insufficient drying – Another common cause of cutting board warping is insufficient drying after cleansing. After scraping, washing and rinsing, you must towel-dry the cutting board and set it on its edge to air dry. This will allow air flow around the entire board. Never submerge a cutting board in water or put in the dishwasher.
  3. Improper storing – Where and how you store your wood cutting boards can have an impact on warping. While a cutting board made of plastic, glass, or composite can be stored lying flat in a drawer, cabinet or countertop without worry, this is not true for wood cutting boards. The best way to store a wood cutting board is on its edge and never in direct sunlight. When left on a cold, stone countertop, the wood is not allowed to breathe and a moisture imbalance can occur. If you love the beauty of your cutting board and want to show it off in your kitchen, you can safely display it flat on the countertop… with a little added help. You just need to make sure you store it in a way that will still promote air flow to the bottom surface. You can choose to add rubber feet/pads to each of the bottom corners; or for a reversible board, you can place it on top of a mesh rubber mat that will lift it up off the counter to allow air circulation.
cutting board storage

REMEDY FOR WARPING BOARDS
If you have a warped cutting board, it may not be too late to attempt to remedy the warp. The concave side (inward curving surface) is the dry side, and the convex side (hump side) is the side that has more moisture. The key is to moisturize the dry side while leaving the opposite side exposed to air.
Step 1: Generously oil the concave side of the board with mineral oil.
Step 2: Tape plastic on the entire concave side to lock in moisture, using something like dry cleaning bags or plastic food wrap.
Step 3: On a flat surface (preferably not cold granite or concrete), flip the board over so the concave surface faces down. Place a cookie sheet on top of the hump, then place some weight on the cookie sheet (try a bag of sugar or flour, not to exceed 5 lbs).
Step 4: Let it set for about 1 week to allow the board to slowly correct itself.
Step 5: Unwrap, lightly oil the entire board, wipe dry, and store on edge.

cutting board warping explained

Love your butcher block cutting board. For more ways to show you care, visit our Help Center for Butcher Block Care & Repair Tips, FAQs, Guides and more.

Kitchen Design Trends 2020

Kitchen Design Trends 2020

The U.S. housing market exhibits strong momentum heading into 2020. Interest rates, still at historic lows, helped drive new-home construction to a 13-year high in December. Further fueling supply, tens of thousands of baby boomers will exit the housing market altogether when they transition to senior-living communities. And there’s ample pent-up demand among those hoping to finally break into the homeowner ranks.

Against this backdrop, the consensus among industry experts is that 2020 will see U.S. homeowners continue to invest heavily in home improvements, especially remodels of kitchens – the most popular room targeted for renovation.

According to Houzz, spending on kitchen remodels jumped a whopping 27 percent last year alone!
Exactly what will kitchen remodelers spend big on this year? Key kitchen design trends can be grouped into a handful of themes.

SMART TECH KITCHEN CREEP WILL ACCELERATE
Tech-savvy millennials have come to expect it, and older homeowners will come to rely on it in order to more safely and comfortably age in place. We’re talking about “smart” kitchens with connected “smart-home” appliances and devices that can be activated and controlled via a smart speaker, phone or watch. Some connected devices, such as smart lights and smart TVs, can even learn your personal preferences and habits and adapt accordingly. It’s not a pipe dream. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) reports that nearly half of all U.S. homes will include smart home systems by the end of the year.

ONE CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH PANTRY STORAGE OR SPACE FOR GRAZING
Housing-data experts, Meyers Research, recently surveyed more than 25,000 homebuyers about their kitchen needs and preferences. Three out of every ten respondents reported wanting a “super-pantry with ultra-storage,” and half expressed interest in a butler’s pantry for storing serve ware and staging meals.
Half of all respondents indicated they would like a kitchen island, and more than four in ten (43%) expressed interest in both an island and a breakfast bar.
Here are a few other kitchen design trends from this and related research.

  • Stainless-steel remains the preferred appliance finish, but colorful appliances are gaining a foothold.
  • White kitchen cabinets are still homebuyers’ top choice, however walnut remains widely popular.
  • There’s a shift to environmentally friendly natural and organic materials, such as wood, which adds warmth and natural beauty to kitchens.
  • Waterfall ends on kitchen counters and islands are increasingly desirable. (At the end of the countertop, a “waterfall” made of the same material used in the horizontal counter or island top, provides the illusion of a continuous “flow” down to the floor. Soon, Butcher Block Co. will offer waterfall designs in wood counter and island tops.)
  • Trends favor full-wall backsplashes and the use of kitchen art, since the kitchen is no longer just a place for cooking and eating.
  • There’s growing consumer interest in farmhouse sinks and prep sinks, as well as sinks with finishes that are anti-microbial and/or dirt-resistant.

TOMORROW’S KITCHENS WILL LOOK LESS AND LESS LIKE YESTERDAY’S
In 2019, the research arm of the architectural surfacing solutions firm, Cosentino Group, fielded a major market research project. Findings were revealed in a report they titled Global Kitchen: The Kitchen, The Heart of the Home. A key, overarching finding was that the modern kitchen is evolving to host activities that used to take place in other rooms. Essentially, today’s kitchen also serves as a work space, a playroom, and a space for communing with guests. The report observed that, “Practicality and versatility have become the kitchen’s two main assets… New uses have a direct impact on the kitchen’s design, which is open to new materials and colors in order to achieve an increasingly comfortable space, making it possible to safely combine cooking with other activities in a practical way.”

SURFACE SPACE IS THE COIN OF THE REALM
As homeowners use their kitchens for more and more varied activities, there is increased need for more surface space in kitchens. Nowadays used for web-surfing, social networking, and gaming, in addition to old-fashioned food prep, dining, and socializing, any kitchen’s countertops and island tops are its most precious commodity. Consumers want as much surface space as their kitchens can fit.
Designers are responding by incorporating into their designs longer counters, bigger islands, second islands, countertops in pantries, and desks, for example. Plus, they’re recommending material and pattern mixing (i.e., different materials or patterns for tops in different zones of the kitchen) to create a finished space that’s both highly functional and visually pleasing. For example, a designer today might specify edge-grain butcher block for the kitchen’s perimeter counters or desk, and end-grain butcher block – more suitable for chopping – for the kitchen’s main island.

Now that you’re aware of these kitchen design trends, what plans do you have for your 2020 kitchen makeover?

Winter Might Be the Perfect Season to Tackle Kitchen Improvement Projects

Winter Might Be the Perfect Season to Tackle Kitchen Improvement Projects

While it’s true that most homeowners execute kitchen improvement projects during spring and summer, there are a number of good reasons why some choose to schedule maintenance checks, appliance upgrades, and even full kitchen remodels during winter months.

For starters, some folks who worship warm-weather months prefer to reserve them for unfettered activity outdoors and for spending quality time with family and friends, without interruptions from contractors or suppliers concerning home remodel projects underway. Plus, wintertime home improvement projects can wind up costing you less and taking less time to complete, due to the simple law of supply and demand.

During winter, when there’s less demand for contractors and remodelers, homeowners have more leverage so can often negotiate more favorable pricing, closer-in start dates and possibly even shorter overall timelines, since more workers could be dedicated to your kitchen improvement or remodel job.

Also, you might be able to negotiate lower prices from appliance and material suppliers, since they too are not exempt from the supply-demand law and need to keep their inventory turning.

There’s one other often overlooked advantage to tackling home improvement projects over the winter: low humidity. Hotter months bring with them high humidity, which can wreak havoc on paint and floor refinish jobs, which fare better under heated air curing. Similarly, air heated to a nearly constant temperature is preferable for the acclimation of wood counter and island tops to their new environs. But take note: you should not leave new, wood countertops, tables or kitchen carts in cold places, including garages and outdoors, of course.

So Which Kitchen Improvement Projects Will You Tackle this Winter?
Truth be told, winter is as good a season as any for taking on virtually any kitchen maintenance, repair or improvement project. Such projects don’t have to be expensive in order to produce gratifying results. The list below includes projects that range from simple home maintenance to more substantial overhauls.

  1. Check for Air Leaks – Given indoor-outdoor temperature differentials, during winter it’s easier to find openings through which air can pass, adding to your home heating and cooling costs. Re-caulk any problematic seams arounds doors and windows.
  2. Repaint Ceiling and Walls – Giving your kitchen ceiling and walls a fresh coat of paint can be a smart move if it’s been a while since they were painted. Like most contractors, painters are more likely to negotiate pricing during slower winter months. Plus, you might be able to book an individual painter or a crew only one or two weeks out, compared to 3 or more weeks during the summer.
  3. Resurface Countertops – As everyone knows, worn or outdated kitchen counter or island tops can detract from a home’s appearance, as well as its market value. Wood countertops – either butcher block or plank-style – are functional, add warmth, and are virtually timeless. After all, naturally beautiful wood will never go out of style!
  4. Update Kitchen Cabinets – Sometimes all it takes is a good cleaning and application of a wood restorer to renew luster to kitchen cabinets. For tougher jobs, you might need to consider hiring a professional refinisher. If you have painted cabinets, keep in mind that many painters experience a slowdown during winter. Regardless of the finish of your kitchen cabinets, you’ll find that a change of hardware – knobs, handles, and hinges – can make them look almost new.
  5. Refinish Your Kitchen Floor – Humidity can cause floor finishes to cure too fast, leaving an overly glossy or uneven finish. Drier winter air, heated to a narrow range of temperatures, will ensure steadier curing and deliver more satisfactory results.
  6. Miscellaneous — Here are a couple of projects that can make a big impact on the overall appearance of your kitchen, without making too big a dent in your bank account: add crown molding; upgrade lighting.

Our kitchen improvement projects list would not be complete without mentioning two other sure-fire ways to enhance the looks of your kitchen and at the same time increase the value of your home: update kitchen appliances and upgrade kitchen furniture. Of course, we at Butcher Block Co. will always recommend butcher block tables and kitchen carts! They’re functional, affordable, natural, and above all else, beautiful.

Customer Satisfaction is Our #1 Priority!

Customer Satisfaction is Our #1 Priority!

Customer Satisfaction is our number one priority at Butcher Block Co., and we’ve got loads of five star reviews to prove it! We collect reviews from verified customers on their overall satisfaction (not just product satisfaction) in order to provide a full picture of what you can expect when shopping at Butcher Block Co.

Our website is easy to use and our customer satisfaction team is always happy to help if you need more assistance or just prefer to talk with a real person!

Speaking of our team, when you call us at 877-845-5597, know that you will be connected with a friendly, knowledgeable representative who takes customer satisfaction very seriously. We have a small (but mighty!) group who loves butcher block just as much as you do. And if we’re being honest, it’s really gratifying to see a specific, personal reference pop up in a review!


Another delightful example of customer satisfaction is the gallery of beautiful photos sent in by customers who love their butcher blocks! You do such beautiful work in your homes and we are always thrilled to be a part of it!

In just about any business, the best example of customer satisfaction is the repeat customer! We have customers who order from us once or twice a year for wedding/birthday/graduation gifts, as well as contractors and designers who order several times per year for full kitchen remodeling projects. And we appreciate them all!

We put a lot of resources into customer satisfaction, and we sure love to hear from you. Leave us a review with your next order, or send us photos of your project, and maybe we’ll feature you in our next post!

Antimicrobial Efficacy of Oiled John Boos Cutting Boards Is Validated

Antimicrobial Efficacy of Oiled John Boos Cutting Boards Is Validated

Scientific Research Has Substantiated the Antimicrobial Efficacy of John Boos Wood Cutting Boards Protected with Boos Mystery Oil and Boos Block® Board Cream.

John Boos & Co., with headquarters and manufacturing facilities in the Central Illinois town of Effingham, dates back to 1887. That’s when founder Conrad Boos carved his first wooden block from a Sycamore tree for use as a blacksmith’s sturdy work table. Recognizing that meat butchers too had need for rugged chopping tables, Boos’ son John expanded the family’s product line. Today, Boos’ ubiquitous butcher blocks and wooden cutting boards are trusted by professional and celebrity chefs and preferred by aspiring gourmets because of their design, craftsmanship, beauty, and functionality.

But there’s another reason for pros and amateurs alike to flock to Boos cutting boards: their antimicrobial properties. This characteristic of properly oiled Boos Rock Maple cutting boards was assessed by Professor Nenad Miljkovic of the University of Illinois and his team of researchers who are experts in the areas of nanoengineered surfaces and coating technologies.

Miljkovic and his team studied NSF-approved Boos cutting boards made of U.S. Northern Hard Rock Maple. NSF is an independent evaluative and testing organization that assesses the raw materials a manufacturer uses, plus its manufacturing processes and practices. The NSF designation signals that the product that carries it meets recognized food service industry standards designed to promote public health.

The key finding of the university’s research team was that once a Boos NSF-certified maple cutting board used to carve meat was then coated with Boos Block Board Cream and Boos Mystery Oil, the level of bacteria on its surface was reduced to “a ‘clean level’ in just three hours.”

The researchers determined that application of the two moisturizing substances created a hydrophobic, or water-resisting, barrier on the boards that made it more difficult for bacteria to adhere to the wood.

Furthermore, they concluded that Boos Mystery Oil helped any meat juice remaining on the surface of the board be absorbed into the fibers of the wood, where naturally occurring enzymes found in Northern Hard Rock Maple killed off any remaining bacteria. 

Professor Miljkovic stated that, “Prior to this project, we believed the function of cutting board oil was simply to prevent drying of the wood, but our research showed that it actually enables microbes to absorb into the wood grain, which contain antimicrobial enzymes that kill bacteria. We found that USA grown Northern Hard Rock Maple, used by John Boos & Co. to create cutting boards, was the most effective species of hardwood that contained these antimicrobial enzymes, which kill bacteria.”

For more information, please visit https://butcherblockco.com, a leading online dealer of John Boos products.

Undermount Sink Cutouts – What You Need to Know

Undermount Sink Cutouts – What You Need to Know

Undermount sinks, including farm and apron styles, are by far the more popular option for kitchen sinks these days. An undermount sink is any sink that mounts to the underside of the countertop, rather than dropping in on top of the counter. Besides looking beautiful, undermount sinks also have the advantage of providing a smoother clean-up process – simply wipe crumbs and scraps right into the sink, without getting anything caught in the rim like you would with a drop-in style sink.

While we love undermount sinks, they do require extra care when installed in a butcher block top… We’re here to help you before you install.

Your sink cutout can be done when your countertop is manufactured, so that it is installation-ready when you receive it. Undermount sink cutouts void the manufacturer’s warranty whether done at the factory or onsite, so it is important that the cutout is done right! Read our previous post, Custom Countertops from Start to Finish, to see the process involved in making your top.

An undermount style sink installed in a butcher block top will leave wood edges exposed to water, which means a higher potential for water damage than if you use a drop-in style sink. Before you install, it is very important that you are mindful of this potential damage, that you prepare the edges in advance, and do your best to avoid exposing those edges to splashes and standing water when in use.

No matter if your cutout is DIY or factory done, you need to take extra precautions when installing your sink to protect the exposed edges of the cutout:

undermount sink
  • If you have a polyurethane or varnish finished top, apply extra layers of finish on the underside of the counter, several inches around the perimeter of the sink cutout. This will help avoid any moisture damage if there are leaks in your sink or faucet. You must apply additional coats of poly to the exposed cutout edge itself to give it more water resistance.

undermount sink
  • For oil-finished tops, use an oil-based poly on the underside. For the exposed edges, you must apply melted beeswax or paraffin wax to repel water. It is important to reapply the wax occasionally to maintain water resistance. Alternatively, you may use an oil-based matte poly finish on these edges, but we recommend you test in an inconspicuous area first to be sure you are happy with the look.

Whether you choose to do it yourself or go with a factory cutout, we are here to help! Give us a call if you have any questions or concerns, and our experts will help you decide the best option for your home and lifestyle.