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.

Feeling Knotty? Knotty Alder Brings Rustic Charm to Your Home

Feeling Knotty? Knotty Alder Brings Rustic Charm to Your Home

Knotty Alder butcher block has been one of our fastest growing species options over the past couple years. Because it is very lightweight, it is easy to move, and is therefore used mostly in furniture and cabinets. But recently we have seen a surge in its popularity for island tops, dining tables, and even countertops.

Knotty alder is an affordable and versatile wood that can be used throughout your home!

The rustic, natural appearance of knotty alder lends warmth and charm to many décor styles. Our customer Brandi, for example, has a gorgeous kitchen with modern appliances and more traditional cabinets. Her 2.5″ thick knotty alder island top somehow ties everything together perfectly, bringing a beautiful warmth to the cooler palette of her design.

knotty alder

Blending light tans to medium and dark reddish browns, knotty alder also stains quite well if you want to go darker. It even looks great with whitewashing, so the coloring can be quite versatile. Check out our customer Amie’s beautifully stained top! She used the plank style knotty alder with the hand-scraped treatment, then applied her own stain and finish to match her cabinets. The knot holes present throughout the lumber may be more apparent and frequent in plank style tops, with some holes going all the way through.

knotty alder

Knotty alder is on the softer end of the hardwood spectrum, and that softness combined with the knot holes mean it is not ideal for the rigors of chopping, but it is certainly durable enough to be used as a table, bar, or island top. For a smooth surface, you may choose to fill the knots with either a matching wood filler or a clear epoxy. Once finished and sealed, you will have a beautiful smooth surface suitable for just about any application!

We hope you are feeling knotty now, too! Check out our online custom quote calculator if you are interested in getting pricing for your own project in 1 of 15 different species!

Hickory Butcher Block Grows in Popularity

Hickory Butcher Block Grows in Popularity

Hickory butcher block has become increasingly popular over the last couple years, sliding in just behind maple and walnut to round out our top three best sellers. Known for its unique appearance, hickory wood is also very hard, making it an incredibly durable option for many applications. Its hardness level can also make it a bit difficult to work with, so if you need custom cuts, it is best to consult with us and have them done in our shop. Hickory is not just used as butcher block in the kitchen, though! It can be utilized in the bathroom, home office, laundry room…anywhere!

From countertops to cabinets, desktops to dining tables, hickory butcher block can add a beautiful and dependable surface to any room of your home or office.

The lumber for our hickory butcher block is readily available and sourced from Ohio and the surrounding area. The heartwood is a beautiful brown color that pairs nicely with the more creamy and light sapwood. The plank style hickory boasts large swaths of the beautiful grain pattern, whereas the edge grain style typically has a somewhat striped appearance.

Below on the left is a full kitchen remodel from customers Victoria and Mark, who used the plank style hickory with a varnish finish to revamp their countertops and center island. We were able to accommodate the unique shape of their island as well as the custom bump-out at the kitchen sink. On the right is a kitchen cart with an edge grain hickory top, highlighting the stripey pattern.

Hickory Butcher Block

Our happy customer, William, from California, installed this gorgeous 3” thick edge grain style hickory block to complete his beautiful kitchen. It looks stunning with those green cabinets and rustic brick backsplash.

Hickory Butcher Block

As you can see, hickory butcher block is an incredibly versatile material that adds function and beauty to your space. We hope you are inspired to bring some hickory into your life! Check out our online instant quote calculator to get pricing for your project.

The Custom Baker’s Table of Your Dreams!

The Custom Baker’s Table of Your Dreams!

We are so thrilled to feature this Custom Baker’s Table from our customer, Anna, in Florida. When Anna originally called to get this table quoted, I assumed she was a professional chef, but it turns out this HUGE baker’s table is for her home! This is easily the largest baker’s table I’ve seen for home use, so I was super excited to get to work on this project.

Anna’s request was for a 168” long (that’s FOURTEEN FEET!) by 30” wide baker’s table, with a maple top, a stainless steel shelf for storage, a pan rack that holds eight sheet pans, and a set of three drawers. All of this was to be on a stainless steel base with commercial grade locking caster wheels. Anna decided on the placement of her drawers and pan rack, and I got to work with John Boos to get everything drawn up.

Baker's Table

Once the drawing was approved, Boos began building the baker’s table. It took right about three weeks for production and then was on its way to its new owner! According to Anna, “Getting it off the truck was a little exciting but we got it done with some help from friends.” The total shipment weight was nearly 800 pounds! We planned ahead and added liftgate service onto the order to aid in getting it off the truck. Thankfully, these baker’s tables ship “knocked down,” so customers are able to carry them inside piece by piece. Still, the maple top alone was around 300 pounds, so it’s a good thing Anna recruited friends!

Baker's Table

After assembling her baker’s table, Anna didn’t waste any time getting to work and utilizing all of her newfound prep space. “One day I made bread, rolls, breadsticks, and cookie bars and had room for cooling, kneading, my mixer, and proofing box all at one time!“ We are thrilled to see that it is getting put to good use!

Baker's Table

Thank you so much, Anna, for sharing your awesome baker’s table with us! We are delighted to show it off and hope it inspires more home bakers to get in the kitchen and get cookin’! If you’re in the market for a baker’s table for your own home or restaurant, you can view standard options here, or give us a call at 877-845-5597 to talk about a more custom project. If you order soon, you’ll have it in time for your holiday baking!

Modern Rustic Kitchen Decor at Butcher Block Co.

Modern Rustic Kitchen Decor at Butcher Block Co.

Rustic meets modern at Butcher Block Co.! Modern rustic decor is very popular right now. It is often exemplified by a mix of natural materials including stone, wood and metal. In a kitchen this could be a combination of granite countertops, a wood farmhouse table or island top, and stainless steel appliances. See a variety of ways the charm of natural wood can make your modern rustic kitchen warm and welcoming.

Modern Rustic Hand Scraped Plank

You can make your own farmhouse table, island top or countertop by ordering a Butcher Block Co. brand edge grain or plank-style wood top. They are available in 15 different species of wood and a handful of finish options. Choose a hand scraped finish if you are looking for a more authentic distressed top.

Modern Rustic Table

Country style is definitely going urban! The addition of a country-style table in your kitchen is a simple way to go modern rustic. Consider a country work table with a painted base, available in dozens of sizes, colors and features. John Boos recently introduced their Rustic Country Table which features an Ash wood butcher block top. It incorporates numerous attributes that collectively convey a classic rustic character. Most striking is the tables top’s embossed texture that enhances its authentic and aged appearance. With a caramel colored stain, this table serves as a great accent piece in a modern rustic kitchen.

Rustic Modern Live Edge Slabs

Bring the outdoors into your home with a live edge wood slab. These authentic wood pieces can be transformed into a modern rustic countertop, kitchen island top, dining table, bench and more. Available in a variety of wood species and sizes, you are sure to find the perfect piece for your project. And for a limited time, we’re so certain you will love your live-edge slab we are offering a 30-Day No-Risk Trial. If you aren’t totally satisfied we will absorb the return shipping cost and waive the typical restocking fee, so you have absolutely nothing to lose!

Modern Rustic Island Top

The kitchen is often the the family gathering place and a butcher block island is the entertainment center of the kitchen.  Highly functional, kitchen islands are great for prepping food as well as serving appetizers and eating meals. Butcher block island tops are available in custom sizes in end grain, edge grain, blended grain and plank-style wood. Select from 15 different wood species.

Modern Rustic Apron Sink

Farmhouse sinks are all the rage, and John Boos butcher block countertops can be custom ordered from Butcher Block Co. with sink cutouts specifically for your apron sink, or for any top-mount or under-mount sink, for that matter. All we need is the model number of the sink and a drawing with countertop measurements.

Rustic Modern custom cutouts

Yes, we can do cutouts for stove tops as well! We do a lot of custom countertops to meet very detailed specifications. To get started, give us a call at 877-845-5597 and we can help you determine the best butcher block configuration for your kitchen remodel.

Modern Rustic Edge Cutting Board

Elements like a rustic edge cutting board can add a vintage accent to your modern kitchen. The Boos 1887 Collection of cutting boards hearkens back to the company’s inaugural year. The very first Boos Blocks were cut from solid blocks of Sycamore wood. Like those originals, these boards feature rustic edges created by Nature – each one slightly different from the next. Available in small, medium and large sizes, in maple, walnut or cherry wood.

If you’re going for a modern rustic look, or just want to add a little rustic charm, Butcher Block Co. has what you need! We hope you’ve been inspired to bring some natural elements into your home.

DIY Inspiration from our Butcher Block Co. Customers

DIY Inspiration from our Butcher Block Co. Customers

We are so inspired by the creativity of our DIY customers, that we wanted to share some of their work with you. We have recently received several photos of incredible DIY projects from some very handy customers. We hope you are moved to think outside the box and re-purpose something you already own, or even build something from scratch to make your own custom creation! We can help you customize just about any size top to fit your exact needs. Check out these amazing projects to get your creative DIY juices flowing!

Our DIY customer, Kaleb, designed and created the industrial style coffee table featured above. It is topped with a 4″ thick Maple End Grain Butcher Block. We love his mix of wood and steel, and the industrial style is certainly popular today. After his day job, Kaleb spends time in his workshop designing and building custom industrial style furniture and picture frames. “Making industrial furniture and construction is my release,” he says. “When you sit at a desk for 8 hours a day you need some sort of an artistic release…” Kaleb can build just about anything. His picture frames are large statement pieces usually 6 feet long. He uses wire rope, pad eyes, gears, chains, rivets, etc.. to give each piece an industrial feel. Check out this awesome portable island he made for his sister, which is a massive John Boos AA Block supported by the stainless steel frame he fashioned.

DIY Custom Island

Another happy customer, Karen, always wanted a long butcher block island in her kitchen, but could never find one that was long yet narrow enough for her space. She did have an existing console table that fit perfectly in her Savannah kitchen, so she decided to do-it-herself and make her own custom island featuring a Butcher Block Co. Cherry End Grain top  73″L x 18″W. Nicely done, Karen. If you can’t find it, DIY!

DIY Custom Cherry Console

DIY-er Elise, from Maryland, refinished the base of an old end table, added wheels, and topped it with a hefty 4.5″ thick hand-scraped Beech edge grain butcher block, creating this delightful kitchen island cart. Elise wrote us and shared her DIY story…”We had been using it (the table) as a stand for the printer in our home office before a remodel and it no longer fit with the new built ins. So, I was moving it to the basement for storage when I noticed it was the right width for a kitchen island (we have a strange kitchen and finding just the right thing has been problematic.) So I chalk painted and antiqued it, and added the wheels, and found your wonderful butcher block online. I am so pleased with the way it turned out. It is so nice having the extra workspace. And it looks so lovely. It really finished the room perfectly.”

DIY Custom Island Cart

If you have created a custom DIY project with one of our blocks, we would love to see it!

A DIY replacement of a top on something you already own is usually pretty easy, and is a great way to breathe new life into an old piece.

If you are in the market to upgrade some existing furniture or create your own masterpiece, we hope you’ve been inspired by these truly awesome projects, and we hope to help you along on your creative journey.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out these other DIY posts on our blog:

Custom Butcher Block Projects from Happy Customers

Butcher Block Co. Happy Customer Photos

Live Edge Table Project Featuring Wood Slabs from Created Hardwood Ltd

Reuse Project – Butcher Block Table

Happy Customers – Island Upgrades

Walnut Butcher Block Tops

Creative Uses for Butcher Block

Butcher Block Co. Happy Customer Photos

Butcher Block Co. Happy Customer Photos

We love getting customer photos showing off the new Butcher Block Co. countertops and furniture in their homes! Our feature photo above highlights Walter’s New York kitchen with a Butcher Block Co. brand maple edge grain countertop inset into his quartz island countertop. The blending of natural materials like wood and stone helps to showcase the individual textural and color differences. In Walter’s kitchen renovation, it resulted in a clean, bright, and modern space. Very trendy and gorgeous!

In the recent research report, Houzz 2018 U.S. Kitchen Trends Study, we discovered some other enlightening trends regarding homeowners renovating their kitchens:

  • Homeowners who are remodeling their kitchens are paying quite a bit of attention to countertops.
  • Countertops are the most common kitchen upgrade (94 percent), followed by sinks (89 percent) and backsplashes (88 percent).
  • And countertops are the top feature (at 42 percent) on which home renovators are willing to spend a little extra.
  • The U-shaped layout of kitchens is no longer the most popular option (32 percent), as the L-shaped layout has made a comeback over the last two years (35 percent).
  • Finally, the study revealed that 75 percent of renovating homeowners are obsessed with clutter-free countertops, preferring a more minimalistic appearance.

Our customers typically order butcher block tops to serve as either kitchen island tops or kitchen countertops. Our John Boos custom tops can be ordered with stove and sink cutouts, scrap hole cutouts, miter cuts and angle cuts.  Other creative uses for our butcher block tops include laundry room counters, office desks, table tops, bar tops, workshops and more. (Check out our blog for other Creative Uses for Butcher Block).

John Boos countertops come in standard and custom sizes, in four species of wood: Maple, Walnut, Cherry and Oak. The most popular grain styles are edge and blended grain, but traditional end grain is available, too.

Butcher Block Co. brand countertops are custom made to your dimensions and offer you 15 different wood species from which to choose! They are also available in end and edge grain, but the most trendy selection is plank-style tops.

Watch our Happy Customer Photo Short Video

Visit our Happy Customer Photos Gallery to learn more about the butcher block you see below.
customer photos

Live Edge Table Project Featuring Wood Slabs from Created Hardwood Ltd.

Live Edge Table Project Featuring Wood Slabs from Created Hardwood Ltd.

Today we are featuring our new line of Live Edge Table Tops from Created Hardwood with a special guest post from the owner of Butcher Block Co., Mark Shook. We love all the photos showing the whole process. Read on for all the details plus the beautiful finished product. Thanks for sharing, Mark!

My wife had been bugging me for a long time to upgrade the simple (and admittedly cheap and homely looking) desk squeezed against the wall of our master bedroom. I was open to the idea, but uninspired by the computer desks and narrow tables I came across. But once she discovered  the live edge tables that we had added at Butcher Block Co.,  we had our solution. Both my wife and I loved the idea that we could own a one-of-a-kind, all-natural piece of furniture that would look as though it were custom-made to fit our exact needs.

We searched scores of great-looking maple and walnut slabs, but since our bedroom furniture is dark, we narrowed our search to walnut slabs. Sure enough, we came across a long, narrow specimen of just the right length and width that was simply gorgeous.

Next, we turned our attention to selecting a base to support the table top of our dreams, and zeroed in on the Points base design. We selected the Bronze finish, which we expected would complement the dark browns in the live edge slab and in our bedroom, knowing this would extend the delivery date but feeling good about the trade-off.

We were assured that the slab and heavy metal legs would be well protected during shipment. When the massive wooden crate finally arrived, I realized they weren’t kidding! It took an hour to remove dozens of wood screws to disassemble the crate, but I love that I now have all this extra wood for various home projects.

Here’s a view of the shipping crate with its top and one end removed. You can see how much time, care and attention the packers put into protecting not only the slab, but the metal legs beneath it, as well.

Live Edge Shipping Crate

Once I removed the protective top layers, the holy grail was revealed to me. There, in all its natural glory and wonder was the prize I coveted for weeks.

After carefully moving our new, prized possession into the master bedroom, my wife and I returned to our newfound treasure chest to retrieve the base. Four bronze Point legs were secured by yet more screws to wooden braces that prevented them from jostling that could possibly mar or scratch them.

 

Live Edge Assemble

Now it was time to begin assembly. Surprisingly and pleasantly, this proved to be the quickest and easiest step in the entire process. The folks who salvage and finish these live edge slabs – Created Hardwood – pre-drilled holes into the underside of the slab, inserted metal screw inserts into the holes, and even labeled the four Point destinations, as well as the corresponding legs (A, B, C and D). Using the Allen wrench they supplied, I installed all 16 screws in a matter of minutes.

VOILA!

My wife and I could not be more pleased. Thank you Created Hardwood — a great addition to the Butcher Block Co. collection!

Live Edge Computer Table

Reuse Project – Butcher Block Table

Reuse Project – Butcher Block Table

America Recycles Day is November 15th. In honor of this day, and in the spirit of doing whatever we can every day to help our earth, we have embarked on a project to reuse some damaged butcher block.

Reuse is the practice of using something again, whether for its original purpose or to fulfill a different function.

We acquired some large commercial butcher block tops that were damaged in shipping. When they were returned to us they were extremely beat up and would have been destined for scrap. But not in this house! I would say we have great vision and can see value in many things other folks discard. This 8′ x 4′ x 2.25” Edge Grain Maple Butcher Block had gouges, cracks and scuff marks, yet we knew it could be given new life.

butcher block countertop

Concept – Butcher Block Bar Height Table

My son, Ben, is now in his senior year at ASU majoring in Industrial Design. One of his projects this summer was to research and design kitchen islands. He came up with a unique design for a bar height kitchen island made with angle iron, rebar and butcher block. He calls this industrial style island the “Truss Table.” We knew we could reuse this damaged butcher block to serve as the top and base of his new table.

Butcher Block Truss Table

Step One – Prep the butcher block.

The first step was to repair the cracked butcher block. Using gorilla glue and bar clamps we successfully pulled the laminated rails back together. Then using the table saw, we cut the large butcher block down to the desired size for the 72″ x 36″ table top and the beams to make the base. Given the damage on the top was significant, we ran the butcher block through a surface sander. Then we finished sanding by hand with an orbital sander using 80 grit to 150 grit paper. All edges were then eased.

Butcher Block cut

Step Two – Build the frame and base.

This was the first time Ben welded and he taught himself while welding the frame together. He cut the angle iron legs to size and all metal was sent to be powder coated in black matte.  While that was being done, he then built the wood foot rest/base of the table. To create the “truss design” with the rebar, a special jig was made to make certain the angles drilled into the base and table top lined up correctly.

Butcher Block Pieces

Step Three – Stain and Finish the wood.

Hard Rock Maple has a very tight grain and is difficult, if not impossible, to stain…or so I thought. However, we discovered a product called a “dye stain” that works extremely well. This product is water based and only required one coat to give this blonde maple top a rich cherry color. The only thing we noticed was that it raised the grain a bit, which we dealt with during finishing. Our new favorite top coat is General Finishes brand Arm-R-Seal Oil and Urethane Top Coat.  We applied a coat and let it dry. Then we used 0000 steel wool over it to help smooth the raised grain. We repeated this 2 more times, with finish and steel wool. The final coat (4th top coat) was then applied (do not steel wool over the last coat). The resulting top was as smooth as glass!

Butcher Block stain

Dye Stain and finish

Step Four – Assemble the table.

Given the table was designed to spec in Solid Works, prior to building, when it came to assembly, it was straightforward and only took one hour to assemble completely!  Ben would agree, that designing and building your own table may not pay much given all the hours it takes, but the satisfaction in creating a one-of-a-kind table is well worth it.  And we reused butcher block that would have been wasted and reused angle iron and rebar from the scrap yard. A job well done!

Maple Butcher Block Kitchen Island

BONUS – Maple Butcher Block Work Bench.

A second butcher block arrived totally broken in half down its length. We were able to reuse the smaller piece and transform it into a workbench 8′ x 2′. A chamfer edge and urethane top coat made this workbench good enough to eat off of!

Butcher Block Workbench

Read our other Creative Reuse/Recycling Blogs:

https://butcherblockco.com/blog/creative-reuse-projects/

https://butcherblockco.com/blog/upcycling-creative-reuse/

https://butcherblockco.com/blog/creative-uses-butcher-block/

https://butcherblockco.com/blog/reduce-reuse-recycle-everyday/

Happy Customers – Island Upgrades

Happy Customers – Island Upgrades

We love when our happy customers show off their beautiful butcher blocks! This week we are highlighting two gorgeous island upgrades, one featuring a standard size John Boos Blended Walnut top, and the other using custom Butcher Block Co. American Cherry Plank-style butcher block. Both look beautiful and add warmth and function to the kitchens.

The first of our happy customers is Rachel from Colorado. Rachel’s 97″ X 36″ Blended Walnut island top has a Varnique semi-gloss finish, which is ideal since this is being used as an eating area as well as extended work space. What an impact!

Happy Customers Blended Walnut

Happy customer #2 is Teri from Tennessee. We worked with Teri extensively to find the perfect style and fit for her kitchen island. This plank-style American Cherry block is a unique and beautiful accent to her kitchen. Having chosen the natural oil finish, Teri can use this block for all her chopping and food prep. Teri’s project proves it is worth it to put in a little extra time and effort to get things just right – it looks fantastic!

Happy Customers Cherry Plank

We want to see what you’ve done, too. The more happy customers, the better! Send us your photos and we may feature you on our social media pages. We love to see them, and so do our other customers!