FAQs about Boos Butcher Block Countertops
Click on any Frequently Asked Question about Boos Countertops to see the answer.
3. Which sizes of butcherblock counter and island tops are available? Can I order custom-sized countertops?
Answers to Boos Countertop FAQs:
We offer wood countertops in maple, cherry, oak and walnut.
They're available in three different grain styles: edge-grain, end-grain and blended-grain. It might be worthwhile to learn about the differences in grain styles.
Both types come in blended maple only and in select thicknesses. They tend to show more color variation than do our residential maple counters. Commercial tops are manufactured to NSF specifications, making them suitable for food service applications. Industrial-grade countertops are fine for home workshops and manufacturing plants. They might show knots and other imperfections.
We offer a wide range of standard-size butcher block counter and island tops in thicknesses ranging from 1.5” up to 7”. You can preview all species and grain style combinations and standard-size offerings to see if a standard size will fit. If a standard size won't get the job done, you can secure an instant custom price quote online in four easy steps. If you’re not ready to order, you can simply save your price quote and reference its ID number at a later time in order to complete your purchase.
Natural oil is the standard finish for all countertops. Specifically, Boos Board Cream is applied. It contains mineral oil, which penetrates and moisturizes the wood, and natural beeswax, which leaves a protective, silky barrier.
An alternative finish – Varnique semi-gloss varnish – is available on many of the countertops we carry. Varnique provides the look of fine furniture and requires little maintenance, however it is not meant to cut upon. You might want more info about natural oil vs. a Varnique finish.
Natural oil is the standard finish for all countertops. Specifically, Boos Board Cream is applied. It contains mineral oil, which penetrates and moisturizes the wood, and natural beeswax, which leaves a protective, silky barrier. Yes, you can order an unfinished countertop, however, unfinished counter tops are neither warrantied or returnable. Policy is such because butcher block is not fully protected until it’s finished with natural oil or Varnique semi-gloss varnish.
Most stains for wood are not food-safe. If you do not intend to prepare food directly on the wood surface, you certainly can choose to stain your counter. Because Appalachian Red Oak is not a tight-grain wood, it absorbs wood stain fairly well. Note that any modifications made to your counter will void the manufacturer’s warranty.
End-grain counters cannot be customized. Their standard edging is ¼” radius, top only. The standard edge style on edge-grain and blended-grain counter tops is “slightly eased, top only." In other words, the top corner is very lightly sanded so nearly square, but with a very soft bevel. Four custom edge styles are available for edge and blended-grain tops:
Yes. Face-grain style backsplashes are available in each wood species: maple, cherry, oak and walnut. They are ¾” thick and 4” tall. You can add a standard-length backsplash to any countertop order. If you're ordering a custom size countertop via our Custom Calculator you can also specify a custom length for your backsplash.
Here is Boos' standard (default) practice:
For End-Grain countertops: imprint the logo centered on both long sides. For Edge or Blended-Grain countertops: do not imprint the logo. If imprinting is requested, place the logo on both long sides, approximately 2 inches in from the left edge.
If you wish to deviate from standard practice, during checkout include specific instructions in the Comments box. Specify whether or not you want the "Boos Block" logo to appear on the edges of your countertop(s) and if it is to appear, your preference for its approximate location.
Are these countertops shipped via UPS or a freight carrier? If via Freight, will the truck driver help transport the top?
Smaller sizes ship via UPS. Large/heavy countertops ship via freight carriers, whose trucks are equipped with liftgates used to offload goods. If you will require assistance getting your countertop off the truck, consider adding Curbside Liftgate service to your order.
Installation is fairly simple and we include a link to them in the Butcher Block Co. Help Center. Note it's best to install these countertops over base cabinet framing. They should not be glued down as this might hinder the natural expansion and contraction of the wood.
Ensure adequate air movement around your countertop so that moisture cannot build up in the wood. For example, you should not attach your counter top on a solid underlayment such as particle board. If installing butcher block next to a brick wall, you should apply a moisture barrier between the brick and wood, or leave a small gap between the materials to prevent the transfer of moisture to the wood.
You can place butcher block above a dishwasher or an oven. Just make sure the appliance is properly insulated so that heat will not transfer from the appliance to the butcher block.
First, note that cutting or drilling into any countertop will void the manufacturer’s warranty. If you would like a factory-cut hole for a drop-in sink or stove, please call us. You will need to supply detailed drawings.
An experienced carpenter should be able to execute a cut-out for you without difficulty, although this will void the warranty. Also note that metal fasteners are used in blended-grain countertops to add structural strength, and in edge-grain counters over 96 inches long.
Under no circumstances does Boos recommend cut-outs in end-grain or commercial-grade counter tops, nor under-mounting sinks in any style of butcher block countertop.
I intend to use my countertop as a breakfast bar. What do I need to know about designing a cantilevered counter?
If your edge or blended-grain butcher block counter is installed so that the overhang runs along the length of the piece, parallel to the wood rails, the maximum allowed overhang without additional supports is 8". If your overhang will be more than 8", it must be supported by brackets underneath. If your counter is installed so that the overhang runs perpendicular to the direction of the wood rails, the maximum allowed overhang is 12". Any overhang greater than 12" must be stabilized underneath by brackets.
The level of moisture in a wood countertop is continuously adjusting, based on changes in ambient conditions. Equilibrium moisture content (EMC) is the level at which wood no longer gains from or loses moisture to the atmosphere. Before crafting hardwood into an island or counter top, John Boos kiln-dries the wood to bring it to a moisture-content level close to that which it will likely experience while in service – about 7.6%.
In order to minimize expansion and contraction of your new butcher block counters, you must:
1) Allow 72 hours for your butcher block to acclimate to its new environment prior to installing it; and
2) Monitor and adjust temperature and humidity so they are within these acceptable ranges:
- temperature should always be within the range of 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit\; and
- relative humidity should always be within the range of 30% to 50%.
The table below shows the equilibrium moisture content level toward which wood will naturally creep, depending upon relative humidity and air temperature. Keep in mind that Boos shoots for 7.6% moisture content out of the kiln.
Remember that depending upon your locale, it’s often necessary to humidify air during winter months and to dehumidify air during summer months in order to maintain environmental conditions that are optimal for your butcher block counters.
All our butcher block counters are built to order. Since new orders must be fit into a complex production schedule, normal lead time is approximately 4 weeks.
All of these John Boos butcher block counters come with a one-year warranty against defects in material and workmanship. The warranty does not apply to damage caused by neglect or regular wear and tear. If you make any alterations to the block you will void the warranty. Butcher blocks that are special-ordered to ship "unfinished” are not warrantied in any way, since boards unprotected with either a natural oil or Varnique finish are at risk.