Countertopguides.com reports that some varieties of butcher block are among the most affordable countertop materials on the market. However it’s important to note that butcher block comes in a wide range of wood species, grain styles, thicknesses and sizes. Butcher Block Co. and its key supplier, John Boos & Co., offer counters made of maple, oak, cherry and walnut; in blended, edge and end-grain style; in thicknesses from 1.5 to 7 inches; and in more sizes than it’s practical to mention here. All these factors plus others, including supply and demand and frequency of production, impact manufacturing costs and in turn, selling prices.
As you can see in the graph below, there exist several general pricing principles that you might want to keep them in mind as you weigh your butcher block countertop choices. Most notably, hard maple is the most affordable wood species, followed by red oak (albeit, available in very few varieties), then cherry, and finally walnut. You’ll also note that blended-grain counters are less expensive than edge-grain counters, which are in turn, more affordable than end-grain boards. The other key variable that influences price is the thickness of the butcher block. Unsurprisingly, the thicker the wood counter, the higher the price.
So while it’s not unusual to find that the type of butcher block counter you most prefer will cost less than corian, granite or marble, for instance, it’s not a sure thing. For example, if your tastes favor walnut over oak; end-grain style over blended; and 3, 4 or 7-inch-thick boards over those 1-1/2 to 2-1/4 inches thick, you might not wind up with the lowest-cost countertop material. However, you can make such a choice knowing that you’ll wind up with an absolutely gorgeous and durable wood countertop that will provide you ample functionality and endless satisfaction. Plus it will be a green choice – a renewable and sustainable natural resource.
NOTE: Price comparison data was last updated in January, 2015
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