With either approach, the sink is mounted beneath the countertop so that the top of the sink contacts the bottom of the wood countertop. This makes it easier to wipe down counters in a sweeping, unobstructed motion. The farmhouse style of sink differs from the standard under-mounted sink in that the former lacks a front countertop edge altogether. Instead, the farm style sink, which is typically much larger, protrudes to or beyond the front of the base cabinet, allowing kitchen workers to stand closer to the sink and in a more comfortable posture.
You should know that Boos recommends against this approach* since it leaves cut edges of the countertop exposed to water, and water can seriously damage wood, as you likely know. Consequently, a butcher block positioned above a sink will require special attention and extra care. Most importantly, you must be careful to prevent water spray from hitting the exposed edge of the cutout. Also, as with any butcher block countertop, be sure to immediately wipe up any spills or splashes and to avoid placing wet glasses or dishes on the counter.
* Because there is no way to control or monitor how an end-user cares for his or her countertop, John Boos does not warranty tops with undermounted or farm style sinks, regardless of whether the cutout is executed by Boos at the factory, or onsite by the homeowner.
You can specify a finish of either natural oil or Varnique semi-gloss varnish for any countertop, including one with a sink cutout. Varnique-finished tops are less susceptible to water damage, but natural-oil tops are better suited for food prep tasks.
Boos strongly recommends that you apply a polyurethane finish to the underside of your block, around the perimeter of the cutout. If yours is oil-finished, you should also periodically apply polyurethane, or beeswax or paraffin wax at minimum, to the exposed edge of the butcher block. If you sight a water spot that appears to have penetrated the countertop’s finish, you can treat it by placing a warm iron on a soft cloth placed over the spot.
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