Best Wood for Butcher Block Countertops

As a homeowner, you should have a few essentials in your kitchen that aid you in providing food for yourself and your family. One of these essentials includes a butcher’s block countertop. It’s necessary to have a strong butcher’s block so that you can slice or chop all your chickens and meats.

A butcher’s block is a pretty sturdy piece of wood that will last pretty long if you take sufficient care of it. If you work hard to maintain it, your butcher’s block will age pretty gracefully instead of rotting away (which is the case with many wooden items). However, you must pick a suitable piece of wood if you’ve decided to build a butcher’s block yourself.

This article will explore some practical information about butcher block countertops and the best wood types to build them.

What is a Butcher’s Block?

A butcher’s block is made from sturdy wood pieces glued together to form a firm enough surface to be used in the kitchen. In all fairness, it can be used anywhere and isn’t limited to being used in the kitchen. Most people (especially cooks) utilize butcher blocks to chop animal meat to transform them into edible dishes.

Butcher’s blocks come in three different types: end grain, face grain, and edge grain. An end-grain butcher’s block is the most potent form of such block, and it’s primarily found in a rectangular shape. The growth rings are formed in a way that they prevent the board from getting any knife marks. Also, end-grain butcher blocks are the most expensive type.

A face-grain butcher’s block is constructed to form a flat surface. This butcher’s block isn’t recommended in the kitchen as it’s vulnerable to knife marks. Finally, an edge-grain butcher’s block is the most used as it’s pretty easy to use, maintain, and work with, especially in the kitchen. It also happens to be the least expensive of all butcher blocks.

How Can You Maintain a Butcher’s Block?

It isn’t that difficult to maintain your butcher’s block. It would be best to oil the block every six months to prevent the wood from rusting away. However, before oiling your block, it’s better to research the kind of oil you should use. Certain oils, such as cooking, are recommended to steer clear of while cleaning your block.

Also, the extent of maintenance depends on the frequency of use. If you use your butcher’s block often, it might need cleaning and maintenance every three months. You can always consult others to understand your block’s maintenance better. If your block has garnered too many meat stains, it will help if you oil it now and then to get rid of them.

The 5 Best Woods for Butcher Block Countertops

If you want to make a butcher’s block for your countertop by yourself, the first thing you’ll need is to find the perfect wood type. It’s necessary to invest in a sturdy piece of wood that allows your butcher’s block to stay consistent with quality and last longer. Below is a list of all the best wood types to make the perfect butcher’s block.


As the name suggests, this wood type has plenty of stripes, resembling a zebra. Zebrawood is a hardwood with a coarse texture. It’s pretty strong, giving you an excellent surface to work on.

However, the thing with zebrawood is that it might be a little challenging to work with (while building the block) due to the coarse texture. So, if you’re making a block for the first time, this wood type might intimidate you. But if you’re comfortable working with it, it’ll give you an excellent finished product.


When you search “the best wood types,” maple will probably be the first to pop up. It’s a highly sturdy piece of wood, contributing to the top-notch quality of whatever it’s used to make. Many people choose maple as their choice of wood to make their butcher block, considering its benefits.

Maple wood doesn’t rot away quickly, making it the number one reason many invest in it. Also, it has excellent finishing properties and a pretty apt appeal. Hence, maple wood has all the traits to qualify as one of the best wood types.

Red Oak

Red oak falls under the oak family, and it’s excellent for many wooden items. If you don’t want your block to ever break into tiny pieces, making it from red oak will be the way to go. Red oak is pinkish to dark red, giving your butcher’s block a unique color.

If your kitchen is in the same tones, using red oak to build your block will be apt as it’ll blend just right with your kitchen. However, red oak is a bit more expensive than other wood types, so only get it if you have the funds to afford and maintain it.


Using cherrywood will be ideal if you want your butcher’s block to be of a hard substance. Cherrywood has a precise amount of hardness, making it a pretty suitable piece of wood to make your block from. The sturdiness and durability of this piece of wood are a bonus.

Also, cherrywood is pretty stain-resistant, so no matter how many stains you drop on your block, it won’t spoil it so quickly. The best part about cherry butcher blocks is that they’re effortless to maintain, preventing you from staying on your toes to protect them from damage.


Bamboo is another excellent piece of wood to build your butcher’s block from. If stain-absorption is your biggest priority, then using bamboo to make your block will be ideal. Bamboo has many superior qualities that make it far better to use than other wood types.

However, you must know that bamboo blocks need the strongest and sharpest knives, or the block will acquire marks you won’t care for. As long as you maintain your bamboo butcher’s block, you won’t have any complaints. You may have to clean it more frequently, but it’s worth it if you want the best quality.

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