Build Your Own Countertop

Build Your Own Countertop – Save yourself hundreds and build your own DIY Butcher Block Countertops! Check out our selection and find all the products you need.

Learn how to turn your kitchen countertop into an amazing butcher block counter! This simple change adds a designer touch to your home, without the expensive price tag.

Build Your Own Countertop

*This article is sponsored by BLANCO. So I appreciate having a sponsor to help me bring this content to you!

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If you have ever had to live without countertops in your kitchen to use for food preparation or to have a smooth cutting surface while preparing food, you know the joy that fills your heart when you have it.

We are moving forward with the progress of our new kitchen in our new home we built, and I want to share with you the design and our entire DIY process for building our beautiful white oak butcher block island countertops.

For more personal information, feel free to check out this post! Although I leave many more in the written post – each one is good to help you learn.

We have a U-shaped kitchen, and we’re doing a mix of countertops. You can see all of our design plans and how we designed this space here.

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I originally wanted marble countertops – but after analyzing the cost of this high maintenance material, we chose butcher – something we felt comfortable doing ourselves and would save us hundreds.

I still love Carrara marble in our kitchen, so we bought some leftover marble at an amazing price and will cut and polish it ourselves for this small countertop area on both sides of our Verona Range, including a large slab for the backsplash.

You’ll also notice a piece of marble that we threw in this “Stone Tap” section. More on that in a sec!

I think having a combination of warm wood countertops and my favorite stone will be great. Then add the backsplash, which is a small piece of the same wood as the tables.

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We used white oak planks for our butcher block tables. Oak is a hardwood, making it a solid choice for countertops, when compared to something like pine, which is a softwood.

White oak is our new favorite wood because it is warm without red or orange tones in it. We experimented with a sample and decided we liked it when we added some pickling dirt and then sanded it a little.

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It allows some grain to pass through the grain and makes the whole wood softer. It’s just really good. You will be able to see the difference in performance shots below.

We got our white oak from a friend who has his own finishing company. We were like two kids in a candy store seeing all the beautiful pieces of wood he had. It was an easy decision for us to go with white oak after seeing how beautiful it was.

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I will walk you through Mr. TIDBITS’ process of building and finishing these countertops, along with the products we used.

For the sake of simplicity and beauty, we decided to make a face grain butcher block top, meaning that the face of the wood is on top, as opposed to the true edge grain or end grain.

You can Google those terms and see a ton of examples and pros and cons for each.

Cut and arrange the pieces of wood before gluing them together. We are very grateful that our friend and wood supplier will move our wood through his industrial producer. By the time we got it, it was all laid out, smooth, the right size, and ready to glue.

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Kevin used a lot of plywood and wood glue to glue the pieces of wood together and let them dry completely before continuing. Of course, scaling will be a big part of this step as well.

Once the glue has dried, we used a wood filler to fill all the holes and knots in the wood. This rustic white oak has many knots, but we find that it adds to the rustic beauty.

Once the filler was dry, it was time to give it a nice sanding with our Ryobi Orbit Sander and make all the pieces of wood smooth and even brushing away any glue or filler residue. If you have a large enough planer, running the whole chunk through it would also be a good and easy way to clean and even this up.

He applied 1 layer of pickling stain and left it to dry. You may not choose to stain your wood completely, so you can skip this step.

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He sanded again to remove most of the debris, leaving only the white to pass through the grain of the wood. If you didn’t stain, you can skip the second sanding as well, but I wanted to show you how it changed the tones of the wood, especially for this white oak pickling stain treatment.

Cutting your cover to the right size and cutting any holes for your sink and faucet can be very nerve-wracking! To get even corners, Kevin first made his marks and then drilled a hole in the corner with a 1 3/4 hole saw, to get nice round corners.

I want to talk to you about this decision we made to add marble around the faucet and behind our large, beautiful BLANCO fireclay sink.

Of the small piece of marble under the pipe. I thought it was an interesting idea, and after sharing it on Instagram someone introduced me to this one called “Stone Tap”. Something that is very popular with European kitchen designers, especially something that is often done by Devol Kitchens when they make butcher block countertops.

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We got brave and tried this idea ourselves but on a larger scale. It makes perfect sense when you think about how much water can drip from your hands back and forth from the faucet, resulting in a pile of stagnant water. Where wood is prone to water damage compared to stone, we decided this would be a practical option that would also add a unique character.

We were very nervous about this idea but we cut the marble to fit just behind the sink. Kevin used his pipe cutter and cut the marble enough to be the thickness of a butcher block. I wish we could have found a piece as thick as wood, but we didn’t succeed, so we had to join two pieces together.

Then we closed all sides. This is a unique idea, but I must say – the result pleased us! It adds some outstanding quality to the diving area and I think it will help our butcher lift better.

We knew that we had two options for sealing the wood, which, of course, is important for a place that will be exposed to a lot of moisture. Butcher block countertops are untainted and simple food-safe mineral oil is the best choice.

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It holds the wood all the way through and allows you to use your countertops as a cutting board if you want. Apply oil to protect the surface. Where we had applied the pickling stain, I did not consider our countertop to be safe to eat, and the stain had already opened holes.

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I took the advice of my paint store that I always go to for these tricky questions, and they strongly recommended a clear coat, or polyurethane, that protects your wood from the surface.

This treatment has the risk of scratching, but I’ve never had a counter where I didn’t use a board or plate to prepare my food, so this was a good solution for me. I wanted the wood to keep its natural look as much as possible, so they recommended this acrylic-based Benjamin Moore Clearcoat called “Keep Clear”. (Something similar on Amazon)

I got the Flat finish to keep a nice matte, wood quality look. I have used some clear coats of water with success, but he said many other clear coats will have a slightly cooler or warmer tint, while this “remains clear”. That all sounded good to me! We may need to replace the oil every few years, but it is easier to maintain than the mineral oil, which is more common than that.

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One thing we read that makes sense to me is to seal the bottom of the table, which should help prevent excessive swelling and cracking of the wood seams – so we did that too.

I sink over the large Farmhouse Apron front sink – the bigger the better! I am happy to tell you about one of my supporters in the kitchen, BLANCO who worked with me to share with you.

This sink is their PROFINA 36″ Farmhouse Fireclay sink. Color, texture, size. . . everything is amazing!

Our pull down faucet is the EMPRESSA Bridge Faucet, in polished nickel. I love

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