How to Clean Cutting Boards

Cutting boards at their core are designed for food preparation; which includes cutting, smashing, even pulverizing. It’s important to keep them up to the task by making sure they’re properly cleaned and sanitized. Continue reading to learn the proper way to clean cutting boards to keep them looking like new, while preventing cross-contamination in your kitchen.

How to Clean Cutting Boards Custom Crafted by Grothouse
How to Clean Cutting Boards

Butcher block cutting boards are made up of end grains, meaning the board’s surface consists of exposed wood fibers. Butcher block cutting boards are resistant to nicks and scratches and even self-heal over time, as the fibers will push back into place.

Techniques to Clean Cutting Boards

Always wash your cutting board by hand only. Use anti-bacterial dish soap and warm water. If the cutting board is small enough, it is recommended to wash both sides.

You can add a small amount of bleach or vinegar (a teaspoon per gallon of water) to the water for extra bacteria killing power. You can also rub the block with a half a lemon to kill bacteria.

Never put a wood cutting board into the dishwasher. Wood is porous and moisture will seep in to it and damage the board.

After washing, thoroughly dry the cutting board. If possible, allow the block to dry standing up on edge to help the block dry properly and prevent warping.

For more tips on how to clean cutting boards, visit our website.

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Breakfast Bar Tops

Breakfast bar tops are a brilliant way to add extra living space into the kitchen. They are the little perch where you start, and often finish, the day. Most designers choose a solid wood countertop for breakfast bars. Unlike stone and metal, wood is a naturally warm surface that is perfect for sipping morning coffee or enjoying ice cream.

Despite its name, a breakfast bar isn’t just a spot for morning coffee and a bowl of oatmeal. This handy feature, which can be as simple or ornate as your kitchen is, fulfills multiple roles: a cocktail party buffet, a kids’ homework station, extra dinner party seating and more.

Most breakfast bars are designed to sit higher than the kitchen countertops, but they have been designed to align with kitchen countertops as well as even sitting below them.

Designs with Breakfast Bar Tops

Custom Wood Breakfast Bar Tops for Kitchen Islands
Walnut Breakfast Bar Top

The cooking and eating zones on this kitchen island designed by Todd Wiley of Tru Kitchens have been ingeniously divided up, thanks to different worktop materials. It’s a simple trick that makes it instantly feel less like a workaday kitchen and more like a multi-functional space. For the breakfast bar, a Walnut countertop was designed to fit perfectly around the other countertop material.

Custom Wood Reclaimed Chestnut Breakfast Bar Tops for Kitchen Islands
Reclaimed Chestnut Breakfast Bar Top

Designer Alicia Saso, AKBD, of Drury Design Kitchen & Bath Studio used Reclaimed Chestnut for this raised breakfast bar top. The wood has tons of ramshackle character and adds organic charm to the space.

Custom Walnut All Heartwood Breakfast Bar Top
Walnut All Heartwood Breakfast Bar Top

This half-wall could easily have languished as wasted space. However, Kitchenscapes saw an opportunity and put it to work with a simple Walnut All Heartwood counter, fun blue tile and bar stools that creates the perfect spot for coffee or cocktails.

Custom Cherry with Sapwood Breakfast Bar Top
Cherry with Sapwood Breakfast Bar Top

This large Cherry with Sapwood breakfast bar top designed by Kubik Builders provides plenty of room for sitting and gathering out of the main food prep space on the opposite side of the kitchen island.

Want to see more designs featuring breakfast bar tops? Visit the Grothouse Countertop Image Library by clicking here.

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Kitchen Island Shapes

The most common kitchen island shape is a rectangle, but incorporating unique kitchen island shapes into your kitchen design can provide better traffic, more seating, entertaining, food preparation space and, of course, add style.

When designing a kitchen island with a unique shape, the materials used for countertops need to be considered. The luxury of incorporating a wood countertop into the kitchen island design is that wood can be crafted in any shape, style and design. Wood is not restricted like other materials, such as solid metal countertops.

Kitchen Island Shapes | Design Inspiration

L-Shaped Kitchen Island Design | Kitchen Island Shapes with Wood Countertops
L-Shaped Kitchen Island

An L-shaped kitchen island design takes the common rectangle kitchen island and adds some edge. Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath designed this modern kitchen to feature an L-shaped island. One part of the L is a White Oak Half Parsons Table, creating efficient seating space away from the busiest area of the kitchen. A Cambria Torquay countertop was designed for the other part of the L in this island, creating a food preparation space conveniently located near the range and other appliances.

Geometric Kitchen Island Design | Kitchen Island Shapes with Wood Countertops
Geometric Kitchen Island

Kitchen islands can be designed in geometric shapes, which can take the form of pentagons or octagons or some variation of the two. Auer Kitchens designed this kitchen island to make the most of the space while following the shape of the kitchen itself. The Sapele Mahogany wood countertop was designed for seating along one side of the island and food prep space on the other.

Unique Kitchen Island Design | Kitchen Island Shapes with Wood Countertops
Unique Kitchen Island

Richard Thomas Anuszkiewicz designed this truly unique kitchen island with three different sections creating the ultimate kitchen island. A custom White Oak wood table with an Anvil™ metal base creates banquet seating on one side of the island. Across the top of the bench is another counter, creating a bar area that may be used for food preparation or serving space. Adjacent to that is another countertop with a sink, which can also be used for food preparation. This kitchen was on display at KBIS 2018 and features Liebherr appliances.

Visit the Grothouse Image Library to view more designs with unique kitchen island shapes.

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