Checkerboard Butcher Block designed by Foster Custom Kitchens

Our Custom Wood Countertops Blog features the industry’s most talented and innovative designers throughout the United States and abroad. This featured kitchen includes a Wenge and Cherry Checkerboard Butcher Block designed by Andy Foster of Foster Custom Kitchens.

Checkerboard Butcher Block designed by Foster Custom Kitchens
Andy Foster of Foster Custom Kitchens

About the Designer: Andy Foster, an accomplished kitchen and bath designer, has been a cabinetmaker for over 40 years. He began woodworking as a hobby shortly after college, and it soon became a passion and a profession. In 1987, after over a decade of commercial woodworking in several venues, he founded Foster Custom Kitchens. What stands out about Andy is his knowledge of and experience in all phases of project development, including design, fabrication, installation, giving him a unique perspective of the process involved in creating a new or remodeled space.

A Tip from Andy: The downstairs of this home has Douglas fir walls, ceilings and beams. The owners chose beautiful rustic cherry for the surrounding cabinetry, and wanted a wooden countertop for their distressed, black, painted cherry island. We were concerned that adding a planked wood grain to the mix would be a little over the top. Choosing a contrasting, end-grain checkerboard pattern of Wenge and Cherry made the island “pop” and tied the painted and natural woods together.

Checkerboard Butcher Block designed by Foster Custom Kitchens
Wenge and Cherry Checkerboard Butcher Block designed by Foster Custom Kitchens

Design Details

Cabinet Manufacturer: Kitchen Island by Foster Custom Woodworks. Surrounding cabinetry by Kountry Kraft.

Cabinet Hardware: Top Knobs

Flooring: Porcelain (existing)

Countertops: Kitchen Island – Wenge and Cherry Wood Checkerboard Butcher Block by Grothouse; Perimeter Countertops – Soapstone

Backsplash: Soapstone

Wall Color: Douglas Fir paneling

Stove: Viking

Dishwasher: Bosch

Other Appliances: Liebherr refrigerator

Wood Checkerboard Butcher Block designed by Foster Custom Kitchens
Checkerboard Butcher Block designed by Foster Custom Kitchens for a Rustic style kitchen
Rustic kitchen with a Wenge and Cherry Checkerboard Butcher Block
Rustic kitchen with a Wenge and Cherry Checkerboard Butcher Block
Black Kitchen Island with Checkerboard Butcher Block Countertop
Black Kitchen Island with Checkerboard Butcher Block Countertop
Checkerboard Butcher Block Kitchen Island Countertop
Checkerboard Butcher Block Kitchen Island Countertop

View additional designs by Foster Custom Kitchens on their website, Facebook, and Houzz. Other kitchen designs including a Checkerboard Butcher Block can be seen on the Grothouse Countertop Image Library. See the latest Grothouse news and announcements by liking our Facebook page.

#CustomWoodCountertops #WoodCountertops #ButcherBlockCountertops #ButcherBlocks #CustomButcherBlocks

Wenge Butcher Block designed by Homestead Kitchens

Our Custom Wood Countertops Blog features the industry’s most talented and innovative designers throughout the United States and abroad. This featured kitchen includes a Wenge Butcher Block designed by Kate Connolly of Homestead Kitchens.

Wenge Butcher Block designed by Kate Connolly of Homestead Kitchens
Kate Connolly of Homestead Kitchens

About the Designer: Kate Connolly is an interior designer, mother of 2 little girls, aspiring yogi and art lover. She has been designing kitchens professionally for 20 years, collaborating with clients in suburban New England. Kate loves piecing together client’s wish lists into functional spaces making their everyday life easier; playing with colors and textures creating a cohesive space that her clients feel at home in. Kate and her husband, Kevin, opened their business, Homestead Kitchens, twelve years ago. They work together with wonderful employees in a beautiful 1904 house where every room is filled with inspirational kitchens.

A Tip from Kate: Think about how you want the room to feel whether it’s formal/fancy, clean/uncluttered, fresh/modern/trendy or warm/comfortable. Then create a focal point by letting one or two items stand out (in this kitchen it is the tile backsplash and the Wenge butcher block).

Wenge Butcher Block designed by Homestead Kitchens
Wenge Butcher Block designed by Homestead Kitchens

Design Details

Cabinet Manufacturer: Signature Custom Cabinetry

Cabinet Hardware: Top Knobs

Flooring: Oak Hardwood

Countertops: Persa Avorio Leathered Granite and 2 1/2″ thick Wenge Wood Butcher Block

Faucet: Moen

Sink: Kraus

Backsplash: Cobblestone 3×12 Gloss Glass Tile

Wall Color: By homeowner

Stove: Thermador

Dishwasher: Thermador

Other Appliances: Imperial hood

Additional Comments and Advice: The clients wanted to omit the kitchen table and have a large island with seating for informal family meals and entertaining. To avoid a seam on the island, we opted for a gorgeous Grothouse Wenge butcher block top at one end. It was not only practical (the perfect spot for food prep), but adds another layer of texture and interest to this mostly monotone kitchen.

Wenge Butcher Block Countertop designed by Homestead Kitchens
Wenge Butcher Block Countertop designed by Homestead Kitchens
Wenge Butcher Block designed by Kate Connolly
Wenge Butcher Block designed by Kate Connolly
Wenge Wood Butcher Block for a Kitchen Island
Wenge Wood Butcher Block for a Kitchen Island
Design by Kate Connolly of Homestead Kitchens
Design by Kate Connolly of Homestead Kitchens

View additional projects by Homestead Kitchens on their website, Houzz, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. To see more designs including a Wenge Butcher Block, visit the Grothouse Countertop Image Library. Stay up to date with Grothouse news and announcements by liking our page on Facebook.

#ButcherBlock #ButcherBlockCountertop #KitchenDesignInspiration #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodCountertops

Grothouse Butcher Blocks featured on Angie’s List

Grothouse butcher blocks were featured in an article on Angie’s List, “How Much Do Butcher Block’s Cost?” The article summarizes the definition of a butcher block, the pros and the cons, and also the cost of a butcher block.

The article states that butcher blocks consist of strips of glued hardwood. It’s been utilized for chopping blocks and cutting boards for years, and more recently, as a popular material for kitchen countertops, tables and islands.

The Grothouse definition of a butcher block is a wood surface crafted in end
grain construction. End grain construction is the construction style recommended for direct food preparation.

End grain construction consists of small wood pieces standing vertically to show only the ends of the wood. This style of butcher block is significantly harder to manufacture than other construction styles. It requires a level of skill and craftsmanship not found with most commercial suppliers. The pieces are generally random sized, although sizes will vary depending on the species and sizes of wood available at the time of manufacturing.

The Featured Grothouse Butcher Blocks

Grothouse Butcher Blocks featured on Angie's List
Zebrawood Butcher Block featured on Angie’s List

This Zebrawood Butcher Block was designed by Lisa Martin of Signature Custom Cabinetry and was on display at the on display at the 2015 Signature Custom Cabinetry Conference. It is 2-1/2″ thick and features a 1/8″ Roundover edge profile.

Grothouse Butcher Blocks featured on Angies List
Walnut, Maple, and White Oak Butcher Block featured on Angie’s List

This butcher block features an interlocked pattern of Walnut, Maple, and White Oak. It was designed by a homeowner in New York and is 3″ thick.

Grothouse Butcher Blocks featured on Angie's List
Teak Butcher Block featured on Angie’s List

Old Town Woodworking designed this 2-1/2″ thick Teak butcher block with a 1/4″ Roundover edge profile.

To see more designs with butcher blocks visit our Countertop Image Library. Angie’s List also featured Grothouse Butcher Blocks in a photo gallery. Click here to read the full article on Angie’s List.

Family Sized Butcher Block in the New York Times

A Family Sized Butcher Block custom crafted by Grothouse was featured in a New York Times article, “The Closed Kitchen Makes a Comeback.” The butcher block is pictured showing Jennifer McAllister-Nevins and her family in their TriBeCa loft’s enclosed kitchen.

Family Sized Butcher Block in the New York Times
Family Sized Butcher Block in the New York Times (photo via New York Times)

During a New Year’s Eve dinner party several years ago, the pipes in Jennifer McAllister-Nevins’ kitchen were suddenly blocked. All of the guests got to witness each chaotic moment as the pipes for the sink backed up because she lived in a TriBeCa apartment with an open kitchen. Because of this instance, Ms. McAllister-Nevins, who loves to entertain, now lives in a different TriBeCa loft, one with an enclosed kitchen.

Family Sized Butcher Block Designs

Overtime we have seen butcher blocks used for kitchens used by families. Butcher blocks permit areas for seating and food preparation. Butcher Blocks often become the center of the kitchen, creating a central meeting place for the whole family to enjoy.

Large Butcher Block for Kitchen Island
Butcher Block designed by John Troxell, Director of Design, Wood-Mode Inc.

John Troxell, Director of Design, Wood-Mode Inc. designed this large butcher block with three tiers. The butcher block is made of Cherry wood on the inside, a Wenge wood stripe, and a Walnut wood border. The tiers on either side of the butcher block are made of Walnut wood. There is plenty of space for the whole family to enjoy around this butcher block.

Family Sized Butcher Block designed by Plain & Fancy Cabinetry
Butcher Block designed by Plain & Fancy Cabinetry

Plain & Fancy Cabinetry designed this Sapele Mahogany Butcher Block. This large kitchen island has plenty of space for food preparation and storage underneath. Chairs could be pulled up to the overhang to create a seating area. This space was designed with family, and convenience, in mind.

Family Sized Butcher Block designed by Home Supply Inc.
Butcher Block designed by Home Supply Inc.

Home Supply Inc. designed this American Black Walnut Butcher Block for this large kitchen island. This kitchen island has an area for seating. By leaving some space open on the butcher block across from the oven, it creates a space for food preparation and serving.

To read the New York Times article featuring a family sized butcher block, click here. To see more designs including large butcher blocks, visit our Countertop Image Library.

The History of Butcher Blocks

At Grothouse, we refer to wood surfaces crafted in End Grain construction as Butcher Blocks. According to Wikipedia, Butcher block, or butcher’s block, is a style of assembled wood used as heavy duty chopping blocks, table tops, and cutting boards.

The Evolution of Butcher Blocks

Antique Butcher Blocks
Antique Butcher Block

The history of wood butcher blocks is not defined. Some say the use of a butcher block first originated in China. Others say that wood has been used in the preparation of food since the prehistoric ages. Butchers used tree rounds to carve meat on. The rounds were often too soft and they rapidly became unsanitary.

Throughout the centuries, mankind evolved and started creating machines. When the circular saw was invented, nicer, cleaner slabs of wood were cut and used as cutting boards. Since soft wood was the most available type of wood at the time, it was the material of choice to be used for cutting boards.

The boards were made smaller since the slab of wood could now be cut to any desired size. Since they were made smaller, they were also used to eat off of and some people referred to them as trenchers. Trenchers were originally pieces of stale hard bread that were used as substitute plates. Wood trenchers quickly became the replacements of the eatable dinnerware.

Hard wood butcher blocks were the preferred choice of the butcher industry. They were made to be extremely thick and durable, so durable in fact, that a butcher could use the same block for almost his entire career.

One fact remains true, butcher blocks have been used in butcher shops for centuries, and still are in many European countries today, as well as in homes for the use of food preparation.

Visit our website to learn about butcher blocks manufactured today.

 

Sources Used:

http://www.cuttingboardusa.com/news/quick-history-of-the-cutting-board-47.aspx

http://www.cuttingboard.com/blog/butcher-blocks-vs-cutting-boards-whats-the-difference/

Tigerwood Butcher Block Countertops

Tigerwood Butcher Block Countertops crafted by Grothouse are a “wow” factor in any kitchen. But when you add two Tigerwood butcher block countertops like Daniel G. Steger, AIA Principal of DGS Architecture and Pomeroy & Co., Inc. did in their design, you achieve a whole new level of “WOW.”

Tigerwood Butcher Block Countertops
Tigerwood Butcher Block Countertops

Tigerwood is known for its striking figure that can range from fine lines to deep, bold lines that look like brush strokes. When Tigerwood is crafted in end grain construction to create butcher block countertops, beauty and function are combined to create the ultimate kitchen area.

Butcher block countertops crafted in end grain construction can be used for a variety of different purposes. The first, and most common, use is for food preparation. End grain construction is the preferred chopping surface by chefs because it is the kindest to knives and keeps them sharp.  In addition, butcher blocks tend to be self-healing and most knife marks disappear after cleaning. If any heavy knife marks appear on the block, it can be sanded and re-finished to look like new.

Another use for butcher block countertops is an area for dining. Wood is naturally a warm material, not to mention it is kind to fine china and other tableware. Who wouldn’t want the comfort of a naturally warm, kind material to gather around with their family and friends? End grain construction style also permits the ability to make a very large table without needing seams, creating a truly colossal appearance.

Tigerwood Butcher Block Countertops
Tigerwood Butcher Block Countertop

The use of two Tigerwood butcher block countertops in this kitchen is quite brilliant. One butcher block can be used strictly for food preparation purposes, and the other can be used for dining purposes.

See more designs with butcher block countertops on our Countertop Image Library.

Custom Countertops on Display at the 2015 Signature Custom Cabinetry Conference

Grothouse custom countertops were on display at the 2015 Signature Custom Cabinetry Conference. Grothouse is honored to have been included and in such great company!

Grothouse Custom Countertops on display at Signature Custom Cabinetry Conference 2015
Grothouse Custom Countertops on display

 

Custom Countertops on Display

Lisa Martin of Signature Custom Cabinetry designed the following displays with Grothouse custom countertops.

Custom countertops for a vanity display at the Signature Custom Cabinetry conference 2015
Vanity Display designed by Lisa Martin of Signature Custom Cabinetry

This vanity display includes an edge grain Wenge wood countertop. The countertop has a 1/8″ Roundover edge profile on the top edges, bottom edges, and vertical front corners.

Wenge Custom Countertops for a Vanity
Vanity Display designed by Lisa Martin of Signature Custom Cabinetry

It is sealed with Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish in satin sheen. The bottom of the vanity display matches the top with a frame base made of Wenge. The frame base is also finished with Durata® in satin sheen.

Custom countertops for a Kitchen Island
Kitchen Island Display designed by Lisa Martin of Signature Custom Cabinetry

The kitchen island display featured an edge grain Ash Pastore™ Table with one leg and dovetail Wenge keys.

Custom countertops for kitchen islands
Kitchen Island Display designed by Lisa Martin of Signature Custom Cabinetry

The table has a 1/8″ Roundover edge profile on the top edges, bottom edges, and vertical corners. It is sealed with Durata® Finish in satin sheen and includes laser engraving on the front edge.

Custom countertops for a Cafe Coffee Station
Cafe Coffee Station Display designed by Lisa Martin of Signature Custom Cabinetry

The cafe coffee station display included matching shadow boxes and a cabinet surround box. All of the boxes were crafted in edge grain construction of Sapele Mahogany wood and finished with Grothouse Original Oil™.

Custom Countertops for a Cabinet Surround Box
Cafe Coffee Station Cabinet Surround Box Display designed by Lisa Martin of Signature Custom Cabinetry

The cabinet surround box was crafted to perfectly fit around the cabinet and includes intricate detail.

Custom Butcher Block Countertops on display
Butcher Block Display designed by Lisa Martin of Signature Custom Cabinetry

The center display featured an end grain Zebrawood butcher block with a 1/8″ Roundover edge profile.

Custom Butcher Blocks display
Butcher Block Display designed by Lisa Martin of Signature Custom Cabinetry

It includes laser engraving on the front edge. The butcher block is sealed with Grothouse Original Oil™ food safe finish.

Follow us on Houzz to view more custom countertops on display.

Butcher Block Pros and Cons

Butcher Block Pros and Cons by Grothouse
Grothouse Butcher Block Pros and Cons

This blog post covers the butcher block pros and cons. At Grothouse, the term ‘butcher block’ refers to a wood surface crafted in End Grain Construction. End Grain is the premium construction style recommended for direct food preparation. It is the construction style of choice for upscale applications. In end grain construction, small wood pieces stand vertically to show only the ends of the wood.

Butcher Block Pros

There are far more butcher block pros than cons. To start off, a butcher block can be used for direct food preparation. This means you can cut and chop directly on the wood surface.

Knives keep their edge far better when used on butcher blocks. This is because the blade slides between the wood fibers, much like cutting into a firm brush. Cutting on hard surfaces like stone or glass can dull sharp blades.

An added benefit is that butcher blocks do not show knife marks quite as readily as surfaces crafted in other construction styles.

Any light scratches or knife marks made in the butcher block surface can be sanded off and re-oiled to look brand new!

Butcher block countertops can be crafted to include a number of different patterns and inlays, as well as numerous features and options.

The most popular use for butcher blocks is kitchen islands. They provide a functional work surface and unlike stone slabs, can be made any size without unsightly seams.

Butcher Block Pros and Cons by Grothouse
Sapele Mahogany Butcher Block designed by Plain & Fancy.

All Grothouse butcher blocks are finished with Grothouse Original Oil™. Grothouse Original Oil™ is a food safe oil finish. The finish requires ongoing maintenance depending on the environment and amount of use.

Butcher Block Cons

The major butcher block con is that end grain surfaces cannot be sealed with our Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish. Only surfaces crafted in flat grain or edge grain construction can be finished with Durata®. Durata® is a maintenance free finish. You can learn more about Durata® on our website. Because butcher blocks cannot be finished with Durata®, they cannot include a stain application.

Butcher Block Customer Reviews

We have received a great deal of positive butcher block customer reviews. Cheryl R. from Mountain Lakes, New Jersey wrote:

Dear Grothouse,

I just wanted to say thank you and share a few pics of the beautiful butcher block you created for us! We love it! It was supposed to be all about the function but it has become a masterful design feature!

I think it garners most of the compliments in our new kitchen! It was a pleasure working with your people from start to finish!

David L. from Santa Rosa, California said:

Although it’s been a little over a year since we did business with you, I just wanted to say thanks again for the incredible butcher block countertop you built for our new kitchen island. It is the perfect combination of beauty and function – we get lots of compliments from friends who visit.

Read more butcher block customer reviews here. Visit our website for more information regarding butcher block pros and cons. Visit our Pinterest to see inspiring designs including butcher blocks.

Grothouse Original Oil ™ Finish

Grothouse Original Oil™ Finish
Grothouse Original Oil™ Finish

Grothouse Original Oil  Finish is the best product for keeping butcher blocks and wood countertops properly maintained. Grothouse Original Oil ™ is heavy weight pharmaceutical grade pure mineral oil and is used for lasting protection on wood surfaces. This finish is completely food safe and can be used on surfaces used for food preparation. This finish is hypoallergenic and contains no Tung oils. You can entertain guests with no concerns of nut allergies.

An advantage to using this finish is that it is fragrance free and color free. This finish needs to be renewed on a regular basis depending on the environment and amount of use. The surface should be oiled when it appears visually dry. Maintaining the finish is very important to the long term life of the wood surface, as well as keeping the surface protected from water.

Countertops with Grothouse Original Oil™

Grothouse Original Oil Butcher Block Finish
Grothouse Original Oil™ is primarily used on butcher blocks.

This finish is primarily used on butcher blocks. Butcher blocks are a common term used to refer to countertops crafted in end grain construction. It can be used on large butcher block countertops such as the maple butcher block pictured below. This space was designed by JP Walters Design Associates.

Large Maple Butcher Block Countertop
Large Butcher Block Grothouse Original Oil™

It can also be used on wood countertops, cutting boards, salad bowls, soapstone, and wood utensils. Wood Countertops can include any options when finished with Grothouse Original Oil™. The edge grain Teak wood countertop pictured below includes an undermount sink designed by Blanco.

Edge-Grain-Burmese-Teak
Edge grain Teak wood countertop with Grothouse Original Oil™

Wood countertops with oil finish can also include trivets. The Walnut countertop pictured below includes trivets and an undermount sink. This countertop was designed by Deborah Dyste of Souris River Designs.

Edge grain countertop with oil finish
Edge grain Walnut countertop with Grothouse Original Oil™ Finish

Our oil finish can be purchased on the Online Store. View more countertops finished with Grothouse Original Oil™ on our Countertop Image Library. Add countertop ideas to your ideabook on Houzz!

Wood Countertop Patterns

Wood Countertop Patterns are a fun, creative way to add an element of interest and appeal to any kitchen space. At Grothouse, we have created a multitude of Wood Countertop Patterns. Countertops with patterns and other designs are extremely unique and custom to client specifications. Custom patterns can be facilitated designs that do not conform to typical geometric shapes. In this blog post we will discuss some of the most popular Wood Countertop Patterns we have crafted.

Grothouse Wood Countertop Patterns
Wood Countertop Patterns

Most Popular Wood Countertop Patterns

Random Mix construction is the most artful form of butcher blocks we create. Our craftsmen mix a variety of wood species in an arrangement that is visually pleasing to the eye. No two Random Mix wood countertop patterns are alike. The Random Mix pattern is only available for countertops crafted in End Grain construction, otherwise known as butcher block countertops.

Photographed below is a Walnut, Wenge, and African Mahogany End Grain Butcher Block. The three wood species are randomly mixed to create the beautiful pattern. This countertop was designed by Brandon MacDonald.

Custom Wood Countertop Patterns
Walnut, Wenge, and African Mahogany | Random Mix Pattern

Another extremely popular wood countertop pattern is Checkerboard. Checkerboard patterns are also only available for End Grain Butcher Block Countertops. The Checkerboard pattern consists of two alternating wood species. Checkerboard patterns require precise measuring and block size to execute properly. This style continues to be our most popular pattern.

Below is a Maple and Wenge Checkerboard Butcher Block Countertop. This countertop was designed by Interior Environments.

Wood Countertop Pattern Checkerboard
Maple and Wenge | Checkerboard Pattern

Clients have also used checkerboard patterns in the form of borders for their butcher block countertops.  The kitchen photographed below includes a Beech butcher block countertop with a Wenge and Beech Checkerboard pattern border, which is then bordered with Walnut. This space was designed by Jenny’s Design Build.

Wood Countertop Checkerboard Pattern
Beech, Wenge, and Walnut | Checkerboard Pattern Border

Another popular pattern includes stripes of different wood species. The kitchen below was designed by Bluebell Kitchens. It includes two edge grain countertops with Maple with African Mahogany stripes.

Wood Countertop Stripe Patterns
Maple and African Mahogany | Stripe Pattern

Other patterns can also be crafted as well. An extremely unique pattern, that can only be crafted by the finest craftsmen, is exhibited in the butcher block photographed below. This butcher block was designed to have an Interlocking Pattern of Walnut, Maple, and White Oak.

Wood Countertop Pattern Interlocking
Walnut, Maple, and White Oak | Interlocking Pattern

Wood Countertop Patterns are a fun, creative way to add an element of interest and appeal to any kitchen space. Some of the most popular patterns at Grothouse include Random Mix, Checkerboard, and Stripes. to see more Wood Countertop Patterns, visit our Countertop Image Library.