Can you stain butcher block countertops ?

May 14, 2014

Can you stain butcher block countertops? is a frequently asked question that has many different answers; many of which depend on the finished product you desire.

What is a butcher block countertop?

To begin answering the question, “Can you stain butcher block countertops?” we will start out by defining the term “butcher block countertop” according to us, The Grothouse Lumber Company. A butcher block countertop is a wood surface crafted in End Grain construction style.

End grain construction is the premium construction style and our recommended surface for direct food preparation. In end grain construction, small wood pieces stand vertically to show only the ends of the wood, as shown in the diagram below. We have come to discover that this construction style is not suitable for staining purposes. We can stain other construction styles of wood surfaces, however we do not stain butcher block countertops.

Can you stain butcher block countertops?

Here at Grothouse, the answer to “Can you stain butcher block countertops?” is: we do not stain butcher block countertops because they are made in end grain construction.

Stain Butcher Block Countertops

Wood surfaces crafted in End Grain Construction are known as Butcher Block Countertops. Butcher Block Countertops cannot be stained.

What kind of wood countertop can be stained?

At Grothouse, we apply stain to wood countertops crafted in Edge Grain Construction Style and Flat Grain Construction Style.

In a wood countertop crafted in Edge Grain construction, the wood pieces are laid out with long strips running lengthwise along the top, shown in the diagram below. All of the strips will be continuous with no joints, unless the length of the top is excessive.

Edge Grain wood countertop surface by Grothouse

Wood countertop surfaces crafted in Edge Grain Construction can have a stain application if desired.

In a wood countertop crafted in Flat Grain Construction, the wood pieces are premium-clear wide plank flat sawn boards. The pieces are generally wider in size, this is shown in the diagram below.

Flat Grain wood countertop surface by Grothouse

Wood Countertop surfaces crafted in Flat Grain Construction can have a stain application if desired.

So now that we have defined the term “butcher block countertop” and we have discovered what kind of construction styles can have a stain application, let’s discuss stains.

What is the best stain to use for wood countertops?

There is no stain that we, Grothouse, consider to be “the best” or “better than others.” The best stain to choose for your wood countertop is the stain that will make it the color you desire for the finished product. We offer over 40 stock stains for application on Edge Grain and Flat Grain Wood Countertops. We continue to add to our stock stains and glazes based on current trends and customer requests. Click here to view all of the stock stains Grothouse has available.

Below is a picture of a stained wood countertop. This wood countertop is crafted in edge grain construction of the wood specie Ash. Ash is typically a very light tan color. The countertop was stained to look like another wood specie, Wenge, which is typically very dark brown/black in color. Leah Heinsius of Faralli Kitchen & Bath Design Studio designed this countertop.

Stained Ash wood countertop by Grothouse

Ash Wood Countertop crafted in Edge Grain Construction stained to be a dark brown/black color.

In the event that you do not wish to have one of our stock stains applied to your countertop, (this is a very slight chance!) we do offer the option of Custom Stain Matching. We can match your wood countertop with basically ANYTHING.  We use a color lab for all stain matches to ensure a perfect color match. The stain matches will be within a delta E of 0.5 or less. Below is a picture of a wood countertop custom stained to match the original item, which in this case is a drawer.

Grothouse Wood Countertop Custom Stain Matched

Grothouse Wood Countertop Custom Stained to match the color of the drawer.

The process of crafting a stained wood countertop does not end with simply just applying the stain. Every stained wood countertop crafted by Grothouse is sealed with our Durata® Permanent Finish.

What is the Durata® Permanent Wood Countertop Finish?

Durata® Finish is a proprietary finish exclusively available on Grothouse wood countertop surfaces. It is available in Satin, Matte or Semi-Gloss sheen. This finish is completely resistant to water or chemical penetration. Very hard solvents, such as lacquer thinner or alcohol, will not affect this finish. Once fully cured, this finish is highly resistant to scratching. This finish is approved for FDA indirect exposure (ie. Kneading dough), but not chopping. Chopping applications should be avoided. This finish has received the highest possible rating for durability from ASTM International, a worldwide standard setting organization. Click here to learn more about the Grothouse Durata® Permanent Finish.

Now that we have gone through the initial steps of obtaining a stained wood countertop from Grothouse, we hope to have answered the frequently asked question, “Can you stain butcher block countertops?” In the Grothouse Image Library, you can see award winning stained wood countertops other clients have designed.