Wood Countertops and Butcher Block Countertops Care

Wood is a natural material that responds to changes in temperature & humidity.

These changes set up tremendous internal forces in wood countertops. Their shape and dimensions will change slightly with the seasons. Make sure to follow our Wood Countertop Installation when permanently installing a butcher block countertop.

Keep your wood countertop dry, away from direct heat, and maintain it according to the directions below. Please see below for care instructions relating to the specific finish type you have selected on your wood countertop.

Grothouse Original Food Safe Oil Finish

The Grothouse Original Oil finish is food safe, hypoallergenic and non-toxic. It is commonly used for butcher block countertops used for direct chopping and wood countertops that require a “green” finish. It is also safe for people with nut allergies as it does not contain Tung oils. Grothouse Original Oil keeps the wood from drying out and cracking.

A butcher block countertop with oil finish will require ongoing oiling to protect the piece and will develop a deep rich patina over time.

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Follow the instructions below to get the best possible performance from your oiled wood top:

  • Wash your block by hand only using anti-bacterial dish soap and warm water. Do not submerge the block in water! 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. Our blocks are not dishwasher safe. Thoroughly dry the block after washing. If you have a small block such as a cutting board, wash both sides and if possible, allow the block to dry standing up on edge to help the block dry properly and prevent warping.
  • Periodically oil the block with Grothouse Original Oil. Letting the block dry out because of a lack of oil is the #1 cause of problems with the block. A good rule of thumb is once a week for the first month and then a minimum of monthly thereafter. The frequency of oiling will vary by the environment and the amount of use. If the wood appears dry, it is time to oil. If you have oiled the butcher block too much it will feel slightly sticky. If this happens, clean the countertop with grease cutting dishwashing detergent such as Dawn.
  • Do not allow liquid to stand on the block for a long period of time; it can stain the butcher block and cause the wood to expand, which may result in glue-joint failure and warping.
  • Use a steel scraper or sandpaper as needed to keep the top smooth and free of deep cuts or any food buildup, then re-oil the top.

Durata® Waterproof Wood Countertop Finish

Durata® finish does not require ongoing maintenance; it is a true permanent finish that does not require re-application. Durata® is a commercial grade wood countertop finish that graces the finest homes, restaurants and pubs across the nation. Durata® is only available on countertops made in Flat Grain and Edge Grain Construction.

Countertops made in End Grain Construction are finished with Grothouse Original Oil. Follow the instructions below to get the best possible performance from your Durata® finished wood countertop:

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  • Exercise care during the first 30 days of receiving your countertop as the Durata® finish is not completely cured and may be more susceptible to scratching. Wash only with soap and water during the first 30 days and avoid placing heavy items on the surface.
  • Do not chop directly on a block with Durata® wood. Use a cutting board.
  • Ensure unglazed pottery items have a protective pad underneath to avoid accidental scratching of the countertop.
  • Following the 30-day break-in period, you may clean your block using anti-bacterial dish soap and warm water, Windex, or your preferred antibacterial cleanser. Thoroughly dry the countertop after washing.
  • Do not expose tops to excessive heat, cold or moisture! Never put in microwave or dishwasher. Never place on stove burners. Do not place hot pots or pans on the surface, we offer integrated trivets on our wood countertops if you require a surface for hot items.
  • You can knead dough, prepare sandwiches and safely place food products on wood countertops with Durata®.