DIY Butcher Block & Wood Countertop Reviews

Peggy | PJH Designs

Peggy shared her wood countertops with us over 3 years ago — she made her own countertops using wood flooring! “I replaced my laminate countertops with oak flooring laying it out in the same pattern I would have used when installing them on the floor, and then finishing them out with oak trim. I then used a hand sander and gave them a super smooth finish. Finally, I applied a thick epoxy finish to the entire top making sure to cover all the side trim. When I finished it had beautiful, glossy, oak countertops!”

Peggy PJH Designs DIY oak flooring countertop review

“The shiny finish has held up extremely well, as a matter of fact on a scale from one to five with one being terrible and five being excellent I would give them a four! These countertops have been extremely durable. The only problem I had was sliding my coffee pot back and forth everyday to make coffee was leaving scratches. So I simply set the coffee maker on a piece of dark cabinet liner, or you could simply be sure to lift it up each time instead of sliding.”

Peggy PJH Designs oak flooring countertop review

YES, Peggy would “definitely build more countertops like these in the future” and she rates them as a 5: “I expect the ones I have to last for many years to come.”

Peggy’s tips: I would recommend also that you watch for wear from water around the sink and keep it sealed well with silicone sealer to prevent the finish from wearing away.


Amanda | Simply Maggie

Amanda made her own wide plank butcherblock countertops for her kitchen nearly 3 years ago. She used 8″ and 6″ red oak boards to build the countertop, which was then installed, stained, and polyed (plus cut-out for an undermount sink). Full details here.

“The counter tops have help up perfectly! I haven’t bothered to shop for any specific cleaning products for wood, I tend to just buy whatever multi-surface cleaner is on sale. And I should add that I am not that easy on them. They have endured some spills, hot pans and dropping of kitchen items with no damage after about 3 years.”

Amanda Simply Maggie diy wide plank wood countertop review

YES, Amanda says, “I would use this technique again and actually plan to use it for the bathroom counter when we remodel our second bathroom. Almost everyone who has entered my home has commented on my counter tops and I always recommend them if you are looking for something durable, budget friendly, and unique!” She rates the countertops as a 5 (Amazing! I expect them to last for many more years).

Amanda’s tips: 
Crumbs may be an issue for some, but I just use the brush attachment on my Dyson to vacuum up any that get left behind in the cracks.
I haven’t had any water issues around the sink, but if you are worried than simply use a clear silicone to fill in any gaps that may concern you.
I haven’t had to yet, but after another few years of use I may lightly sand and re-polyurethane the counters to keep them looking vibrant.


Erica | On Bliss Street

Erica created her own wood countertops nearly a year ago, using sheet lumber which was stained and then polyed. Full details here.

“Our countertops have held up amazingly! To clean, I use a homemade cleanser, here is the link to my post with the recipe, that never fails and is very gentle on the finish. Since I was very careful when applying the polyurethane finish, it’s as smooth as can be and easy to clean. The polyurethane is still in the exact condition now as it was the day I installed almost a year ago and we do NOT baby our counters! The only problem is that I have a ten year old who puts away dishes, so there are a few little divots in the wood where he has dropped a dish here and there, but the finish is perfect even on those.”

Erica On Bliss Street DIY wood countertops review durability

Erica says, YES, she would use this method again, “Absolutely! In fact, I already have helped a friend to install their own counters in the same exact manner. She also has a ton of kids always messing up the kitchen and the counters still look perfect!”

She rates the counters as a 5 (Amazing), “definitely a 5. I couldn’t be happier with them. I think the multiple coats of polyurethane/sanding/polyurethane really made all the difference.”

Erica’s tips: Read more in her updated post about how her countertops are holding up.

Kaylor | Fisherman’s Wife Furniture

We featured Kaylor’s small cute kitchen here awhile back, and the butcherblock looks wonderful! Kaylor DIYed her countertops using pre-made butcher block that just needed to be stained/sealed (she used Waterlox), cut, and installed. Get all the details here.

“Putting butcher block in as our main countertop made me extremely nervous. I only knew of butcher block being used on islands or as a cutting surface. There were many questions and concerns I had to address before making the final decision; I follow a clean eating, healthy diet and cook most meals from scratch. Also, I work from home so most days I cook/prep breakfast, lunch and dinner plus snacks. Knowing that my countertops would have to endure lots of daily use and Sunday meal preps, I was nervous about the butcher block handling the wear and tear.

Another fear was watermarks. Lots of research went into my decision and one of the most mentioned problems was the countertop being sensitive to water and other liquids. Especially, citrus and other juices. It has been almost two years since we finished the makeover and I am very impressed with the butcher block. It has held up beautifully. No major damage or liquid/watermarks. There are a few “dents” around my sink where my heavy cast irons sometimes bump. They are only noticeable when the light hits the countertop just right. Other than that, it looks just as good as it did day one.

Kaylor Fisherman's Wife Furniture review diy wood butcherblock countertops kitchen
image credit: Jessica Sowyrda, Ever & Anon 

I will confess that butcher block has forced us to be super clean in the kitchen. Its only fair to say that one of the reasons our butcher block has stayed nice is because we have taken very good care of it. I do take extra care to make sure the counter is always clean and dry. Nothing hot, cold, wet or dirty is allowed to sit on the counter for an extended period of time. After we wash our hands, there is always a dry, clean rag next to the sink that is used to wipe up any water droplets that land on the counter. For clean up after cooking, I use Lysol or Clorox wipes to kill germs and pick up any food and dirt. Then I go back over with a dry, clean rag so there is no moisture sitting on the countertop. Once or twice a week I wipe it down with Pledge multi surface cleaner. Again, my last step is to always wipe with a dry, clean cloth. These simple steps have kept the countertops looking like new after two years of heavy use. For some, the necessity to be this particular is a negative but it works for us.

Overall, I could not be happier with the countertops and I can’t imagine any other countertop surface in the kitchen.”

YES, Kaylor would use this technique again “definitely. Especially for DIYers on a budget. We saved thousands of dollars going with butcher block and installing ourselves. It has proven to be durable even with heavy daily use.” She rates the sealed butcher block countertop as a 4 (Great) for durability. “Only reason I am not rating as a 5 is because of the extra care needed to keep it looking new.”

Kaylor’s tips: Read more in her tutorial here.

But wait, there’s more!

Up tomorrow: painted countertops and how they really hold up to everyday wear and tear. 

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  1. We have had Ikea butcher block countertops in our kitchen for 8 years and they really do get better with age (kinda like me!!!). About once a year we give them a light sanding and seal them with Ikea’s countertop oil. Easy peezy. I would definitely recommend them.

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