Amazing Information on Butcher Blocks and Their Maintenance

The Benefits of Butcher Block Countertops

Butcher block countertops are usually made of hardwoods such as maple, oak and teak among other varieties. There are also others that are made of composite materials and finished of with wood or laminate materials. Wood is artistic and very aesthetic. If you are looking for a natural earthy feel in your kitchen, the wooden counter tops are great. Countertops have quite a number of benefits.

Other materials that are used on countertops include marble and granite. However, only wood can be refinished by sanding down and oiling when damaged. Refinishing the wooden countertop can transform the countertop to look completely new. The other types of materials are quite expensive but do not have the quality of responding so well to refurbishing.

Butcher block countertops are also extremely affordable as compared to other materials. If you are working on a budget, you can concentrate more on quality finishing and oiling rather than buying into expensive materials such as marble or quarts. A great finishing can make any countertop look extremely elegant and yet at a fraction of the total cost. Wooden counter tops also complement a variety of interior decor theme. This is because wood is a widely used material in furniture design.

When it comes to ountertops, it’s all matter of choosing the right hardwood. There are various exotic varieties of hardwood to use other than maple, cherry and walnut which are usually the popular choices. Hardwood has great qualities; it is strong and durable enough to hold up under any kind of pressure.

There are countertops that are designed for food preparation while others are designed for actual cutting. In order to maintain your countertop in good condition, ensure that you get the right finishing on the countertop. It is advisable to have a section of the countertop reserved for cutting and chopping while the rest to be a simple finish. This allows you to have a multifunctional space.

Oil finishing or unfinished surfaces are usually the best for shopping. The oil finishing is easily to clean and stains and scratches can be easily sanded out, though the unsealed wood can be damaged by water. Therefore it is essential to maintain a high level of hygiene as well as keeping the area dry.
The countertops are also designed to handle the heavy duty work assigned to it. The though of damaging expensive marble with scratches and chips from your knives is very unsettling. The wooden butcher blocks can take all the hard work and remain good looking with a little maintenance. They are great for individuals who do a lot of cooking.

Sanding and re-oiling are all activities that can be turned into simple DIY projects in the home. Therefore maintenance of the butcher block countertops is quite easy. Generally, cleaning and drying of the countertop will keep in look good for longer. Wood also has some natural antibacterial properties and therefore hygiene is easy to maintenance.

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Understanding the Basic Maintenance Activities for Butcher Block Countertops

Butcher Block TableAcross the globe, wood has been widely considered as the healthiest building material. A solid wood has been used as a representation of a reliable sturdy material, which with minor care can last for many years. However, a lot of people are ignorant that wood is a living substance, and unlike synthetic materials, wood reacts to divergent environmental factors. Consequently, it is imperative to take care of Butcher Block Countertops for a continued service.

However, for best results it is imperative that an individual knows the material that was used for finishing. For instance, the butcher block countertops with mineral oil finish should be oiled carefully. The oiling should be systematic where the top, sides, and bottom are done in that sequence. However, while oiling special care should be administered to the grain-end areas, this is because these regions are notorious in absorbing humidity. Every drill or cut made on the panel, that is made for whatever reason such as sink cutout or size adjustment should be oiled comprehensively. Proterra mineral oil is the best for oiling since it is manufactured with the intent of coming into contact with foods.

The oil is applied on the countertops using a soft brush; it is oiled on the wood generously by pouring a small quantity on the surface of the wood and then spreading it using a brush. However, it is imperative to let the oil soak the wood surface by letting spread over the table for half an hour. Then brush the oil over and repeat the whole procedure all-over again, but be sure to remove the excess oil. The above can be accomplished by absorbing the excess oil with a spongy paper towel.

Periodical maintenance of countertops is achieved by keeping it spotless clean. For instance, it is critical to ensure that all food residues on the top are brushed or scraped away, later on it is washed using lukewarm water with soap. After washing, it is important to wipe it dry by use of paper towels or even a dry cloth. Anytime the table appears ‘old’ oil coat can be reapplied. Moreover, it is possible to warm a combination of beeswax and mineral oil at a ratio of 1:4, after the mixture is homogenized, it can be applied homogeneously on the top surface. This is a perfect supplementary protection against both humidity and stains.

Another way a person can ensure proper care of their countertops is by avoiding exposing the wood to extreme heat sources. For instance, heat sources such as stoves should be avoided not unless there is a proper insulation of the top from the heat. Moreover, substances such as vinegar should never be spilled over the top; this is because it causes cracking or cupping.

Cleaning agents that have corrosive properties should never be used for cleaning since they can lead to irreversible depreciation. Lastly all cut marks, food stains, and scratches on the BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERTOPS ought to be removed uniformly by sanding. Later on an oil coat should be applied.

Why Custom Butcher Blocks Have Become Increasingly Popular

BUTCHER BLOCK TABLEThe butcher block has certainly come a long way. Whereas in the past it was lucky to be found outside of the butcher shop where its purpose was none other than a humble cutting and chopping utensil, today it has climbed the proverbial social ladder all the way to become the center piece of the modern kitchen; where it is commonly referred to as the butcher block countertop.

What Is A Butcher Block?

The fundamental characteristic of a block is that it is an assembled product composed of strips of wood fused together to form a solid block. Whereas the specific features and characteristics of a block will invariably vary from one countertop to the next (dependent on the wood material used and the style in which it is crafted) some underlying aspects are typically standard, namely the method of construction. There are two principal methods in which blocks are made and they are:

End Grain – here the pieces of wood are assembled such that the cut ends face perpendicularly (vertical) as opposed to lengthwise. As a result these end grain blocks tend to be thick, heavy blocks that are ideally suited to absorb heavy impact such as the blows from a larger chopping knife. As a result of the way they are designed and constructed this type of block readily distributes the energy from a knife blow, thereby decreasing the incidence of cracking and gouging, thus prolonging the lifespan of the block as well as that of the knife.

Edge Grain – This type of block is generally cheaper and more commonly found in residential homes as a result of that relative economy. The reason why edge grain blocks are cheaper is because they are assembled by laying strips of wood lengthwise (horizontally) resulting in a thinner less rugged and durable block.

Many types of wood (both hard and soft) are used in the manufacture of blocks of which perhaps maple is the most widely utilized. With the rise in popularity of customer blocks catering to individual tastes, many more woods types are now being used in their manufacture, some even in blended combinations. Some such wood types include the following:

American Beech
African Mahogany
Birch
Ash
Bamboo
Antique Heart Pine
Douglas Fir

Of course there are many more varieties of wood used, and the list above just names a few.

There are many factors that explain the surprisingly unusual yet phenomenal rise in the popularity of the block. These include:

Being aesthetically fantastic
Increase the re-sale value of a home
They are relatively economical compared to other countertops
Simple to maintain
Very Durable
Easily restored to pristine condition

Being composed of wood they present a naturally hostile environment for bacteria.

A Boon to furniture manufactures since block are largely made from cutoffs of other wood products

Although these days it is not unusual to find custom blocks in many upscale homes (lately in the more modest ones too)and high-end apartments this was not always the case. You see the humble block was for the longest time plagued by a number of unverified yet surprisingly resistant myths.

Some such myths were that: blocks harbor bacteria; they are easily damaged and stained; and that they tend to be expensive and time consuming to upkeep. However, as people have become more knowledgeable and aware about the modern block they have quickly realized there is no basis to such myths and this in turn has continued the ever-expanding popularity of custom butcher block.

Solid Tips On Knowing What To Look For When Purchasing Wine

Purchasing WinesDon’t make any poor decisions when it comes to choosing or storing your wine. One poor choice can entirely hinder the taste of your hard acquired bottle. The best way to learn how to serve, taste, choose and store wine is to learn some great insider tips. The following article is equipped with all you need to know about wine.

If you are having red meats, stick to red wine. This is the general principle, and should rarely be veered away from. Red wine helps to bring out the flavor in the steak or meat that you choose and vice versa, giving you the best possible experience while you are eating lunch or dinner.

If you are having oysters or seafood, stick to white wine. White wine is lighter and has a higher acidity level, so it is best to have this when you are eating lighter foods. Seafood is a perfect combination with white wine, and will help to maximize the sensation that you get.

Buy only one bottle of each wine. If you find that you like a particular wine a great deal it can be very tempting to want to buy a lot of it at once to save money, but this is often a bad idea. Instead, buy only one to ensure that you do not fill your cellar with one type.

Use the right glass for your wine. White wines should go in narrow glasses to prevent excess warm air from penetrating their surface. Red wines are meant for the wider glasses. This will allow air to get into this kind of glass and warm it up, which makes the flavors climb to the surface.

American Wines

Do wines from Europe contain sulfites? Sure do! American wines have a warning on the label due to U.S. laws, but Europe has no such regulations in place. All regions create wines with sulfites in them, so be warned if you are allergic! You might need to choose another drink.

You may feel a bit overwhelmed by all of the things you didn’t know about wine. However, by choosing to take mental notes and applying all you’ve just read, you are setting yourself up for success. Remember, even the bartenders and wine tasting connoisseurs have needed help in the beginning!

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