What if you could find a relatively affordable, quality butcher block– and have it ready to use in your kitchen within a matter of days? That’s what Home Depot is striving for, angling to offer some of the best deals in terms of products and customer service in 2022.
Supply chain problems have been daunting for countless industries, from food to jewelry to home improvement supplies. Add to that that people shopping online has soared–and that’s a lasting effect– and it’s easy to see why companies like Home Depot may be looking to innovate.
At the same time, the interest in home improvement, from tweaks like adding an excellent butcher block or chopping board, to large renovations, seems to be sticking. As of 2022, there’s been an 8.5 percent increase in kitchen remodeling according to the IHA market, and double the Google searches for remodeling ideas. And Home Depot isn’t exactly suffering, having made $110.2 billion in their last fiscal year.
But they’re also continuing to innovate, now by partnering with Walmart for speedy delivery within the same day. For larger projects, they’re working towards next-day delivery. It’s a race against time, as, in most industries, customer demand is often exceeding supply.
But before you take advantage of Home Depot’s new commitment to speedy customer service, you need to make sure you’re selecting the right butcher block for your kitchen. I’ll tell you what you need to consider when selecting a butcher block and my picks from Home Depot.
What is a Butcher’s Block Used for?
A butcher block isn’t just used by professional chefs. It’s become a way to remodel your kitchen and provide a useful preparation service at the same time. Normally constructed from some type of hardwood, the idea is that you can chop and prepare directly on it. It’s a way to separate regular counter space and provide a designated place to prepare everything from meat and fish to fruits and vegetables. At the same time, they’re often misused. For instance: just because you can cut raw meat and fish directly on it, doesn’t mean you should. Wood can retain stains and odors– so I’d advise using a designated fish or meat cutting board over your butcher block.
Are Butcher Blocks Worth it?
For some, butcher blocks will be worthwhile. For others, they won’t. Assess your current kitchen and counter space. Do you need more preparation room? Do you find yourself directly cutting on your counters? Even if you have excellent cutting boards, a butcher block assures that nothing will happen to your surface if a cutting board slips. And it’s handy for cutting vegetables, fruits, cheese, bread, and more. They’ve also become stylish, and, if well-maintained, could even improve the reliability of your home (along with other kitchen renovations).
How Long Will Butcher Block Countertops Last?
Another factor is durability. A well-kept, reputable quality butcher block can last as long as two decades, almost always outliving laminate countertops. At the same time, that’s variable based upon how often and how you use and care for your butcher block.
Are Butcher Blocks Hard to Maintain?
Butcher blocks aren’t hard to maintain so much as they require consistent upkeep. After they’re finished and sealed for the first time, they require monthly resealing with mineral oil to keep well. They may need resurfacing to remove stains if you use them heavily. Without sealing and cleaning them regularly, they will last far shorter, and the quality will decline more quickly. If you’re not prepared to clean after use and reseal every month, a butcher block may not be the best option for you.
What Types of Butcher Blocks Does Home Depot Sell?
Home Depot carries several brands, including Hardwood Reflections, Hampton Bay, Interbuild, Swaner Hardwood, Centerpointe, and MSI. Their butcher blocks include a few material types and include both finished and unfinished options.
How Expensive are Home Depot Butcher Blocks?
Home Depot butcher blocks are considered affordable compared to many options. Butcher blocks range from $169 to $1275– so that’s quite a range. That range does include substantial differences in surface area covered, as well as different brands and styles.
Can you Customize Home Depot Butcher Blocks?
Home Depot offers several different standard sizes for almost all of the butcher block counters and backsplashes they carry. They even offer occasional unique options, such as circular shapes. Home Depot does allow custom cutting for butcher blocks, as it does for other countertop types. You also have the option to purchase or rent specialty saws. Custom cutting is not free: on average, a cooktop costs $110 to cut, while cutting around sinks costs about $20 per faucet and $25 for electrical outlets.
Does Home Depot Offer Delivery or Installation for Butcher Blocks?
Home Depot offers delivery and installation. You can ship your butcher block to your home or a store, all for free as long as your purchase exceeds $45. They take traditional payments, as well as Paypal. For installation, you’ll have to go to their kitchen remodeling services. You can see the image above for estimates for full remodels, but merely installing a butcher block shouldn’t be too costly. You can always call and ask, or visit a store in person, for a quote.
How Do I Find the Best Butcher Blocks at Home Depot?
To find the best butcher blocks at Home Depot, pay attention to customer ratings, as well as the materials used, style, and, of course, by selecting the right size for your kitchen. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend any end grain options here, as the only ones on offer are not made as well as I’d hoped– and as indicated by customer ratings.
How Thick Should a Butcher Block Be?
Butcher block thickness ranges from two to ten inches. End grain butcher blocks should have a minimum of 2 ½ inches thickness. Edge grain can be as thin as 1 ½ inch. A thicker edge may be a bit more durable, but it can also be clunky and awkward in a kitchen. Very thick butcher blocks are uncommon. I wouldn’t go under 2 inches thick, and not over 8 inches. Opt for a thicker butcher block if you plan to use it heavily and as a separate island counter. If it’s meant to connect with your existing countertop, matching close to the width of your current counters will allow for a more streamlined look.
Is End Grain Better for Cutting Boards?
While there’s nothing wrong with other types of butcher blocks, end grain is preferred for heavy use for both cutting boards and butcher blocks. End grain butcher blocks have the advantage of being more durable, hiding defects, and dulling knives more slowly. At the same time, end grain is pricey and they don’t have the same smooth look as other options.
Is Maple Better than Birch for Butcher Blocks?
Hard maple is preferred for durability and it scratches less easily. At the same time, birch is a more economical option and hides scratches and defects more, making it a practical option for some.
Is Walnut a Good Wood for Butcher Block Countertops?
While not quite as hard as hard maple, walnut is still considered an excellent choice for butcher blocks, and harder than birch. Walnut offers a gorgeous modern deep hue and ages well with proper care. As it’s darker, it also will hide defects more effectively than maple.
How Hard are Acacia Wood Countertops?
Acacia wood butcher blocks and countertops are known as one of the hardest commonly used woods, as well as being dense and durable. They also contain natural oils, meaning that they may last longer than some other materials. While not always considered as popular, it’s an excellent choice for medium wood grain and can be used for butcher blocks.
Home Depot Butcher Blocks: My Picks
Now I’ll give you my picks for the best butcher blocks. I’ve focused on the three main wood types Home Depot carries and included short pros and cons for each. I’ve also added my picks for highly rated butcher blocks that will suit normal to heavier wear in kitchens are offered at a reasonable price for the size and quality. My selections are based upon customer review, product quality, and price range. I’ve focused on the type of materials used, how durable each option is, and how practical they are for regular living spaces.
Home Depot Acacia Butcher Blocks
Acacia is often underplayed for butcher blocks, but it’s my favorite option from Home Depot. These butcher blocks are sturdy, hard, and durable–in fact, potentially even more so than maple. However, they are temperature sensitive and require maintenance. They also feature a knotted look, which some may not find to their aesthetic preferences. Shop All Acacia Here.
Hardwood Reflections Unfinished Acacia Butcher Block Countertop
With mostly high praise from over 1,000 customer reviews, this acacia butcher block saves you a little money by allowing you to seal it yourself. The unfinished look can give you more customization and a more natural aesthetic- so long as you’re willing to do the work. You can also buy it with a mineral oil finish or stain. The wood is naturally antibacterial, easy to clean, and sustainably sourced. The light blonde hues add warmth to a kitchen, made with 100 percent hardwood. Buy Here.
Hardwood Reflections Acacia Butcher Block with Mineral Oil and Live Edge
Have a tricky space? Want to work around a small kitchen? This finished and sealed acacia butcher block features a stylish live edge, helpful for squeezing into tight spaces and even around or near sinks. The elegant, prefinished butcher block is ready to install and can also be installed as an island or table. Made of durable, 100 hardwood that holds to sustainable sourcing standards, it’s easy to see why this is highly rated. Buy Here.
Hampton Bay Unfinished Acacia Butcher Block Countertop
There’s no doubt about it: both I and many other customers prefer Hardwood Reflections over other brands that Home Depot carries. At the same time, Hampton Bay is a reasonable option– depending on what you select– if you’re looking for an unfinished alternative. This butcher block can be installed in a standard, island, or backsplash form. It’s easy to stain and seal to your liking and is made out of solid hardwood that’s scratch-resistant. It’s also thoughtfully sourced. Buy Here.
Home Depot Birch Butcher Blocks
Birch is an interesting choice for butcher blocks. On one hand, it’s lighter, with a modern appeal and light to medium tone. It’s also better at hiding defects than some wood types, and it’s suited for light to moderate use. Many are attracted to this wood also for the price– birch is cheaper than many other types of wood used for butcher blocks. However, as a softer wood, it’s not the best for heavy use. Shop All Birch Here.
Hardwood Reflections Unfinished Birch Butcher Block
Elegant and functional, this birch butcher block is made out of 100 percent birch hardwood and can be used for everything from islands, tables, and even shelving units. It can easily be sanded and steamed to remove scratches and blemishes and is sustainably sourced. Make sure to stain and seal to ensure the best durability possible. Buy Here.
Hardwood Reflections Birch Desktop Butcher Block with Clear UV Stain
This attractive light-toned birch butcher block features a clear UV stain. This cheerful hardwood butcher block is sustainably sourced and will brighten any kitchen. The UV stain means you don’t have to do anything else to finish, and you’ll get the bonus of Uv protection if your butcher block is situated near a window. Easy cleaning and the ability to add legs or customize to your liking make this a bright idea for a kitchen. Buy Here.
Home Depot Walnut Butcher Blocks
Walnut is a great choice for anyone who likes a darker wood look and who wants an alternative to hard maple. Walnut is not quite as hard as hard maple, but still durable and suited for normal use. It’s about the middle range in terms of pricing and can appear elegant if done properly. Shop All Walnut Here.
Hardwood Reflections Unfinished European Walnut Butcher Block
This elegant European walnut butcher block can be customized to your liking. Easily joined to other pieces, or installed around sinks, it’s made out of 100 percent sustainably sourced hardwood. Naturally antimicrobial and easy to clean and sand, this would work well for bars, work desks, breakfast nooks, and more. Buy Here.
T Butcher Block Unfinished Walnut Butcher Block
If you don’t mind more variation in your wood, this lighter walnut butcher block may be an alternative to Hardwood Reflections. The hardwood is sourced from Shenandoah Valley in Virginia with a square profile and easy installation. This butcher block can be stained and refinished to your liking. Buy Here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: A butcher block allows you room to prepare everything from fruits and vegetables to bread, dairy, and meats. It’s a popular way to modernize your kitchen and prevent you from ruining the rest of your countertops. An island butcher block counter can be useful for separating food preparation, and if well maintained can decrease your risk of food poisoning. Of course, it needs to be cleaned regularly.
Answer: Home Depot tends to offer fair prices, a wide range of products, and matches that with customer service. Whole-Home Depot is DIY-friendly, it also offers installation services, professional advice, and convenient delivery options. Home Depot has also simply earned a name for itself and has a massive chain of stores, including outside of the United States. By offering convenience and selection both inside the store and outside, Home Depot has been savvy about its business model.
Answer: Another argument to be made is that Home Depot has distinguished itself by continuously updating its inventory but across product categories. While they have a reasonable selection for everything from flooring to plumbing to appliances, they also offer customer service, installation, and advice along with those sectors. By doing so, they’ve become the leading name. Of course, they have competitors that do some of the same. Home Depot has expanded more and dipped into markets outside of the United States in ways its competitors are a little behind.
Answer: Lowes, a close competitor to Home Depot, is a little behind Home Depot. Home Depot reached $131.11 billion in sales in 2020, while Lowes hit $89.6 billion in sales. Lowe’s and Home Depot offer similar– if not identical– prices on their products. While Lowe’s has more promotions and sales, Home Depot claims to offer price matching.
Final Thoughts and Buying Alternative
Home Depot does offer a few nice choices for butcher blocks. I am most fond of their selection of Hardwood Reflections. Hardwood Reflections consistently fetches the highest customer reviews for quality and has higher standards for both quality and sourcing than other brands Home Depot carries. One disappointing aspect of shopping at Home Depot is that there simply aren’t enough options for end-grain butcher blocks.
While end grain may be more expensive and it’s aesthetically preferred for some, it’s also more durable and suited for heavy use. The few end grain options they did have tended to not be up to the quality standards I and other customers would have hoped for. I was also hoping for options for hard maple counters.
I do like many things about Home Depot for butcher blocks, of course. There’s no doubt they have decent customer service, and also practical delivery and installation options. Their prices are fair, and their stained and unfinished options tend to be versatile.
Final Buying Recommendation
If you are looking for end grain butcher blocks, consider the Butcher Block Co. You’ll pay more on average, but also have a selection of more butcher blocks, including durable end grain styles. Shop End Grain Butcher Blocks Here.
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