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Butcher Block Countertops from Ikea 8 years later

When we remodeled our kitchen in 2010, we were on a tight budget. I knew at the time I didn’t want laminate, and stone was out of the question, so we decided on butcher block countertops for our kitchen countertops from Ikea. This picture is from around 2013. It’s so funny to see how yellow the paint was (BM Linen White) compared to how bright and white it is now. The number one question I get is how well do butcher block countertops hold up long term?  As it’s now been over 8 years, wanted to answer some of the most asked questions for you form our own experience and everyday challenges.

Butcher block countertops 6 years later, an honest review

What kind of butcher block wood did you replace your old counter top with?

I loved the Ikea butcher block counter tops because they are a solid wood countertop, it’s not an overlay or veneer. they In 2010, a 7 foot piece of butcher block from Ikea was $179.00, we needed two, so it was really affordable, the entire project cost for the countertops with installation were about $500. Even today they are a much less expensive option compared to granite or marble.  Since we had to buy two slabs for our wood countertop, we even had some left over we made cutting boards out of that we put on our coffee bar. At the time, it was a brand new thing, so my cabinet contractor gave me raised eyebrows and shook is head a bit when we brought in the boxes of Oak countertops from Ikea. I wanted to oak because it’s a hardwood and can handle moisture. Plus, I loved the grain pattern and color of the Oak compared to the ash option they had at the time. It’s also a beautiful wood in the way it ages.

Did you cut and finish your Ikea butcher block countertops?

We did! It was a very easy installation and we loved the result of the final project. Because the counter tops are sold wood, we were able to cut our countertops to size and we even had the edge routered with an Ogee edge to make it a little fancier than a square edge on the overhang. They were perfect for our small kitchen and we loved the end result.

Jennifer Rizzo white painted cabinets with brass hardware

How do butcher block countertops hold up to daily wear and tear?

So my kitchen has changed quite a bit, but I still have the same old butcher block countertops and you are probably wondering, after getting a lot of heavy use, how they are holding up? So here’s the honest truth. They are holding up better than I thought, put aren’t problem free. We don’t cut directly on them at all, and I have a marble stone next to the stove so I can put hot plan directly down.  I love that it’s a solid worktop with an inch of real wood. It actually has come in handy. Occasionally we will get a stain or burn mark we can easily sand out and reseal.

Before installing, we did seal the underside of the counter tops with a polyurethane to help with any humidity and moisture, especially from the dishwasher and sink are.

BUtcher block countertops by sink

How do you seal butcher block countertops?

We use the Ikea brand sealer, it gives them a nice sheen. I will say, they need regular sealing and do stain, at least once a year. It’s been 8 years and the area around the sink is getting  a little gacky and picking up some black staining from the underside of the iron sink. I couldn’t afford a farmhouse sink at the time, they were brand new then and more than we could afford, so we bought a regular sink with a lip. Because of the water that tends to sit back there, it’s stained darker, and sometimes I have to bleach it a bit.I have also found a few areas that if they haven’t been sealed recently, and something wet on the bottom has set for a really long time, it will leave light water rings. If you seal it well it will help repel water stains and liquids.

I seal my wood countertops with Ikea’s butcher  block sealer, but you can also use a food safe sealer. Depending on what you use, there are natural color shifts in the wood with sealer as with any natural material. I know there is a debate between using lacquer sealer, Waterlox or a natural finish. Some people even stain them a dark brown color or walnut colored with stain. I wanted everything to stay completely food safe, so we opted to just seal with a food safe sealer.

Butcher block countertop after 6 years

What happens to butcher block if you get a stain or burn on them?

We found all I need to do is give them a light sanding and reseal  and they’ll fine(We also left a jar of beets on the counter once that left a red ring. We were luckily able to sand it out.). There are also a few scratches that will sand out as well. Luckily they are nothing deep. A deep scratch would be hard to cover. Though part of these countertops is loving the character. These are a lot like marble that if you love a perfect countertop, these aren’t for you. It helps to keep a piece of stone near by like an inexpensive piece of granite or marble tile in case you need to set something  hot down on the fly.

Kitchen windowsill decorating ideas

Overall, I think they have held up really well to water and daily abuse. If you don’t want laminate, they are a good budget option, but they do need some care.I seal them about twice a year, and this spring, I am going to give them a good sanding to remove surface stains,and reseal them again.

butcher block countertops a review 6 years later

Where did you put your butcher block counter top seam?

Since we had a run greater than the standard size, we had to add a seam. Instead of seaming ours in the corner, we opted to seam it on the side of the sink. I am so glad I put it there. It is hardly noticeable. The other seam is where the two naturally come together.  If you look closely to the right of the sink you can see a very small seam.

Kitchen sink area with butcher block countertop under a windoe


How long is the life of a wood countertop?

We’ve had ours 8 years so far, and it’s held up well. I’ll check back and let you know more later!

Editor note: We’ve now had the countertops for 13 years and they are still going strong. Our biggest issue is right around the sink where they are starting to dry out more often and stain more easily. But, they are still a great worktop surface and we would do it again in a heart beat.

Butcher blocks countertops are good option for a natural look. I don’t mind the small hassle of resealing them every year. It’s part of the charm of wood.  I think if it was in budget though, I would prefer a stone -based countertop because I do so much cooking,I do know most of those aren’t maintenance-free as well, but, I would love to be able to put hot pans wherever I want. These are great options for a laundry room as well if you have a front load washer and dryer, or kitchen worktops like an island or even a desktop, and a good environmental choice if you want affordable solid countertops that aren’t laminate.

You can see our original kitchen remodel here.

Honest butcher block counter top review after six years of daily use



  1. Your kitchen really inspired me when we did a low-budget ($3000) redo of ours a few years ago. Mine is tiny and we used Ikea cabinets. I wanted their butcher block counters but they were going through a shortage and I was on a tight schedule so I went with laminate, and it looks fine, but the butcher block is still my preference. I’d like Quartz best but that’s not happening. I do have the Ikea Domsjo sink and it’s very pretty.

  2. I installed butcher block counters around my stove island in our old house. I used them every day as actual butcher block-cutting on them- wiped them down with bleach after each use, wiped them down with mineral oil about once a month to keep them sealed and LOVED them. Plan on doing the same thing when we remodel the kitchen in this house. Yes, they are filled with knife and cutting marks but we used them for when they are designed for. I did sand out stains on occasion but they are very durable and not fussy at all.

  3. Did you use a stain on your counter top or just leave them natural and seal them with shalack or varnish?

  4. I had my cabinets spray painted years ago and now they need to be painted again. When you repainted how did you do it? I am lost!

  5. Hi Jen,

    I’ve been a long time follower of your blog. I have always LOVED your kitchen. In fact your butcher block counters inspired me to do the same in my own kitchen! We’ve had the Ikea counter tops for 4 years now and still love them! Thanks for sharing all your great projects. I think the cabinet refresh looks great!

    1. Hi Jen!

      Just found your blog! LOVE YOUR KITCHEN!!!
      We have been trying to come up with a plan for ours. How much space is between sink and island and island and hutch? And does it work for you?
      Again, beautiful work!

      1. Thank you!Our kitchen is about 11 feet wide. There is about 2.5 feet on each side of the island either way. I wish it was 3 feet, and I would love room for the island to be a bit bigger. I hope that helps! Planning a kitchen is fun!

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