How Much Does a Butcher Block Countertop Cost?
$1,200 - $15,000
$1,200 - $15,000
Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.
Updated June 13, 2022Reviewed by Andy Kilborn, Expert Home Building and Remodeling Contributor.
Wood butcher block countertops cost $3,500 on average, or between $2,500 and $7,500. Expect to pay $50 to $100 per square foot on average, including materials and installation. You might spend up to $15,000 for large kitchens or those using exotic hardwoods. Custom work might hit $400 per square foot or over $15,000.
Butcher block is a surface made of wood pieces glued together to form a tabletop, cutting board, chopping block, or countertop. Popular wood varieties include teak, oak, walnut, or maple.
A butcher block costs $3,500 on average. You should expect to pay between $50 and $100 per square foot, though this can change depending on the type of wood and the wood grain.
Butcher block countertops cost $50 to $300 to purchase and install but typically fall within $50 to $125 per square foot. Materials alone run $30 to $150 per square foot. Older kitchens have about 30 to 40 square feet of counter space. Modern kitchens have 50 to 60 square feet of countertop.
Butcher block countertops cost $1,500 to $7,500 on average for materials alone. Unfinished slabs cost $20 to $75 per square foot, which means they’ll need cutouts, edges and stain, oil, or lacquer. This Includes waste overage with enough extra material for future repairs as well as local delivery. You’ll spend more on edges and cutouts.
Labor to install a butcher block counter costs $60 to $100 per hour or $10 to $100 per square foot. Detailed custom work can hit $150 per square foot. Overall, for labor, expect to pay about 30% to 50% of the total. Expect to pay more to install raw wood, since it’ll need cutouts, an edge, and finishing. But you’ll save money on materials.
Job materials and supplies cost $100 to $250. It includes fasteners, caulking, sealants, glue, and cleaning supplies. You'll double that for acrylic tops or lacquered finishes.
You’ll likely have an equipment allowance of $30 to $100 if you do the job yourself. Most contractors include this price in the project price. It covers specialty tools such as pneumatic nailers, miter saws, belt sanders, and electric planers.
You’ll usually buy butcher block backsplashes separately for $1,000 to $2,500. Your installer wraps the installation costs into your overall bill. Backsplashes are most often sold separately.
The cost of the backsplash depends on the type of wood as well as the length. For example, a 4-inch wide maple backsplash piece 2 feet long costs about $25. For higher-end woods such as cherry, the cost can go as high as $50 for the same size, not including the labor to install it.
|Maple||$40 – $225|
|Cherry||$50 – $275|
|Red oak||$15 – $50|
|Bamboo||$50 – $125|
|Birch||$25 – $75|
|Beech||$40 – $100|
|Walnut||$75 – $300|
|Teak||$100 – $200|
Maple, a common and popular type of wood in North America, costs $40 to $225 per square foot. Most often, you’ll only pay $40 to $60 per square foot. Specialty orders, installs, edges, and finishes can push the price up to $225 per square foot.
American cherry wood butcher block countertops cost $50 to $275 per square foot, though you’ll likely never pay more than $100 per square foot for most installations. Custom work and finishes push the price up to $275 per square foot.
Red oak costs only $15 to $50 per square foot. It’s extremely popular and economical, plus easy to find in most wood supply stores. You’ll often find this as an “off-the-shelf” type.
Bamboo butcher block countertops cost $50 to $125 per square foot after installation. While not actually a wood, they’re economical, environmentally friendly, and have some natural antibacterial properties.
Birch, another popular American wood, costs $25 to $75 per square foot with installation. Plain wood with no cutouts or finish might cost slightly less, but you’ll pay more for the finished work.
Beech wood butcher block counters cost $40 to $65 per square foot. Imported varieties or those with custom edges might run upwards of $100 per square foot.
Walnut, an extremely popular dark wood countertop, costs $75 to $350 per square foot. High-end finishes with custom work are popular for high-end kitchen designs, pushing the price up to the top of the range. However, you can sometimes find unfinished walnut ready to go off-the-shelf.
Teak, an imported hardwood, costs $100 to $200 per square foot. Zebrawood countertops can cost upwards of $300 per square foot. It’s an extremely hard wood, making it difficult to work with, but because of its incredible durability and exotic look, it’s highly prized.
|Grain Type||Cost Range per Square Foot|
|End grain||$75 – $350|
|Edge grain||$50 – $275|
|Face grain||$30 – $200|
|Blended||$50 – $300|
End grain countertops cost $75 to $350 per square foot. A small inset of 2-by-2-feet might cost $300. End grain is when the wood is glued together along the grain, typically in squares. This type looks like a checkerboard, usually of two contrasting colors. It’s sought after as a cutting board, but the design does well on counters too. It’s not as durable as edge or face grain.
Edge grain countertops cost $40 to $275 per square foot. A small inset of 2-by-2-feet might cost $175. Edge grain is the edge of the board. It has less beauty than face grain, but it’s often the most durable part of the wood. It’ll look like thin strips glued together for a countertop.
Face grain countertops cost $30 to $200 per square foot. A small inset of 2-by-2-feet might cost $125. The face is the face of the board. It’s the cheapest way to make a cutting board. It often has wider panels, or the “face” of the board, as the counter.
Blended butcher block counters cost $50 to $325 per square foot. They’re a mix of the other three varieties.
Installing a butcher block island top costs the same as any other butcher block installation, or $50 to $150 per square foot on average. However, if you’re installing a new island, you’ll need to also consider other installation cost factors for sinks, outlets, and lighting.
Install electrical wiring costs: $500–$2,500
Sink installation costs: $200–$600
Plumbing costs: $200–$500
Removing your old countertop costs $20 to $100 for each section. You may pay more for dumping fees in some areas. Talk with your contractor to find out how much it’ll cost in your location.
Installing a sink costs $200 to $600 per sink. You may pay double that to add plumbing in if you don’t already have it installed.
Waterproofing butcher block countertops costs $5 to $35 per application and makes an excellent DIY project. You’ll only need to do this about once or twice a year, and only if you don’t have your countertop completely sealed with an epoxy or similar sealant.
Maintenance costs anywhere from $5 to $50 per year. If you need repairs done, you might spend up to $250 for a professional visit. Depending on your finish, you may need light sanding, lacquer, staining, waterproofing, and cleaning.
Butcher block countertops, unlike almost any other type of counter, make excellent DIY projects for those with the time and tools to get it done. However, keep in mind that a professional team takes a full day to install a countertop, so it’ll likely take you longer. Plus, you’ll need help because of the size and weight of a countertop.
The largest drawbacks include:
Improperly cutting and fitting the counter: You’ll need to buy a new one and start over.
Injury: Due to the size and weight, it’s not an easy project.
Time: Although it may seem like a straightforward project, it’ll likely take at least two full days for a DIYer to install properly.
Details: You’ll need to cut, router, stain or oil, and cut out the sink hole.
It’s almost always a better idea to hire a local countertop installer for the project to avoid costly mistakes.
Regular care helps keep the wood looking good and prevents it from absorbing stains from food. Lacquered or epoxy bar top sealed countertops only require regular cleaning. Stained counters usually don’t require any further treatment, but you’ll want to stain again every three to five years.
Oil unfinished butcher block (and any wood) regularly at least once a month for the first year and then at least twice yearly after that. You can use these oils:
Food-grade mineral oil
Pure tung oil
Raw linseed oil
Walnut or almond oil
Butcher block countertops are high maintenance. They require more care throughout their lifetime than any other type of counter.
You can buy butcher block countertops from large home improvement stores like Home Depot, Lowes, and Menards. You can also find it at kitchen remodeling stores. You can find many online options from large sites and custom work from artisans. However, you’ll likely get the best price through your installer.
Butcher block countertops are usually sanitary if you clean them regularly. However, since they’re porous, you need to keep them clean and oiled. If you’re at all concerned about sanitation, consider sealing your counters with a bar top epoxy sealer.
Raw butcher block is unfinished and costs $100–$650. It has no edge or seal. You can add an edge for $30–$250.
Finished butcher block costs $300–$6,500 and comes with oil already on it and has an edge, usually straight, radius or bullnose.
|American Cherry||$300 – $700||$600 – $3,000|
|American Walnut||$350 – $800||$750 – $3,600|
|Maple||$250 – $650||$400 – $1,500|
*For an 8-square-foot piece without cutouts or edges.
Wood prices vary by season, year, and tree species depending on demand and availability.
You can use butcher block in any room of your house as a cutting surface, shelving, or for decorative uses. Other uses include: