Butcher-block counter tops and tables give a beautiful effect to any modern kitchen.
The woods used include Maple, beech and ash.
If you are giving your kitchen a makeover then think about replacing laminate top work surfaces with butcher-block ones.
Butcher block is made from strips of wood glued together to look like one solid piece.
The natural variation present in any wood gives interest and beauty to the surface.
Work surfaces made from solid wood are never going to date, they just ooze quality and you do away with all the disadvantages of laminates.
No more scratches, no more scorch marks or stains.
Maintenance of butcher-block tables and surfaces is what concerns most people.
More maintenance is required than for marble, granite or laminate.
Wood is porous, so the surface should never be left wet.
Bacteria from meat and other foodstuffs will flourish if the surface is not cleaned adequately after each use.
Wash down with a dilute dishwashing solution after every use, then rinse this off and dry the wood thoroughly.
After cutting meat or chicken on your butcher-block surface you should wash the surface with a 10% solution of a chlorine-based bleach.
Leave the bleach on the surface for 10-15 minutes, then rinse and allow it to dry.
You will need to oil the surface with clear paraffin oil occasionally, just wipe the surface with a little oil on a cloth, leave it for about an hour, then wipe off any excess oil.
It is not a good idea to cut on your surface because it will soon be damaged, no matter what coating is applied.
Buy a butcher block chopping board for this purpose, treat it in the same way, but the cutting board is easily replaced or sanded down and resealed if it is damaged.
Find out more at http://www.butchers-block.info.