Butcher Blocks and Wood Countertops

Wood Countertops

On this page you will find FAQ’s related to wood countertops including butcher blocks. The information found here will help you figure out if a wood counter is the unique piece you’re looking for to finish off your kitchen, vanity or bar. Further down the page you will find information about the wood finishes that are offered and production options.

Wood Countertop Finishes and Treatment Options

Our wood products are crafted by skilled and experienced tradesman. All of our wood products are designed for use in kitchens and use finishes that are proven and food safe. Through years of experience our tradesman have identified and produced proprietary finishes and other applications for wood countertops and butcher blocks. Which finish should you use? Typically, the planned use for your countertop will determine the best finish.

Butcher Block Oil – recommended for cutting surfaces

Contains natural mineral oils with a small amount of Vitamin E added to act as a stabilizer. This oil is processed to an optimum viscosity for hydrating wood while not evaporating too quickly. Consistent application on your butcher block or cutting surface will ensure a long-lasting product. Note: butcher block oil provides minimal stain and water resistance.

Butcher Block Conditioner – recommended for cutting surfaces

A proprietary mixture of mineral oils and locally-sourced natural beeswax. It provides similar benefits as the Butcher Block Oil however it adds a stain and water resistant value which significantly extends periods between reapplication.

Permanent Tung Oil – Best for wet areas, sinks. Not recommended for cutting surfaces

The best finish for most countertops. It penetrates below the surface to render a countertop fully waterproof! Best application for wet areas including undermount sinks, integrated drain boards, wood sinks and even wood bathtubs. No maintenance required. Guaranteed to never crack or peel and is highly stain resistant. A food grade finish, suitable for food preparation, however knives will scratch and mark this finish. We recommend using a cutting board with this finish.

Ebonizing Solution

A decorative food grade finish that changes the colour of some woods (notably White Oak and Sapele) creating a darker shade by interacting with the natural chemistry of the wood. It is not a wood stain. Therefore it also has some unique attributes. For example, when used on White Oak, the sapwood areas do not transition in color as much as the heartwood, creating a colour variation in the treated countertop. Sapele is more consistent with the wood turning a rich, consistent black color.

Torching

A treatment used in two different ways. When torching native Ash, it colours the growth rings, dramatically changing the appearance to be similar to exotic Zebra Wood, yet at a much lower cost. Torching can also be used as a distressing technique to provide a burnt-edge look to most woods.

Live Edge

This refers to the natural wood edge just under the bark, found at the outermost part of the tree. Including this material with your countertop enhances and accentuates the rustic, unrefined look. Live Edge is available on most species of wood.

Distressing

A treatment used to add the appearance of age to a countertop. Various techniques reproduce the “distressed” look wood achieves rom use over a long period of time.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wood Countertops

Can a sink be put in a wood countertop?

Yes, if it is finished with the proprietary penetrating and waterproof organic oil called Tung Oil. Beware not all finishes on wood counters are the same. You should not put a sink in a wood countertop if it has been finished with mineral or linseed oil, or with a film-type finish like polyurethane, conversion varnishes, or lacquer.

Can I cut on the wood countertop?

It depends on the finish. NAK wood countertops offer two different finishes. With our Penetrating Block Oil finish, you can cut on your countertop daily. Any minor scratches in the surface that appear over time can be gently sanded out of your wood top and then re-apply our Block oil finish. If you choose the Permanent Tung Oil finish made from all natural ingredients, you should avoid cutting directly on the top. We recommend a separate cutting board for regular chopping on this finish. We can manufacture a cutting board that will complement your wood countertop.

Can I get an environmentally friendly "green" countertop?

Yes, we offer wood countertops manufactured with FSC certified woods.

Can I put food directly on the countertop?

Yes! The Tung Oil based finish we use is processed from natural ingredients and is food safe. Preparing food on your surface such as rolling out dough or assembling a sandwich is fine. However we do not recommend cutting on the Tung Oil based finish. If your top is protected with our Block oil / wax finish, it is completely food safe as well.

Can I put pots and pans on a wood countertop?

Yes, if you have our Set-Down Bar option. This option places four stainless steel rods into routed slots in your wood top which are raised approximately 1/2″ above the surface. While, wood tops have a natural heat resistance similar to engineered stone/quartz. Excessively hot temperatures or long exposure to high temperatures over 200 degrees F. (93 degrees C.) is not recommended or covered by our warranty

Can I stain the countertop to match my cabinets?

Yes, however there are so many woods available in different shades, we are sure there is a natural wood in just the right colour that will work with your colour scheme and often at a lower price than staining.

Can I use a cooktop or range with a wood countertop?

Yes. Modern ranges are fully insulated and certified for safety. The heat from the burners travels up, not out, and poses no risk as long as there is no open out of control flame, such as you would experience with a grease fire for example.

Can I use wood for vanity tops in the bathroom?

Yes, you certainly can, we even recommend it! Wood countertops in some cases are more beautiful and practical in a bathroom then they are in a kitchen. In fact we have even built wood sinks and bathtubs!

How do wood countertops compare in price to granite and other surfaces?

Depending on wood species the price will vary. Cut-outs, custom shapes and finishes will also affect the price. Wood countertops are priced per square foot, installed, and ready for use, wood is similarly priced with comparable premium surfaces such as stone.

What is the maximum length for a wood top?

The only limit is the size of your kitchen.

How much maintenance is there?

With Mineral Oil / Wax finished tops / butcher blocks, regular oiling is required. Permanent Tung Oil finished tops, under normal residential use, don’t require any maintenance other than standard cleaning.

Is there danger of bacteria getting into a wood countertop?

No more than most countertops out there. In fact, in a recent scientific study, wood fared better than laminate in terms of ease of bacterial growth.

What can I do if the countertop is damaged?

Should any damage occur it can often be easily repaired. Usually you can do it yourself with a little direction from our experts. We will gladly assist and help and should the need arise we can even help you get in contact with the Canadian manufacturer directly.

What do I use to clean the countertop?

You can clean your top with mild, non-ammonia soap; rinse, and disinfect with a 10-20% white vinegar/water solution. We recommend pre mixing it in a spray bottle, so it’s available for easy use, or pick up a pre blend bottle with additional natural pure oil based disinfectants from our showroom.

Warranty?

All manufacturing defects are covered for one year.


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FAQ

  • Is your showroom open to the public? Is an appointment Required?

    NAK has a showroom in Orangeville. We are open to the public and we welcome contractors who wish to partner with us. Our showroom includes displays of kitchens, closets, bath displays, vanity floor models for sale, laundry display, countertops and door samples, plus flooring, backsplash and other samples. There is no appointment necessary to visit our showroom, however, because our staff also makes in-home visits for consultation and project management, an appointment is recommended,...

  • Production time on custom cabinets?

    Our in-house manufactured custom cabinetry takes approximately 5-8 weeks based on the size and nature of the order. Larger volume orders processed through our secondary Canadian manufacturers take approximately 6-10 weeks.

  • Warranty?

    NAK offers a limited lifetime warranty on all custom cabinet doors and a warranty on all internal hardware such as hinges and drawer glides. Warranty is non transferable and some limitations apply. See full warranty in store for details.

  • Does NAK supply a free estimate or proposal?

    Yes, please provide us with a rough layout and measurements of your space or request a free in-home consultation.

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