Butcherblock and wood countertops

 monkeypod wood counter made in honolulu hawaii


While, Satoshi Yamauchi Woodworks does not offer installation services of wood countertops, there are a few things for you to check with your installer. We as manufacturers of wood counters, on a few occasions found that homeowners and contractors tend to overlook these points:

– What’s the size of the countertop you need?
We like to make sure that whatever we are making is made to the correct spec. That means it’s best to take measurements once the area is ready for installation (the area where the countertop will be installed).  That could mean once the walls are up, once the island kitchen cabinets are installed, or once the old countertop is taken out. It all depends on your situation.

– Please consider wood movement. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT
Most contractors are aware of wood movement. However some may not be so familiar. If they are not aware of wood movement or you are in doubt, please make contractor aware that wood will move over time in different environments and ask to take certain precautions. This means using undersized screws with washers, allowing air flow on the bottom side too (do not place wood counter over a solid surface which may prevent air flow), and avoiding glueing down the countertop to a substrate. If the wood countertop is installed in a way that wood movement is restricted, you may end up with a cracked countertop, which is the last thing you want.

– What is the installation method?
Each environment is different. Please consult your contractor to determine the best installation method that would work in your situation. Certain installation method may or may not affect the design or fabrication of the countertop. That is precisely why it is important that the installation method is determined by a professional installer, PRIOR to fabrication. If you are replacing an old countertop with a new wood countertop, installer may want to demo the existing countertop to see what’s underneath it to determine the best installation method.

– If the installer deemed necessary to use support brackets, will the brackets be visible?

Some brackets are pretty thick or you may have a bar height counter which could make the brackets visible to the viewer. You may prefer for the support brackets to be sitting flush to the bottom of the counter (notched into the counter). It would be good to ask ask whether your installer would take of this notching (every installer is different). Notch location is usually determined by the installer. If the installer prefers to the fabricator to notch out the back of the wood, as long as the exact location of the support bracket is decided (precise measurement required), we can router out the support bracket attachment areas (additional charges will apply).


wood counter support
wood counter support
wood counter support
wood counter support
wood counter support

– Will the contractor take out and dispose the old counter?
If you are replacing an old countertop and requiring for a new countertop to be installed, often what homeowners forget is to price out “demo” and “disposal”. 

– If you are oiling  a wood countertop (butcher block or not), yourself… 
We already mentioned to beware of wood movement. If you are applying oil to a wood counter yourself, do this before you have it installed. Applying a finish (oil) will move the wood. You want to avoid as much wood movement as possible once the countertop is installed (even though wood will most definitely constantly move). Also, we advise you to oil the back too so that both sides are absorbing moisture at the same rate. Depending on how dry your home is, apply oil periodically. If the surface looks dry (dried areas will tend to look whiter than moist areas), apply an oil finish to prevent the wood from warping and cracking. You never want to see a butcher block counter looking sad like this…


dried up butcherblock


Keep it well nourished with oil by applying a finish on a regular basis. This could be a fun activity for families with young children!


nourished countertop