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Butcher Block Kitchen Islands Add Utility and Warmth

by Susanne Clemenz

Butcher block kitchen islands come in such a variety of shapes, sizes, and amenities that there's one to suit any kitchen, from country to contemporary. The quintessential butcher block kitchen island is made with stacked hard rock maple wood which is laminated and then rotated with the end grain up. Four stout legs bear the weight and add visual balance. The wood is oiled or stained. Even in a monochromatic stainless steel contemporary kitchen, a butcher block kitchen island can add an element of warmth and hospitality.

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A Renewable Cutting Surface

The butcher block kitchen island is perhaps the most forgiving of all cutting surface available. The end grain wood resists nicks and scratches. Cut parallel to the lamination to preserve the cutting edge of your knives. If you wear down the surface, sand it and then apply mineral oil with a soft steel wool pad. Let the oil sink in for about six hours and then wipe off the excess. It looks as good as new!

Buy, Design, or Make Your Butcher Block Kitchen Island

Simply searching for "butcher block kitchen islands" on the Internet presents you with a mind-boggling array of choices. Styles range from the simple block with legs in your choice of styles, to blocks with open shelves underneath, to cabinet-style versions that have everything, including the proverbial kitchen sink.

Whether you buy a ready made island, design your own island for a local cabinet-maker to build, or build one yourself, your first step is to think of everything you want your kitchen island to do. What type of food preparation and storage functions do you want with your butcher block island? Get out your pen and paper and start making your list!

About the Author

Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and interacted with the contractors every day of the 6-month project. She started drawing floor plans and making models in the early '70s after purchasing several building lots. Recently she expanded and

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