The Origin of Butcher Blocks

The term “Butcher block” has become one of the most popular buzzwords in the kitchen and wood top business over the last couple of years.





What is a “butcher block” and how is it different than your regular wood countertop?


Butcher blocks originated in China several centuries ago, expanding through Europe and around the world. They were traditionally used by butchers to cut meat and typically made of laminated hardwood, like maple. A butcher block in a butcher shop will usually be more than 5 inches thick, and true to the name, looks more like a square block than a cutting board or countertop you may see today.




Today, however, the term "butcher block" is used more loosely and may refer to a thick wood cutting board, island, or top. When many think of a butcher block they may think of a thick end grain cutting board or a large wood island.




End grain is a great grain type to go with for a butcher block if you’re looking for a surface to cut on frequently. The end grain is cut with the direction of the tree growth, making the resulting surface extremely durable. The complexity of the grain in an end grain top can also make for an interesting focal piece in any kitchen. You can check out more about what type of grain might be best for your top by checking out this article! (Link future grain article)