Butcher Block Countertops

All about Butcher Block Countertops
The popularity of wood looks – especially as countertop surfaces – is on the rise
— Tiffany Warner

Are you looking for a unique countertop material to complete your kitchen? Butcher block is the answer. This beautiful wood product can be used in rustic-inspired kitchens to add that old-fashioned farm feel or can even be used in sleek, modern kitchens to offset metal surfaces and appliances. At Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry, we can create and size custom butcher block countertops for your Kootenay home. All of our countertops are produced locally. 

What is Butcher Block?

Photo by Buckminster Green LLC

Butcher block countertops are made from straight cuts of wood that are then glued together into a thick slab. The material and construction of these countertops make them a very stable and sturdy working surface for your kitchen. Butcher block can be constructed from nearly any type of wood. While maple is the most popular due to its sturdiness and clear grain, cherry and black walnut are also used for their rich colour.

There are two main ways of finishing butcher block to choose from. These include:

Lacquered Finish

A lacquered butcher block finish is very popular due to its strength and lower maintenance. This finish is not food safe, which means that it is recommended you use a cutting board and do not directly cut on the surface. However, since the finish is quite durable, and you should not be cutting directly on it, it has a lower maintenance requirement than oiled.

Oiled Finish

Photo by Jenny Baines, Jennifer Baines Interiors

An oiled butcher block finish is very popular due to its beauty and function. This finish is food safe, which means that you can forgo a cutting board and directly cut on the surface. However, since the finish does not seal the wood in the traditional sense you must be careful of what you set on the surface and regularly oil it to keep it from drying out.

Caring for Your Butcher Block Countertop

Wood countertops do require a few maintenance tasks to keep their beauty over time. Unlike some other countertop materials, wood is a very porous material, so it has to be sealed properly. Without sealing, germs are able to easily get into the material through the surface. Once inside, germs will continue to grow, making your countertop unsafe and destroying its beauty. Once your countertop is installed, you will want to have it sealed and you should maintain the surface with mineral oil or another protectant. Countertops will also have to be refinished after about 10 of use depending on how heavily they are used by your family.

You must also not allow moisture to sit on the surface of your wood countertop for an extended period of time. Spills and other moisture should be cleaned up and dried from the surface quickly. Otherwise you could notice water damage, which will make the surface more susceptible to germs.

Because wood is a soft material, you may notice dents, dings or scratches developing over time. While some may not like this look, many choose wood countertops for this exact reason, as they like the appearance of the rustic patina wood acquires over years of use.

Benefits of Butcher Block

Wood countertops are an excellent option for kitchens as they make a strong and sturdy work surface. If you choose, you can cut food directly on the countertop as many of the styles will disguise small scratches and cuts. The soft material of wood is also much easier on the blades of your knives than granite or stone would be. 

Butcher block countertops can bring warmth to your kitchen, not just in the warm tones and appearance of the wood. The surface is much warmer to the touch than that of granite, tile or stone. If you are planning to use the countertop as an island that people can sit around or eat at, wood is a great option since placing your arm on a cold granite countertop can be quite a shock.

 

Alternatives to Butcher Block Countertops

Something many people do not consider when deciding on solid wood countertops is the amount of wear and damage that they can take on. A great alternative to constant worry and maintenance is going with a laminate countertop with a high definition printed wood pattern.  You maintain the cost effective nature and high durability of the laminate, but can achieve the high end look of wood!

Best of both worlds

All these images are of laminate countertops with the high definition wood grain patterns!

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New 2018 Countertop Collection

Brand New 2018 Countertop Collections

We have been busy over the last few weeks prepping our showroom for 2018 and we are so excited for you to come visit our showroom this year! During our preparations we are updating our countertop collections and today we are giving you a sneak peak of these beautiful designs!

Great Style doesn't have to be Expensive

At Gipman Kitchen's and Cabinetry, we manufacture our own line of laminate countertops. From a beautifully wrapped postform style that is easy on the bank account to a high end custom bevel, we have thousands of combinations that will make your countertops unique!

Laminate Countertops

What we love so much about laminate countertops is that they are NOTHING like the countertops from even a couple of years ago. The laminate industry is changing and evolving so much that the quality, durability and color/pattern options actually fool people into thinking you splurged hard on granite! Laminate tops provide the ultimate design and budget flexibility.

Why? Because companies like Wilsonart, Formica, and Pionite, actually take high definition photographs of stones like granite and marble, then compress them into a high pressure decorative laminate (HPDL). Laminate is 70% paper and is regarded as the most environmentally friendly countertop surface available.

These new colors are perfect for refreshing a dated kitchen. If you love the look of marble but are not interested in the high maintenance and potential to stain, opt for one of these new light laminates that will easily fool your guests to think you splurged big for marble!

Don't believe us? The photo to the side is a marble look-alike made by Formica.

 

 

 

1 | The Lights

Cote D'Azur

Polar Cap

Marmo Bianco

White Cascade

Pearl Sequoia

Sierra Cascade

Serrania

 Arabescato Marble

Arabescato Marble

 

2 | The Mid-Tone

 Moon Dust

Moon Dust

Pebble Piazza

Oyster Sequoia

Benjamin Gray

Cipollino con Panna Laminate

Potters Clay

Galactic Dust

 Santa Cecilia

Santa Cecilia

 

3 | The Dark

Lario

Dusk Cascade

Andorra Fog

Andorra Shadow

Toffee di Pesco

Cote D'Azure Noir

Man on the Moon

Saint Laurent Marble

Design Secrets: How to use (and not use) the color red in your home

December Design Inspiration: Red Cabinetry

December is already here! We can't believe how fast 2017 has flown by! With the holiday spirit in full swing, we thought it would be fun to talk about red kitchens and cabinets! Over the last 30 years we have done tons of red cabinetry and with the popularity of painted cabinets trending so highly over the last 5 years, we have seen the good, the bad and the ugly!

 

1 | Color Theory

Before splashing a bright and bold color like red around the house, it is important to understand a little bit about the hues color theory and implications. Red is a very hot color. It’s associated with fire, passion, anger and from seasons to specific holidays.

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In history, red been associated with both the Devil and Cupid. Red can actually have a physical effect on people, raising blood pressure and respiration rates. It’s been shown to enhance human metabolism, too. Interesting right? 

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That probably helps to explain why people have such a strong opinion of red. Red can be associated with anger, but is also associated with importance (think of the red carpet at awards shows and celebrity events). Red also indicates danger (the reason stop lights and signs are red, and that warning labels are often red).

Outside the western world, red has different associations. For example, in China, red is the color of prosperity and happiness. It can also be used to attract good luck. In other eastern cultures, red is worn by brides on their wedding days.

In design, red can be a powerful accent color. It can have an overwhelming effect if it’s used too much in designs, especially in its purest form. It’s a great color to use when power or passion want to be portrayed. Red can be very versatile, though, with brighter versions being more energetic and darker shades being more powerful and elegant.

2 | Incorporating Red

Here are some great uses of the color red that we have seen and done!

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Feature Island

One of the most common ways we see strong colors like red used is as a feature peice in the cabinetry, for instance like this island.

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Distressed

Add some character to your room by distressing your feature island and bringing the intensity down.

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Multi-Colored Palette

Don't forget that red goes with so many colors! It can pair well with other vibrant colors for a fun, quirky space or pair with with neutrals for a warm and inviting.

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Fully Committed

If you are fully committed to loving red or want to create a unique, country home, go all out! Use texture and patterns to accent and create an inviting space.

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Red Stools

Have old stools that need a repaint? Try a bright bold hue! This can be an easy DIY project... and if you hate it, change it! 

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Appliances

Often an underrated way to incorporate a bold color is by getting your appliances in it. This adds a retro feel to the space.

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Backsplash

Use your backsplash as a feature space and bring in a bold brick style red.

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High Gloss

Thinking modern is more your style? Try a high gloss red with metal and glass accent cabinets and long pulls

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Decor Accents

A great way to incorporate a bold color before going fully committed is with accent decor like large serving bowls, coffee containers, and hand towels!

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Wall Color

Who said the cabinetry had to be red? Try painting a single accent wall, or all the walls a bold red!

Red Bathroom

Bathroom Vanity

Why not start small with one of the bathroom vanities? This look is pulled together with the antique mirror, chandelier sconce and vintage towels. 

3 | What do you think?

What is your opinion on red cabinetry? We would love to hear from you!