IKEA Butcher Block Countertop {Answers to your questions}


Happy 2012!!

I am so excited about this New Year!  And  I am so excited to share it with you. 

The holiday rush is now over, and I am in the mood to get things in order.  Are you?

One of the things I wanted to do is try to share a few posts with some more details about my kitchen.  I had a lot of you ask questions about the specifics of our makeover like paint colors, stain color, etc.

So I am going to try and answer those questions.  (Hope you are not getting sick of my kitchen.  Smile)

Here is some information that I wanted to share about our IKEA butcher block counter tops:

Here is the link to the exact butcher block that we purchased…http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20057397/#/60057395


They come in different types of wood, lengths, and depths.

Cy cut the pieces of butcher block so that there would be a seam right under the faucet, and two 45 degree seams in each corner.

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Cy wanted me to make sure that I told you that he used PL Adhesive to adhere the seams together.PL_Polyurethane_Premium_Construction

This stuff is the bomb!  When it dries, it is actually stronger than the wood that it is holding together.  By using this adhesive, it eliminates the chance of the seams splitting or shifting over time. 

He also attached a 1×2 underneath the seams with screws for extra strength.

After the butcher block was attached to the cabinets, we needed to fill in any gaps in the seams with wood filler.

Here is a little trick:

When sawing the butcher block, be sure to save some of the saw dust from the floor.

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Then mix some of the saw dust with the wood filler before filling the seams.

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This will help the wood filler blend more evenly with the wood and help the seam to accept the stain the same as the rest of the countertop.

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Next, just press the wood filler mixture into the seam with your finger.

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Once the filler is dry, you can sand it smooth with a sander. 

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Once the seams were all filled, Cy then sanded the whole countertop really well and then applied ONE coat of this stain…

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You can see that the stain gave the wood just a little bit of a deeper color.

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Then we applied 4 coats of Satin Polyurethane, sanding lightly between each coat.

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Perfection!  I love the way it turned out!


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In the video below, you can see how Cy made the rounded corners in the wood around the sink.  We applied a bead of caulk between the wood and the sink to keep the moisture out.

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I’ve had my countertops finished for a couple of weeks now, and I can honestly say that I am thrilled with them.  They are extremely durable and easy to clean.

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Here is a little video I made of some footage of Cy working on the counters.



If I didn’t answer one of your questions in this post, please let me know in the comments, and I will get back to you.  Smile


Have a blessed day!


  1. I’ve often wondered about IKEA’s kitchen products and wondered if they were durable. They certainly look great!

    Random question, were you in Lexington on Saturday at Chik-fil-a? If not, you have a twin out there (:

    1. SUPER durable in my experience! We installed a new IKEA kitchen last year, and have saved our 1992 kitchen to re-use in our adjoining computer room as storage for printers, laminators, guillotines, scanners etc, plus a large supply of papers and DVD cases in different sizes. There is enough left in perfect condition to make a run of cabinets 3.8 metres (nearly 13 feet) long. Unfortunately year before last we had a snake in our house (YIKES) and the snake catcher used a metal hook to catch it, denting the paint in a couple of the doors in the process. The rest is pristine after 26 years, and our electrician commented that he thought it was brand new – we did put new handles onto the doors, and a new counter top.
      The new “Metod” kitchen is far more durable than the previous “Faktum” cabinets were, but the Faktums are still going strong and will make great office storage. I think in the USA the Metod equivalent is “Sektion”? They’re nearly identical anyway.

  2. Love these countertops! I had oak countertops installed several years back (not chopping block width) and they were supposed to be a temporary fill-in until I could decide what I wanted. We had just added black granite to the long island, and I couldn’t decide what I wanted to go with them, i.e. more granite, tile, etc. Well, the “temp” countertops are still there and I love them. But, after seeing yours I am thinking I would like the real “chopping block” look. I love them! Your hubby did an awesome job. Thanks for all of the great tips, too. Happy New Year!

  3. OH THANK YOU for this!! We are in the process of our kitchen remodel and not sure about the counter tops. Found a Silestone we love, but not sure of that cost vs butcher block (which we love)!

    May I ask where you found your faucet?? It’s stunning!!

    Thanks again, Traci! Your home sure is coming along BEAUTIFULLY!!!

  4. I LOVE your countertops Traci, and your tips are so so so helpful, especially that part about sawdust + wood filler! Loving your kitchen, aren’t ya? You should, it’s gorgeous!!!


  5. So, SO beautiful. I want to rip my counter tops out and put butcher block in! You said they are easy to clean…what do you clean them with, just any type of all purpose cleaner ? And will they ever have to be refinished? Do you have to condition them? Thanks! :) Your kitchen is absolutely gorgeous!

  6. Beautiful work on not only the kitchen but a very nice video Traci!! I do have a question though …. when are you going to start on a new island. Your beautiful new kitchen is surely large enough for a beautiful island …. well ????? I know there was one there before, but are you planning on a new one or re-doing the one that was existing? Just curious!! Oh, and then are you going to place a big huge beautiful pot rack above it with lighting streaming down on it? hmmmmmmm … food for thought?

    Anyway, thanks again for all the inspiration!

  7. thank you so much! I mow want these wood counter tops for my kitchen…and what a price too. Yours look gorgeous!

  8. This is so awesome! I was just at Ikea last week drooling over the beautiful room designs! I wish my hubby was into DIY projects….maybe one day! Thanks so much for sharing the details!

  9. Love them! I keep toying with those…not sure. I’ve already got a whole lot of wood going on–but I love them! And who could get sick of your kitchen?!?

  10. We have those exact countertops..Though we used the Ikea sealer as I did tons of searches for food safe stain and sealer. Minwax stated it was not foodsafe so we did not use it. I was wondering why you chose minwax over other types?

    1. Tammy,
      We just got the IKEA sealer as well. Not planning to do poly sealer. Do you have trouble with stains?

  11. We bought the birch wood Ikea countertop 3 years ago for our kitchen island. We own a resort and our kitchen is commercial…the countertop has worn beautifully! I cut on it…and clean it with bleach…about twice a year we sand it down and reapply the swedish oil that Ikea sells for this countertop. It doesn’t seal it like varnish, but puts an oil finish on it. Still looks great! I think you’ll really like it over time!
    Awesome blog…love reading you!!

  12. Great job, Traci & Cy! The countertop is beautiful! I’ve never had butcher block so I don’t know a thing about it. Are you able to put hot dishes on it or do you have to use trivets? Just curious.

  13. Hi Traci! LOVE your new kitchen and I LOVE the new countertops! I am going to head over to Ikea and pick some up for the kitchenette in my studio that we are about to redo. Thank you so much! I am going to have to look for your shelf tutorial again too because I plan to make some over shelves like yours! Thanks so much AGAIN…..you make my life easier with all of your info!
    One more thing, the wreath on your kitchen window??? LOVE it, want one……need one! Where did you get it or is it homemade? It is perfect!
    (((hugs))) Rhonda~

  14. I can’t believe it! I was actually looking at the idea of using wood countertops in my kitchen just yesterday and was thinking maybe Ikea would have them. Loved to see that they look amazing and not too hard for DIY hubbies :) Thanks for the tips….getting so excited to work on my kitchen knowing that wood is actually an option.

  15. Love your kitchen, Traci! We are going to tackle ours sometime next year. I’m curious about the counter tops. I have five kids and it seems that I am always using bleach to clean the stains from tea, grape juice, etc. off our white counter tops. I’m wondering what would happen with wood counter tops. I think these things would stain them too and wonder how it would be cleaned.

  16. I have my Ikea wood countertops in my garage ready to go! It seems I am not alone, many of us are planning on using them. Did you get your sink there too? You kitchen looks wonderful. Keep on sharing any tips you have, I will be painting my cabinets as well. Thanks!!!

  17. Love it!!!!!! thank you for the seam answer. I have been racking my brain over and over on the seam. I have a kitchen that needs a 12 ft 4 in counter. My husband was at his witts end on how they only come in 12 ft chunks and how ours was done. I then showed him the strange seam in our counters that he has never seen before. however looking at your cut at your sink we may have to look into this and see if a new sink is in our budget also. thank you so much for the inspiring post. keep the good work and god bless, Amy

  18. Absolutely beautiful and love everything about the kitchen. GREAT JOB! Like some of the others, I’m ready to rip out my countertops and put in the butcher block!!! What color paint did you end up using for your walls?

  19. I LOVE these counter tops!! After seeing your kitchen, we are leaning toward butcher block counter tops and white cabinets in our downstairs nook (it’s not really a kitchen as you can’t cook but it has everything else).

    Love it!!! Thank you!

  20. Thank you so much for this post! I’ve been trying to make a decision about my countertops for the longest time ( I hate granite!) and this is just what I’m looking for. I appreciate the how-to instructions!

  21. I love how your kitchen turned out especially your butcher block countertops! Love the video at the end! We are planning to do these in our kitchen come late spring!

  22. Hi Traci,

    OMG, I can’t believe my good fortune to have run across your blog! I found it on Pinterest by accident and must tell you that you have made my DAY! My husband and I are in the middle of a remodel of our kitchen in our little cabin in Wisconsin and are just getting ready to install our IKEA wood countertops that I bought 4 years ago! I was a little scared when my husband said he wanted to have the seam in the middle of our sink, but seeing your blog has made me feel so much better. Thanks for all your tips! Your Kitchen is DELIGHTFUL. I think I even have the same faucet that you do and am so excited because yours looks amazing. I promise to send pictures of our kitchen when it’s done. I only hope it’s half as beautiful as yours. Please pass on my many thanks to Cy. He does awesome work!

  23. Your counter, and your kitchen, look fantastic. Did you have to apply some sort of sealer under the counter above the dishwasher? That is my only area of concern. Thanks!

  24. I’ll be installing a L-shape counter with Numerar Oak next week. According to the instructions, we’re told to use a butt joint, not mitre. Is that different from your 45 deg seam? I must admit it looks nicer than a straight seam but I have no idea what to do with the cut-out triangle.

  25. i have these countertops sitting in my kitchen awaiting my installation. we were also recommended to use a butt joint, but i really like the 45 degree cut. would it be possible to communicate with your husband about how he handled that cut? i had a contractor in tonight and he told me i would be crazy to try it, but i really want to. any advise your husband could provide would be most appreciated. i am doing the counters this weekend.Thanks!

  26. It is absolutely lovely!!! I working on a project. I have a dresser I’m turning into an island. It’s fairly small. I’m planning in doing a butcher block top. I checked ikea and the price is great. Did the larger piece they offer do the whole counter in your video? Bc if so ill just redo my counters lol and the island.

  27. Hi! Love your kitchen! Just wondering how your angled corners are holding up after a year? I’ve also been advised not to try them, and go with a butt joint, but I’m not ready to give up on them yet. Just curious if you’ve had any of the expansion/contraction problems at the corners? Thanks for all you share with all of us!

    1. Hi KT!
      The corners of our countertops look as good as new. Absolutely perfect! No expansion or contraction issues whatsoever. :)
      I’m so glad we did it this way. It looks so much more custom. My husband is getting ready to install these in my brother’s new kitchen, and he is going to do it the same way.

      Hope that helps!

  28. Your kitchen looks amazing! You’ve actually inspired us to replace our outdated tile counter tops with Ikea butcher block :). How exactly did your husband make those perfect 45 degree cuts at the corner? I see that some people who commented above already asked this question, but I didnt see an answer. Thanks so much for the tutorial, the video, and the inspiration!

  29. We have had our IKEA Numerar wood counter tops for about three years with white IKEA kitchen cabinets. We installed our countertops for our U shaped kitchen with the butt joints using a locking system from Rockler Tools that brought the two edges together tightly. I am very happy with the butt joints but will try filling the joints with wood filler to make them less visible. I, too, did not want the busy look of granite and also did not want granite because it seems like it’s not designer for those of us who love to create in our kitchens. Plus I have pro stainless appliances and black and white porcelain tile on my kitchen floors and it would look too busy and un-professional to have a patterned counter top like granite. With butcher block, my kitchen looks like a restaurant kitchen making it very inspiring to cook in it.

  30. Love your countertops! I just purchased a maple butcher block countertop for my new coffee bar area and want a nice waterproof finish on it. Everywhere I have read says to use waterlox, but the drying, curing and fumes are making me nervous. I wondered if I could use a plain old poly since that’s how I finished my butcher block maple kitchen table and it looks/wears great. I won’t be cutting or prepping any food on it, so I’m guessing that’s fine? Has the polyurethane been a good product for the countertop for you?

    1. Niki,
      Here is a post that might help a little:


      Unfortunately, we were in a huge time crunch when we were working on our kitchen, so I wasn’t able to create the most thorough post about the process. It is difficult to 45 the countertops, but it can be done. Ours still looks beautiful, and my husband just recently did it on my SIL’s countertops.

      Good luck! :)

    2. Niki,
      I think I answered the wrong comment above. Yes, we used poly on my counters, and I love them! Super beautiful and super durable.

  31. We just bought these counter tops today. I am wondering if you have any issues with moisture from your dishwasher. Did your husband put a protective barrier under the counter,above the dishwasher?

  32. Hi. I just wandered across your post looking at ways to finish these countertops. We are in the process of installing them now. I was just curious (as this post is a little older now) how the finish is holding up? I have read a lot about using a product called Waterlox, which is insanely expensive and not readily available in my area. The Minwax polyurethane is available, though! Hwo has it held up?


  33. Hi Traci, Like the above post I am weighing the advantages/disadvantages to oil over varnish. I was leaning toward oil, but now I read how happy you are with the varnish. We just purchased IKEA beech. What were your thoughts when originally choosing? What are your thoughts now? Have you had to touch it up?
    Your post with the “how to” and “what to use” is extremely helpful. Thank you! Blessings to you!

    1. Hi Kim!
      I LOVE the choices we made about our butcher block counter top. It has been two years since we installed them, and they look just as beautiful! :) The varnish has held up beautifully.

      Hope that helps!

  34. Hi Tracy
    We are about to install these same counter tops but have one question that I can’t find the answer to, maybe you can help. How did you attach the counter tops to the base cabinets?
    Love your blog, love your sense of style and all the inspiration you give me .
    Thank you

    1. Hi!
      I asked my husband this question and he said to install them like most counter tops you would install. Your base cabinets should have a piece in each corner that you use to screw and secure the counter tops to. When you remove your old counter tops, you should be able to see where the counter top is attached to the base cabinets, unless they are granite. You will do the same thing with the butcher block counter top. Just make sure your screws aren’t too long that they penetrate through the butcher block.
      Hope that helps a little. :)

  35. I have just purchased my IKEA butcher block counter tops and will need to join them end to end. I’m thinking I should trim off the rounded edges first…to make them seem seamless. What are your thoughts?
    Thank you and GORGEOUS kitchen.

  36. Two years later, I am wondering how your counters are holding up? We have these Ikea counters in our kitchen as well and five years later we are very unhappy with them. our counters have split along the wood grain (not on a seam, smack dab in the middle of the counter surface!) and no matter how diligent I have been about keeping them dry, the edges of the counter surrounded our sink have become water damaged. Our spring project this year is actually replacing these counters with something more durable. I am curious to know if you have encountered similar problems.

    We also have white cabinets from Ikea in our kitchen and the laminate facing on the doors is chipping and peeling off around the edges! With our experience, we definitely would not choose Ikea for these types of products in the future!

    1. Hi Kate! We have had our counters for about 2 1/2 years, and they still look beautiful! We did seal our counters with Polyurethane, though, and I think that helped.
      I have never bought any IKEA cabinets, so I cannot speak about those, but we LOVE our butcher block countertops!

  37. Traci,

    Just wondering if you sealed underneath the cabinets? Just concerned about dish washer steam warping the wood.


  38. Hi we are about to install the IKEA butcher block counter tops and we are wondering how the cut at the faucet is holding up, are there any water issues? is the poly you used Waterlox or something else ?

  39. Hi there- I am wondering ifyou still maintain this site since the last post is 2014- am guessing no, but will go ahead with my quesiton anyway!
    Number one, after all this time, how is the countertop holding up? Number 2, is that seam in the diagonal portion holding up? We have IKEA countertops, they are one year old and we have not done any maintenance on them. We have a seam that we never knew what to do with- but now that I’ve seen your video I might call spomeone to “fix it” how you did. Thanks,
    Betsy G.

  40. Hey I’m staining our butcher block counters today and looking for a sealer. All I see everyone using is that Waterlox stuff, but I want to pick something up today. How did your polyurethane hold up?
    By the way we used your saw dust idea last night, worked great!

  41. Hi! I am in the process of putting in butcher block countertops just like these. In your opinion, is it necessary to seal the underside of the countertops before installing? Someone told me that and I was curious. Thanks! -Chris

  42. My husband and I are seriously looking into putting butcher block counters in our kitchen. He has some concerns about the durability of butcher block and maintenance of the counter tops. How long have your had these counters? What steps do you take to maintain your counter tops? How serious of a concern is water, like washing dishes and leaving a glass of water on the counter? Do you have to reseal the counters? If so, how often? What about hot pans or acidic foods like tomatoes? How do you clean your counter tops? I would love any advice/feedback you could give about your experience having butcher block counters in a kitchen that is used on a daily basis

  43. Hi,
    It is now March 2018 and I’m curious how the countertops have held up long term. I love the look and the fact that they are not nearly as expensive as other options. Please let me know as I have an income tax return that’s burning a hole in my pocket! Your husband did a great job! Thanks, Adrienne

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