Tips & Tricks on Installing Butcher Block Countertops

Tips & Tricks on Installing Butcher Block Countertops

Last year, we revamped our kitchen. It wasn’t in bad shape, it just wasn’t what we liked. We kept the guts of the kitchen; the cabinets and appliances and removed the formica countertops, installed a new deep sink and amazing Moen MotionSence faucet, and tiled the backsplash. We also added some extra cabinet space.

Today, I am sharing a few of the tips and tricks we found useful when we installed our butcher block countertops. Talk about pressure! One mess up and it could have been very costly!

The first thing to do is measure, measure and measure! I knew that I needed to join two pieces together to span the long side of the kitchen. I wanted to make sure the joint was over a cabinet and not around the sink because I was installing an under mount sink.  When I knew where this joint was going to be, it was time to concentrate on the corner. I knew I wanted to do two 45 degree cuts rather then a butt joint.

Installing Butcher Block

Now I brought the other side of the counter in to start measuring out my 45 degree cuts. It important to check the angle on the wall to make sure its 90 degrees to make sure your 45 degree cuts will work. So I cut one side then matched up the other counter top to see how they were going to match up. (its important to cut the butcher block with a sharp fine tooth blade and use a straight edge to keep your cuts straight)

Installing Butcher Block - Joining Corners

Above you can see I added a template to see where the counter would intersect outside of the cabinet. Next I made the cut on the other counter and lined it up to cut to see if they matched up perfectly. So all I had left was to cut the other ends to the desired length. Finally I had to attach all of the joints using the kreg jig I made  1-1/2″ pocket holes and used 2″ pocket screws. ( I glued the joints with a waterproof glue and added sawdust from the cuttings to make the glue match the color of the butcher block)
Sanding Butcher Block Countertops

I gave the counters a light sanding  before I applied the butcher block sealer.

Watco Butcher Block Oil

I used the Watco Butcher Block oil and finish, which was very easy to apply with a rag. On a side note: make sure you apply this on a weekend your leaving because it has a very strong oder. You’ll need to be out of the house for a few hours. When I did this part Katie was still in her first trimester and she spent a lot of time that weekend at her parents house away from the fumes.

Hope our Tips & Tricks on Installing Butcher Block Countertops will come in handy if you plan on installing your own countertops. I promise it wasn’t hard to do.



  1. Hey Jon!

    Counters look great! I realize this question/post is not very recent to your post on the topic, but I happened to come across this while ‘googling’ :). My wife and I just installed our butcher block counters from IKEA. The question I have… Did you sand in-between sealing coats at all? Did you sand after your final coat? I’m finding that the oil sealant we are using (watco butcher block oil and finish – same as you) is working very well, but the finish itself isn’t very smooth to the touch – perhaps it’s not supposed to be?

    Would it make more sense to put 3, 4 or 5 consecutive coats on before sanding at all? I’d love to hear your application and sanding process!!


    • Frank,

      What is happening is the sealant is pulling up the fiber in the butcher block. I applied multiple coats while sanding (220 grit) between, then on the final coat I lightly sanded with a 1500 grit to knock any of the fiber down without messing with the finish. Hope this helped.

  2. Savannah Aucoin says:

    Hi! I found your blog while googling how to join a 45 degree cut on my butcher block counter tops! I have the Kreg jig kit that I’ve never used before….are there any detailed steps on how you drilled the holes and connected the butcher block?

    • Hi Savannah, all Jon did was take one piece of butcher block (say he’s cutting the left piece) and cut the 45 on it. Then he brought the other full slab in the kitchen and placed it on top of the cabinets (this would be the right side). Then he placed that cut 45 on top of the right slab and traced the line (angle ((to get the exact angle))). Then he cut that piece and put them both together (back in the kitchen) to ensure they fit perfectly. Then he did the normal KREG joinery with the correct thickness. Glued the joint and then screwed it together. Even though it’s an angle your still joining two pieces of wood together. If you’ve never used the Kreg jig before we highly recommend you do a few tries on other wood before joining your precious butcher block! Good luck!

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