When it comes to the countertop game, the butcher block is a bit of a dark horse; it’s popular enough to find and recognise in Malta, but it’ll take some research and digging to get quality at a reasonable price.
A butcher block (or butcher’s block) is a type of wood assembled from pieces of the same or different types of wood glued and pressed together, known for their durability and natural aesthetic, butcher blocks have increasingly become more popular amongst homeowners.
Here’s one of the messages we received from readers (that’s you) about the Butcher Block:
From the Mailbox
“Read one of your articlesabout kitchen countertops and you mentioned Butcher’s block. I’ve been looking for ages – I was wondering if you had any suggestions about any experienced suppliers? Specifically end grain? My biggest concern is in not using the right sealants and glues, durability and hygiene are compromised. Any help is much appreciated. Thanks in advance!”
Unfortunately, only one shop representative knew what we were talking about when we specifically requested end grain wood, and, as we’ve already discussed in our previous article, it’s not the cheapest choice to have in damp areas. So if you’re adamant on having end grain butcher block, suppliers will probably recommend laminated or veneer wood as opposed to a solid chunk of wood.
From what we could find out, Immaginecasa actually have a butcher block kitchen available in their showroom! However, because they’re ready-to-install kitchens, they can’t give quotations over the phone; they’d require details (dimensions, etc.) to be sent by email so that slight modifications would be made. But hey, at least we know that someone has an actual butcher block kitchen in stock!
Pace & Mercieca Timber Suppliers & Trade Services (Birkirkara)
Pace & Mercieca have ready-made laminated sheets of butcher block wood. They’re 4.1 metres in length, and come in three widths: 60cm with one edge rounded (around €120), 64cm with both sides rounded (around €225), and 90cm with both sides rounded (around €250). Its colour is very dark, like walnut, but they also have a lighter option.
Cortis Group is part of Calibre Industries, wood suppliers and professional carpenters that specialise in the manufacturing of solid timber furniture. We gave them a call and were delighted to find that, while they don’t stock ready-made butcher block, they can make it themselves from scratch! All you’d have to do is let them know of the required thickness and what material/s you’d like the butcher block to be made out of.
The people we dealt with were extremely helpful. They don’t stock actual butcher block; clients choose the wood they want, usually oak or iroko planks, which would then be put together by joiners in the nearby warehouses. Actually, the person we spoke to was so helpful that he gave us the details of a particular professional who would purchase your wood of choice and round it all up in one bill; all they’d require is the desired size. Contact them for more information.
Top Drawer Ltd manufacture everything from scratch and according to size. They’ve apparently manufactured an island top out of butcher block for a kitchen once before. To get started, they’d need measurements and a visual of your existing kitchen.
After leaving our details with them, Fino were really great at getting back to us promptly and with the relevant information. From what we understood, they have ready-to-use butcher block depending on what you’d need it for. If you were thinking of a small amount, like a 5cm thick breakfast table, that’s fine. If you wanted an entire butcher block kitchen countertop, they’d require measurements, but would be able to custom-make something out of a solid chunk of wood.
We learned quite a lot from our call with Joinwell. The representative we dealt with warned us about using end grain butcher block for kitchen countertops, which would start to bend over time if covering a large area. Apparently, end grain butcher block is only used in a very small area of kitchen countertops, essentially a portion on the side reserved for cutting meat. The thought of end grain butcher block’s instability had us worried. However, we were quickly told that edge grain wood would be used, usually oak or beech. They can custom-make everything, as well as put you through to their designer.
We were told that ProMan Interiors actually have a butcher block kitchen in their showroom. From what we understood, they also have readymade planks of wood direct from their German suppliers, and kitchen parts (such as a worktop) can be sold separately.