How to Install Wooden Kitchen Worktops

Updated February 21, 2017

Wooden kitchen worktops, otherwise known as butcher blocks, not only provide a useful station for cutting and chopping, but also provide an elegant, natural accent to your kitchen. Kitchen worktops are generally cut to order based on your specified dimensions. They can be installed on single or double unit cabinets, floating cabinets or cabinets that are against the wall. A worktop can also be set next to a laminate or tile counter top, as long as the counter top has a finished side edge. With a few basic materials, a wooden kitchen worktop can be easily installed on your own.

Determine the size of worktop you need to order. Measure the depth and width of the top of the cabinet that the worktop will be attached to. Add on to the depth the amount of the overhang you need. The overhang should match the overhang of adjacent counter tops. Kitchen worktops should be sized so that there is a slight gap between the back edge of the worktop and the wall. This will allow breathing room for the natural contraction and expansion of the wood. Subtract 3/16 of an inch from the depth to allow for the natural expansion and contraction of the wood. Because of the way butcher blocks are constructed, the will only expand and contract depth-wise.

Create a solid substructure for mounting the worktop onto. Line the top of the cabinet where the worktop will be installed by setting in and screwing a 3/4-inch piece of plywood that has been cut to fit.

Drill pilot holes in the plywood for screwing on the worktop. Make the holes with a diameter 3/8-inch larger than the diameter of the screws. The extra room will allow the wood to shift as it contracts and expands. The length of the screws you are using will depend on the width of the worktop.

Screw the worktop to the plywood by screwing from underneath, through the predrilled screw holes. Use fender washers on the screws.

Seal the wood with Danish oil, mineral oil or another manufacturer recommended oil. Wipe on a thick layer of oil with a clean cloth. Let the oil sit and soak into the wood for five to ten minutes. Wipe off the excess oil. Oil the worktop at least once a month.

Things You'll Need

  • 3/4-inch plywood
  • Drill
  • Wood screws
  • Fender washers
  • Wood sealing oil
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About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.