Whoever wants a softer and warmer look in the kitchen prefers butcher block as a countertop. On the other hand, people who want to achieve a sophisticated look in the kitchen may favor granite.
Now, on a price point, it should be well-known that butcher block is cheaper than granite. However, most people can’t calculate which one is more worthwhile considering the price. In this article, we will compare butcher block and granite to give you a clearer picture of which offers the best value for money.
Butcher Block Countertops
Butcher block countertops are a popular and budget-friendly option for kitchen countertops. These countertops are made from wood, typically hardwoods like maple, cherry, oak, beech, or walnut, although rare woods like bamboo, teak, and zebrawood are also used.
This wood countertop is excellent for chopping, rolling dough, and even serving meals. Therefore, these are common among most households for their versatility and affordability. Beyond affordability, butcher block countertops are also easy to care for and create a rustic appearance in your kitchen.
Granite countertops are a composition of natural stone quarried from the Earth’s crust and are a luxurious choice for kitchen and bathroom surfaces. People like granite kitchen countertops for their exceptional durability, unique appearance, and pattern.
Beyond its beautiful colors and patterns, it also offers remarkable resilience to heat, scratches, and everyday wear and tear, making it ideal for busy kitchens. The enduring nature of granite ensures its longevity, often outlasting other countertop materials.
Is Butcher Block Cheaper Than Granite?
Butcher block is made of hardwood, which is cheaper than granite material. Even the installation cost of granite countertops is more expensive as compared to the butcher block. In general, butcher block has a standard durability of 20 years if properly maintained and taken care of. But, being more expensive, a granite countertop is more durable than a butcher block countertop.
It will be clearer if you take a closer look at the average cost of both butcher block and granite per square foot installed. A butcher block countertop costs $50 to $150 per square foot installed, whereas a granite countertop costs $80 to $180 per square foot. But it can go higher than that, considering the granite slab, thickness, and grade.
It is not just the material that is expensive, granite requires a higher installation cost than butcher block. Granites are dense and heavy natural stones that are really labor-intensive to install and often require assistance. That’s why granite countertops need professional installation, leading to more labor costs.
On the flip side, the Butcher countertop is lighter in weight and easier to install and work with, making it perfectly suitable for DIY projects. If the butcher block is pre-fabricated, it is the cherry on the cake, so to speak.
Factors Contributing to the Higher Price of Granite:
Is the reduced price of the butcher block a good investment? Or does Granite just outperform it in every quality feature? So, in this section, we will see what makes the higher cost of granite worthwhile.
In terms of durability, Granite countertops are way more durable and stronger than butcher block countertops. They are resistant and enduring to many types of damage, such as scratches, dents, chipping, etc. Its igneous rock formation makes it the hardest natural stone available and one of the best countertop materials for high-traffic kitchens.
Butcher block is made of wood, and wood is generally softer than stone. Consequently, it becomes more susceptible to scratches, dents, and warping, and it doesn’t show greater longevity compared to granite.
However, the hardness of wood can vary depending on the specific wood species used. For example, hard maple is harder and more resilient than softer woods like pine.
The granite countertop is water-resistant but porous, which makes granite not entirely waterproof. That’s why if the surface of a granite countertop is not adequately sealed, water can seep into the tiny pores and pits in the stone, leading to staining.
However, granite is less likely to absorb moisture as compared to some other countertop materials like wood or laminate. This resistance to moisture makes it difficult for mold to grow on the surface of a granite countertop.
On the contrary, wood-made countertop-like butcher blocks are naturally more porous than natural stone like granite. Wood can absorb more liquid and moisture, and higher exposure to water can lead to issues such as water-related staining and mold or mildew development.
That’s why the Butcher block countertop requires regular maintenance to resist water and moisture damage. Polyurethane or food-grade mineral oil is the best material for sealing Butcher block countertops top. Even with proper sealing, they may not be as resistant to moisture as granite.
In terms of heat resistance, Granite countertops are better than Butcher Block countertops. Granite countertops are made of natural stone, which is inherently good against heat. At least, excessive heat can not have an instant impact on granite materials. So it is safe to place hot pots, pans, and cookware on the Granite Countertop.
But the same doesn’t apply to Butcher countertops. After all, you can not expect any wood to act better against heat than natural stone. They can be damaged or have burn marks on the surface by exposure to high heat. To protect a butcher block countertop from heat damage, it’s essential to use trivets, hot pads, or other heat-resistant barriers when placing hot items on the surface.
Availability of Varieties
The variety in colors, patterns, and finishes of Granite also contributes to the higher price of the material. It is often seen as a luxury alternative for countertops, elevating the kitchen’s visuals and aesthetic. While Butcher countertop offers a rustic appearance, Granite is more exotic and modern.
Benefits of Butcher Block Countertops
Now, let’s see what benefits you may get with a lower price tag of block cheaper countertops.
Butcher block can be made from a variety of woods, including cherry, oak, maple, and beech, each with its unique grain patterns and colors. With all these options, you can choose from different styles of butcher blocks. This extensive range of wood choices and styles helps you create the stylish look you want for your kitchen countertop.
While butcher block may not have the longevity of natural stone, it can still provide service for several decades if proper care and maintenance is taken. On average, it is estimated to have a lifespan of approximately 20 years when well-maintained. Moreover, butcher block countertops tend to outlast laminate alternatives in terms of durability.
While soap and acidic cleaners can potentially harm other countertop surfaces, such as glass, quartz, and granite, they are safe for use on butcher block surfaces. So you don’t have to be excessively wary of etching and discoloration while cleaning the Butcher block surface. This makes butcher blocks easier to clean. However, they still need regular maintenance and care to become functional and effective for longer.
Also, many homeowners find the maintenance routine manageable and enjoy the warm and inviting look that butcher block provides in their kitchens.
In a nutshell, a hardwood countertop can in no way be more expensive than a natural stone countertop. That is too obvious. But which one should you have in your kitchen? Well, that depends on you.
If you want your countertop to last longer, both Butcher block and Granite are durable options, with Granite potentially lasting for a lifetime. However, choosing Butcher Block is a wise option if you are on a tight budget. Lastly, granite is an ideal choice for not compromising on any features and values of a countertop.