Hop on this comfortable, relaxed kitchen trend with these picture-perfect butcher block countertop ideas.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated January 28, 2019
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Butcher block countertop ideas - wood countertop in classic kitchen
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There’s a lot to love about the humble butcher block countertop. Sure, there’s a lot to know about picking and caring for a butcher block countertop, and the farmhouse kitchen–ready look isn’t for everyone, but as far as kitchen décor ideas go, this one is a solid pick. Like kitchen backsplash ideas, a wood countertop can be added without a total kitchen overhaul; it can serve as a whole-kitchen countertop style or just an accent detail on a kitchen island. And, no matter where it goes, a butcher block countertop adds a guaranteed pop of organic warmth to a space—and who doesn’t want that?

After deciding where to put it, picking what, exactly, a butcher block countertop will look like is the next step. Dark woods or countertops with dark stains look polished and elegant, without crossing over into too formal. A dark wood countertop also minimizes the rustic feel of the design choice by mimicking the look and feel of a quartz or granite countertop. The colors in darker wood countertops are also typically more uniform, which might appeal to anyone with a strong love of consistency. Lighter woods and stains, on the other hand, feel warmer and more rustic. These butcher block looks often vary in color, with streaks, stripes, or squares of different-colored wood. The varied look can make fitting a new wood countertop into a preexisting kitchen tricky, but by no means impossible.

As the below kitchens prove, butcher block countertops can go with kitchen cabinets of almost any color, though wood kitchen cabinets are definitely the number one material pick. More contemporary laminate cabinets are a little too streamlined to pair with this high-impact countertop option, though wood cabinets in traditional, rustic, or contemporary styles make great matches.

A warm alternative to the all-white kitchen trend, a butcher block countertop could be exactly what your kitchen needs—just scroll on for the proof (and plenty of design ideas) from kitchens that made wood countertops work.

Light wood everywhere

A light, all-over wood countertop fits in seamlessly with a mostly white kitchen. Where a white countertop would look too cold and a dark quartz or granite would be too dark, a light wood both offers a complementary color tone and brings warmth to the space.

Medium-toned warmth

A mid-tone, almost reddish wood pairs nicely with dark kitchen cabinets. Streaks of light wood within the countertop keep it from feeling too dark.

Varying countertop

Matched with dark painted wood cabinets, a butcher block countertop with varying colors takes the whole space up another notch on the cool contemporary scale.

Butcher block kitchen island

Butcher block countertops on kitchen islands serve as contrast pieces, especially when the rest of the kitchen is more classically colored. Plus, renovating a kitchen island is much less challenging than a full-kitchen re-do.

Dark wood countertops

With white or light cabinets, a dark, single-hued wood countertop pops while feeling super elegant.