Tips to Install an IKEA Butcher Block Countertop
Yesterday, I shared all of the details about installing our new laundry room cabinets. Isn’t the dark green so pretty?! I’m officially obsessed with the fun color it adds to this room. Once our cabinets were in and secure, it was time for the finishing touch on this side of the room…adding our IKEA butcher block countertop!
I knew from the start that I wanted to use a butcher block in here because I figured the wood would add so much warmth to this space. Plus, placing the wood over the three hampers would act as the perfect spot to fold laundry. I actually didn’t even know that IKEA sells butcher block countertops until I went to the store for my consultation. I ended up choosing this KARLBY countertop because it came at a great price of $149 and I love the medium color.
Cutting & Installing an IKEA Butcher Block Countertop
We unboxed the heavy piece of IKEA butcher block countertop and were both so pleased with how durable and well-made it seemed. The entire piece is 74 inches long and we only needed 62 inches of it, so we knew from the start that we would have to make a cut.
But not just any cut – we were going to have to make an angled cut so the piece would extend past our cabinets and touch the angled wall. With one piece of butcher block, you really only have one shot to get the cut right. I was sweating from the start!
Measuring & Making a Template
Thankfully, Finn is super precise and together we took measurements of the open space over the cabinets.
Even though we knew our measurements were correct, we wanted to take one more step to ensure that the cut would be perfect. So we used the box that the IKEA butcher block countertop came in to make a template. We cut our measurements onto the cardboard exactly and then brought the piece upstairs to take a look.
It fit like a glove!
We were most worried about getting the angled cut just right, so seeing the template squeeze in there beautifully put us both at ease.
Cutting IKEA Butcher Block Countertop
We traced the angle of the cardboard template directly onto the back of the butcher block countertop, marking the line with painter’s tape.
Again, we only had ONE SHOT to get this cut perfect. If we cut too much, it wouldn’t fit perfectly. Finn was totally confident we could make the cut in one swoop, but I insisted that we make a practice cut to see how it went.
So on one end, we made a practice cut to see if it would be choppy. Luckily, it came out beautifully. Clamps are essential when it comes to making cuts with the circular saw. We clamped the entire butcher block countertop down to our work table and also clamped a straight edge for the saw. I’m telling ya, have lots of clamps on hand for projects like these and you won’t be sorry!
The circular saw is the best tool to make a cut like this (we love ours!). We ended up getting one for our fireplace project earlier this year and have now used it over and over. It’s a great tool to have in your arsenal, especially for woodworking projects. Finn just went really slow with the cut, making sure the saw followed our mark.
Running into a Snafu
Our cut went so smoothly and beautifully until the very, very end. Because we were cutting off such a large chunk of wood, it ended up crashing to the ground just as Finn made his final pass through it. When it fell, a chunk of the top of the butcher block came off with it. We both cried out with frustration when we saw what had happened.
Determined to salvage this piece of butcher block (and not run back to IKEA for a new one!), I immediately whipped out my liquid nails, sanding block, and clamps to attach the small piece back on. Luckily, it ended up fitting back in the slot perfectly and you can barely notice the imperfection.
To avoid this in the future, we probably should have used painter tape on the front side of the countertop to prevent any chipping. It also would have been a good idea to score the top lightly so it would snap off easily on that last portion of the cut. Or I could have been on that end to hold it while Finn made the cut. But oh well, you live and you learn, right?!
Attaching the Countertop & Caulking It
The butcher block countertop is super heavy, so we placed it on the cabinets and knew it wasn’t going anywhere. But to make sure it didn’t slide around at all, I secured it with screws through the cabinet up into the wood.
Because I want a seamless and built-in look (and I don’t want any crumbs getting behind the cabinet!), I decided to caulk the edges. I used this DAP caulk in clear and it worked perfectly.
Caulking Tips: Have a bowl of water nearby so you can dip your finger in it and run it behind your caulk line to smooth it down. Also, keep rags and paper towels handy because things get messy!
In less than ten minutes, the cabinets and butcher block were all caulked and the seams were looking good!
The caulk should dry clear so you won’t even see it. In these pics, it still looks a bit white.
The corner piece that we had to repair looks pretty darn good if you ask me. I’m sure we will be the only ones who notice the imperfection.
Caring for Butcher Block Countertops
The IKEA butcher block countertops come sealed already, so you don’t have to do anything to them right away. But once they get some wear and tear, you can use mineral oil and a fine-grit sandpaper to give it some love. I’ll plan to do that if it ever starts to look rough and dry. For now, though, the top looks amazing!
Overall, I’m incredibly pleased with the warmth of the butcher block, the durability, and the overall function this adds to our laundry room.
Now it’s time to tackle the other side of this room. I’ll be sure to share more next week.
Catch Up On Laundry Room Posts
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.