Quartz vs. Butcher Block. Which is Best for My Home? Blog

There are so many options for countertop surfaces these days, but which is the right option for your home? Two popular choices on the market right now are butcher block and quartz.

Butcher block is a wood surface made from straight cuts of wood that are glued together into thick slabs. It is a sturdy, stable work surface for kitchens, offices, and restaurants and can be used as a cutting board, tabletop, or counter.

Quartz, on the other hand, is a man-made surface created from quartzite and other minerals bound together with resin. With over 90 percent made with quartz, it is one of the strongest substances in the world.

5 Reasons to Choose Quartz Countertop Over Butcher Block

1. Butcher block requires regular maintenance, while quartz requires none.

You can purchase butcher block made from a variety of different woods. You can also choose to have your butcher block sealed or unsealed. While sealed butcher block is easier to care for, it is not as friendly to knives or cooking because the sealant adds a slick, plastic-like feel to the wood.

Unsealed butcher block requires oiling every six months — minimum. Depending on the type of wood you choose for your block, you may have to oil it more often.

Quartz countertops require virtually no maintenance — no oiling or polishing. You just get to enjoy your beautiful, carefree quartz countertops every day.

2. Quartz is virtually indestructible, but butcher block is susceptible to scratches, dings, and stains. 

Some types of butcher block are especially susceptible to scratches and marks when used for chopping and cutting. Because butcher block is made from a soft material, wood, these types of countertops can be easily damaged by setting things down too hard or dropping items on the surface. 

Finally, it is important to remember that wood is a porous material, and if left unsealed, it will stain. Whether you accidentally spill some Merlot, or one of your delicious recipes gets out of hand, it is going to stay on your countertop.

Unlike butcher block, quartz is one of nature’s hardest materials, as it is made up of more than 90 percent quartzite. Quartz countertops are virtually indestructible, and you won’t have to worry about scratches, stains, or chips. 

Quartz countertops are ready for all of life’s adventures and can be wiped clean when you’re ready for a fresh start!

3. Countertops made from quartz require only a quick wipe down. Butcher block counters need to be scraped, scrubbed, wiped, and dried.

Quartz countertops could not be easier to clean. Just use your favorite soap with some warm water and wipe down the counter. This will remove stains, stickiness, and anything else that might have landed on your countertops.

Butcher block, on the other hand, requires a little more elbow grease. Depending on the severity of the mess, you will have to scrape the food off of the countertop because of the porous nature of wood. Food that has dried on or is sticky must be scraped off, so it doesn’t become ground into the pores of the wood.

For tougher stains, you’ll have to take some sandpaper and sand down the surface of your butcher block to remove the stain.

Once food particles have been removed, butcher blocks can be scrubbed with mild soap and water. Quartz countertops can be left to dry, but butcher block countertops need to be towel dried to sop up excess moisture.

4. Exposure to moisture can cause butcher block to discolor and rot over time. Quartz is unaffected by moisture.

Quartz is an excellent surface choice for countertops because it comes in a variety of colors and designs to suit your lifestyle. It can be used for countertops, islands, backsplashes, and more. 

Butcher block has limitations because it cannot be used in spaces with excess moisture. Using butcher block near a sink, for example, is a recipe for disaster because the constant exposure to water can cause the material to become discolored and rot.

If you purchase butcher block countertops, you should also keep some coasters on hand. Condensation from cups will leave water stains on your countertops that can only be removed by sanding and re-oiling the surface.

5. If not properly sanitized after used for food prep, butcher block’s porous surface can harbor harmful bacteria. However, quartz is nonporous and will not harbor harmful bacteria.

The jury is still out on the safety of butcher block for food preparation. Some studies warn that the porous nature of wood can harbor harmful bacteria if not properly sanitized after used for food preparation, especially raw meat. Other studies show that wood naturally disinfects itself. At the end of the day, scientists aren’t really sure how safe it is to use unsealed wood for food preparation.

Quartz countertops are nonporous and are one of nature’s hardest materials. Because of this, there is no place for bacteria to build up. Just wipe your quartz countertops down with your favorite soap after preparing food, and you’re good to go!