How I Installed My Butcherblock Countertops
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I'm pretty sure there are hundreds of posts on DIY butcherblock countertops. I would know. I read them all before I started. So I'm not going to go into the nitty gritty of where I bought them (Menards), if I stained them (yes, Minwax Early American), how I sealed them (three coats of Waterlox Original), or how I cut the sink hole (I followed the sink installation directions.)
What will I talk about? How I secured them to the cabinets.
As mentioned above, I read hundreds of posts about DIY butcherblock countertops. Not a single one talked about how they secured the countertop to the cabinets. So I made it up. I figured I couldn't go too wrong, since the main goal here is to make sure the countertop couldn't move around.
Maybe that's why nobody wrote about it? Securing countertops is too easy! (or boring, more likely...)
First thing to note: my cabinets were all from Ikea, but my butcherblock was not (primarily because Ikea doesn't seem to sell true butcherblock anymore.. bummer.) The Ikea cabinets are all supported on top by a metal rail running the width of the cabinet. These little rails have holes already punched in them, I suspect to aid in countertop installation. But since I did not purchase an Ikea countertop, I'll never truly know.
Regardless of what the little holes in the metal rails are actually intended for, I used them as the first mechanism to secure the countertop to my cabinet. Anywhere there was a hole, I added a screw. If there was a space between the rail and the countertop, I also added a shim so that the rail wouldn't bend up to the countertop when I added my screw.
This was a great (and easy, thanks Ikea!) start to securing the countertop, but since there were only four holes in most of the cabinets, I didn't want this to be the only way the countertop was secured. So I turned to what is quickly becoming my favorite new fastener, the Corner Brace!
In the corner of every cabinet, I added a corner brace. Additionally, I added a brace on each corner of the space left open for the dishwasher. In total, each cabinet had 4 corner braces and 4 "rail" screws. After I finished, I felt very confident that my countertop wasn't going anywhere soon.
Other people on the internet also appeared to go through the hassle of connecting the two countertops together. Many of them had some sort of fancy bolt fastener thing that required a router to install. Oh, no, no. I don't own a router, and I'm one of those people who put off purchasing more things until absolutely necessary. So I used a Kreg jig to add pocket holes to the edges of the countertop that line up, and then used Kreg jig screws to connect the two countertops together.
Special Note: This is just one of the many, many times my Kreg jig has come in handy. I love having it around, and if you decide to purchase one, I'm sure you'll use it for many things. I have this one, but if you have a tight budget, this smaller one will get the job done for much less.
Overall, I am thrilled with how the countertops turned out. I'm one of those people who's been dreaming of owning butcherblock counters for years, so it probably would've been difficult for me to hate them, but still! They're lovely, and I'm so excited for the day when the kitchen is finished and I actually get to use them!
Update: The kitchen is finished! Check out the before and after!