Why Butcher Block Tables Are the Perfect Choice for Your Restaurant?
Traditionally, a butcher block was the surface on which butchers would cut and split large chunks of meat. They used durable hardwoods like oak, walnut, maple, cherry, etc., with upward pointing grains. While the earlier designs used tree-rounds, they evolved to offer a more durable and sanitized surface. So nowadays, butcher blocks are thick slabs of wood that provide a butcher or a cook a sturdy surface to work. The unique quality that separates butcher blocks from other materials is their ability to utilize the surface for making or preparing the food as well as eating on it. Made by assembling and gluing together the wooden boards, the butcher block has a rustic appeal and earthy element. Butcher block dining tables in restaurants add warmth and create an inviting atmosphere, and are extremely popular.
Read on to know how you can design a butcher block restaurant table, its manufacturing process, and its types.
How to Design Butcher Block Tables?
Before selecting butcher block countertops for your home or restaurant, here are a few design aspects you must consider:
1. Type of Wood
Since the butcher block table contains thick strips of wood glued together, the type of wood selected affects its appearance, quality, and performance. Hardwoods are stable and durable to serve as cutting boards and dining tables. Softwoods like cedar or pine, on the other hand, are mainly suitable for decorative pieces like end tables. Water sealing property is perhaps the most crucial property for wood selection. If wood soaks water or stain, it would not be hygienic for preparing or eating food.
2. Pattern to Select
Every wood has a unique grain structure, and how you arrange the grains changes the pattern and appearance of the butcher block table. Some of the popular pattern options are:
- Section the wood along the length of the table.
- Keep the wood sections along the width of the table.
- Cut the wood sections into smaller cubes and place them in a checkerboard pattern.
These tables are famous for their thick tabletops. Generally, the thickness of the butcher block table is seldom less than 1.5 inches. However, thickness varies according to your personal preference and taste. While most commercial butcher block tables are cut from long strips of 1.5 inches thick material, you can design custom tables that can be 3 inches thick or even more.
4. Table Construction
Butcher block countertops are easy to construct and assemble as they require only basic tools and working space. To begin with, you cut down the wood and sand the surface. Next, you apply glue and use a clamp to hold the wooden pieces together as they dry.
Make sure that the clamps have padding to prevent any marks on the surface. Combine as many layers as you want and once the sections are completely dry, add detailing like scribing the edges, polishing, etc… you can also combine epoxy resin and wood for a great look.
What Is the Manufacturing Process of Butcher Block Tables?
All premium and commercial butcher block tables use continuous rail lengths of about 12 feet as they have minimal knots and color defects. Crafting a unique look and pattern on the butcher block tables involves the following steps:
A. Prepping the Lumber
Before joining and assembling individual lumbers, it is necessary to process them. Each board is cut to a uniform width depending on the table size. Filing both the top and the bottom of the board removes about 25% of the total thickness. At this stage, the boards are inspected for any knots or defects in color or uniformity.
B. Gluing Up the Boards
Once all the boards have the proper size, the next step is to surface them for the glue-up process. Gluing up phase is a critical part of manufacturing butcher block tables. A radio frequency (RF) press uniformly applies pressure to unify individual wooden boards. For larger tables, the old-fashioned clamps are used to glue the boards together.
C. Finishing the Tables
Now that the butcher blocks are ready in the desired size and thickness, we sand them at the edges to get an all-around smooth finish. As the last part of the manufacturing process, we apply a sealant coat to prevent any harm due to water absorption. For a commercial butcher block table, a 2-part polyurethane topcoat is used. Food-grade mineral or organic oils ensure that the tables are 100% safe for chopping and food preparation.
What Are the Types of Butcher Block Tables?
When it comes to butcher block restaurant tables, round and square are the most common shapes. Both types of butcher block tables have their own pros and cons. While selecting which one is perfect for your home or restaurant, consider the shape and size of your dining room as well as the average number of people that sit at the table.
1. Round Butcher Block Tables:
Round butcher block tables work well with small groups in smaller rooms. They create a cozy, intimate dining experience by encouraging conversation. Round butcher block tables look premium and draw other design elements of the room towards themselves. Since they have only one leg to support the tabletop, they offer more legroom to the diners. Also, as they do not have any sharp edges, they are safer and more suitable for families with kids.
2. Square Butcher Block Tables:
Square butcher block tables are also perfect for intimate gatherings and work well in small, square rooms. They fill the dining area symmetrically and allow you to expand your seating capacity according to the occasion.
For example, you can place them along the walls or join them together to accommodate a large gathering. All in all, the square butcher block table is practical, space-efficient, and functional.
Summing It Up
Butcher block countertops and tables, with their clean finish, offer a distinctive look. With several grain and color options, you get plenty of room for custom products to match any interior in your dining room. More importantly, with butcher block tables, you get a premium look and rich feel without burning a hole in your pocket. From your kitchen to the bar, from your dining room to the balcony, the versatile, durable, and affordable commercial butcher block tables are perfect for any location.