Home>Discussions>BATHROOMS>Any advice on using butcher block for bath vanity?
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Any advice on using butcher block for bath vanity?

I'd like to replace the countertop of my bath vanity, but don't have the budget for solid surface/granite/marble, etc. But I also don't like the look and feel of laminate. I thought I'd use butcher block instead.

I've done a lot of searching of the various DIY sites, including this one (if I missed a relevant post, let me know) and have found little info as to whether this is a good idea.

My vanity is 16" x 60".

My primary concern is that I'll have problems with expansion/contraction of the material, given that a bathroom has a much greater range of humidity than, say, a kitchen. I don't want to go to the trouble and expense of installing it, only to have it split a year or two down the road.

Advice? I'd especially love to hear from anyone who's used butcher block in a bathroom.



Re: Any advice on using butcher block for bath vanity?

I think given the proper sealing and care it would work out. You must start with a high-quality glue-up. A year ago (on another board) someone had bought BB from lumber liquidators, and cut in a hole for an undermount sink, only to find that her "maple butcher block" was glued up from red oak with a 1/8" maple veneer glued on. It was never built to be cut, because doing so exposed the oak core. So get assurances that your BB is solid whatever lumber you choose. I think white oak, ash, maple, cherry or mahogany would be great in a bathroom. Stay away from red oak, it will stain if your finish fails and water gets in.
Use a finish like Waterlox, and put at least two coats on the bottom side, and use the recommended four coats on the top and edges, cutouts, etc.

Re: Any advice on using butcher block for bath vanity?

Thanks, S_M. I've been looking at two different outlets for the BB. One is sold at IKEA, and is a lighter shade oak, more of a honey color. The other is other is at Menards, and is more red in hue. I'm guessing the one at Menards is Red Oak, which stinks because it's half the price of the one at IKEA.


Re: Any advice on using butcher block for bath vanity?

I recently saw a diy project online and for the final finish on their wood bathroom vanity, they used a product called safecoat acrylacq water based gloss laquer finish. It should work well for you too for keeping the water out.
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Re: Any advice on using butcher block for bath vanity?

This is an oak top made to look a little older. I did it a couple of years ago. No problems as of yet :)

Re: Any advice on using butcher block for bath vanity?

I have two bathroom vanity tops that are of solid wood with undermount sinks. They are about 10 years old, and no problems.

Mine are made of vertical grain douglas fir, both of which I laminated myself. The woods you are considering should perform even better, since d.fir has alternating growth rings of soft and hard layers.

I applied 5 coats of brushed on polyurethane to both the tops and undersides. Don't neglect the underside because you want a balanced coating so that one side won't absorb moisture from the air at a different rate than the other--this leads to warping.

As for your concern about expansion, I had the same concern, and so I attached the tops to the cabinets with a connector that allows movement. Again, no problems.

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