Installing butcher block countertops next to quartz can create a striking visual contrast in your kitchen or bathroom. However, joining the two materials requires some finesse to create a tight seam that holds up over time. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to join seam butcher block and quartz countertops together.
Preparing the Butcher Block
Before installing the butcher block, it is important to prepare the material properly:
- Acclimate the wood – Let the butcher block sit in the installation environment for 1-2 weeks before installing to allow it to adjust to temperature and humidity levels. This prevents excessive expansion or contraction later on.
- Sand the edges – Lightly sand the edges that will abut the quartz with 220 grit sandpaper. This removes mill glaze and allows for better adhesion.
- Seal the wood – Apply a penetrating oil or sealant like tung or mineral oil to all surfaces before installing. This helps prevent moisture absorption. Allow to dry fully.
- Cut support cleats – Cut 1×2″ support cleats from scrap wood to fasten under the front and back edge of the butcher block. This provides support and prevents sagging.
Preparing the Quartz
The quartz countertop also needs some prep work before installation:
- Clean thoroughly – Use denatured alcohol to remove any dirt, grease or residue from the edge that will abut the butcher block.
- Lightly sand the edge – Use 220 grit sandpaper to scuff up the quartz edge to improve adhesion.
- Apply adhesive primers – Brush on specialty primers made for quartz that help bonding. Let fully cure.
Joining the Two Materials
With both edges prepped, you’re ready to join them:
- Run a bead of silicone – Apply a 1/4″ bead of 100% silicone caulk along the quartz edge. Avoid gaps.
- Secure butcher block – Carefully lower the butcher block into place with the edges flush. Attach cleats underneath with screws.
- Alternate clamps and weights – Use bar clamps and hand screws tightened down along the seam. Alternate with heavy weights to keep seam tight as silicone cures.
- Allow to cure – Let silicone fully cure for 24-48 hours before removing clamps/weights. Avoid disturbing the joint.
- Seal seam – Apply a thin bead of silicone along the length of the seam to waterproof. Tool with a plastic spatula for a smooth finish.
To keep your butcher block and quartz looking pristine:
- Use trivets and cutting boards – Protect surfaces from hot pans and cutting wear and tear.
- Re-oil butcher block – Every 3-4 months apply a fresh coat of mineral oil to nourish and protect the wood.
- Clean quartz properly – Use only non-abrasive quartz cleaners and avoid excessive pressure.
- Seal seam yearly – Check seam for any gaps annually and re-apply silicone as needed.
With proper installation and care, your quartz and butcher block counters should last for many years of beauty and performance. Let us know if you have any other questions!
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best way to cut the butcher block cleanly?
Use a circular saw with a fine-toothed blade designed for cutting wood. Go slowly to prevent chipping and get a perfectly straight edge. You can also have the supplier make any necessary cuts.
Should I finish the butcher block before or after installing?
It’s best to finish before installing. This allows you to get the oil into all surfaces and edges completely. Finishing is also messy, so it’s easier to do before attaching it to cabinets.
What’s the minimum support needed under a butcher block overhang?
For every 12 inches of overhang, you need at least one cleat screwed into the cabinets below. Over 12 inches, add another cleat for sufficient strength and rigidity.
Can I use white silicone caulk instead of clear?
While clear silicone is preferable for aesthetics, white will work fine structurally. Just be aware it may be slightly visible along the seam.
Is there an alternate method besides clamps to keep the seam tight?
Yes, you can place wedges cut from scrap wood between the butcher block and counter during curing. This applies pressure against the seam as an alternative.
How long does silicone caulk take to fully cure?
Most quality silicone designed for kitchen use will fully cure in 24-48 hours. Avoid any stress on the seam during this period. After 48 hours, excess caulk can be trimmed off with a utility knife.
Joining quartz and butcher block countertops creates a striking, modern look. Just be sure to properly prep the materials, join them cleanly, and allow adequate curing time. Follow the process outlined here, along with proper care, and you can enjoy a durable, flawless seam that stands the test of time. Let us know if you have any other installation questions!