Grain Type

Vermont Butcherblock Company - Wood Grain Types

One thing to consider with Butcherblock is which type of grain you would like for the surface of the countertop:

  • Edge grain - the narrower side of a length of wood that is cut so one side is wider than the other
    • The surface shows more of a straight line grain pattern
    • When single strips of wood are used, the grain runs the entire length of the Butcherblock, providing a consistent pattern
    • Looks more like a "traditional" butcher block, with 1.5" wide strips of wood
  • Face grain - also referred to as "Plank".  This is the wider side of a length of wood that is cut so one side is wider than the other
    • The surface has a wide grain pattern and shows naturally occurring swirls and/or ovals in the wood
    • Looks more like a tabletop, with 4" - 6" wide wood planks
  • End grain - the "end" of the wood can be seen when you look at either end of a length of wood
    • Typically shows sections of the growth rings
    • Creates a random pattern on the surface of the Butcherblock

All three grain styles have the same functionality when used as Butcherblock Countertops that have been properly installed and maintained. Therefore, the grain style you choose ultimately comes down to your personal preference. Edge and face grain countertops are the most common, primarily because the beauty of the natural wood is on full display. End grain countertops are a bit more decorative - providing the look of cutting boards traditionally used by chefs.