This Faux Butcher Block Countertop Looks Real but is a Third the Cost

5 Materials
1 Day


We saved hundreds by making our own faux butcher block countertop instead of buying one. And it looks just as good!

We knew we wanted some kind of wood countertop in the pantry part because we wanted it to match the shelves and we didn’t want to spend a lottttt of money on granite or even laminate.

We priced out butcher block countertop from the main hardware stores and for the 8 feet we’d need (not including the little end pieces around the corners), we were looking at more than $200.

Instead, we bought two 4’ x 8’ plywood from Lowe’s for $70, which covered the whole countertop area and had left over for more projects.

You can read a more in depth breakdown of this project HERE.

Cut plywood, sand, apply glue

The plywood was too wide for the countertop depth we needed, which was great because it gave us extra scrap wood.

After cutting it down to the right size, we sanded it down until it was smooth. This took awhile, but was well worth it for the cost it saved.

Note: You only have to sand the top side of the top piece, don't take the time to sand the other sides since they won't be visible.

Then we applied a generous amount of glue to the top of the bottom piece.

Clamp pieces together, let glue dry

With the pieces being so large (23" x 96") we used six clamps - one in each quarter and two in the middle along the long sides.

We let it dry about 6 hours.

Stain, place on top of cabinets

We put a couple of construction screws from the top down into the cabinets in the very back corners – they’re hardly noticeable, but I might wood fill it and touch up the stain if it bothers us.

Other than that, we just wood glued down the countertop into place.

Apply edge banding

It’s basically a very thin veneer with dried glue on the back that you iron onto your surface.

The one I bought is 1.5” thick, which is a teeny bit thicker than our plywood sandwich, but it’s easily trimmed with a box cutter or edge trimmer.

First, hold up your edge banding along the countertop and cut the piece down to the length you’ll need with the box cutter. If you kind of score the top of the banding, it’ll snap off really clean.

Next, line up the edge banding with the top of your countertop and hold your hot iron over it for a few seconds. Keep moving along the surface, lining up the edge banding with the top and holding the iron over it for a few seconds so the glue behind melts.

Check seems

And that’s it! You’ve figured out how to fake a butcher block countertop and have probably spent between $50 and $100 instead of several hundreds for your project.

I’m not sure I’d use this method in our kitchen, but in something like a pantry, bar cart, buffet, coffee table, camper, etc. it’s the perfect budget solution.

Resources for this project:
See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
Join the conversation
2 of 8 comments
  • Mcgypsy9 Mcgypsy9 on Mar 15, 2022

    I love edge banding. It definitely makes everything look professionally finished. Nice job on your cabinet tops!

  • Cso51108026 Cso51108026 on Mar 18, 2022

    Okay, I am not saying this ISN'T a decent low-cost solution. But we did a similar "fake" trying to match our kitchen's walnut butcher-block counter in an adjacent laundry room that opens to the kitchen.

    YES, 100% go with plywood - the bottom layer doesn't even matter; we use the cheapest 3/4" we could get, it was just fine. (the best 1-side sanded walnut plywood was 3/4" inches, and our kitchen counters are 1.5", so that determined our laundryroom "folding area."). We cut it down 3/4" less than we actually needed because we actually wanted to "face" with actual walnut 1"x2".

    So: 1. the bottom layer was 3/4" el-cheapo; the top layer was a single sheet (custom order from Menards 4x8" 1-side sanded walnut plywood). YES, I will admit we paid more, BUT, I was concerned with the spaced being adjacent, having the countertops harmonize, and I was having lousy luck staining to match regular plywood... so, please, don't judge... Walnut stain on a more-yellow wood tone when we merely oiled the butcher block... again, don't judge... I'm a stain master, and it just didn't work.). We also purchased 1"x2" solid walnut for just the facing edge (since it was a laundry area, it's framed on 3 sides, so only the facing side would show), so a single 8' piece did it, we just cut it down to fit.

    2.We then cut the walnut plywood into strips the same width as our kitchen countertops, just over 1".

    3.Literally, just glued down the walnut plywood, strip by strip, over the el-cheapo plywood. It took, like, no time; we cut the plywood as we got to the end, and started with the short end, so it truly resembled "butcher block." Clamped and allowed to dry. Faced the behemoth piece with the 1"x2" solid maple piece, polyed and put in place.

    I am in now way disparaging what the poster did - it's lovely!!! I'm simply offering up another method to use her brilliance (WHICH I DID, USING PLYWOOD AS THE BASE LAYER!!!), but using a different method for creating the top, visible layer! It's so great to be part of such a creative network - I never would've thought of using plywood (THANK YOU!!!), but then taking it to the next place with strips of the walnut plywood truly made the space space (I must note: this is a home that is going on this historic registry, so all surfaces, especially visible surfaces, must conform to a certain code - our method complied with the code; not all homeowners, surely, need to go to the steps we did, but it was STILL worth it and saved us close to $1,000 to order a solid walnut butcher block!!!).

    Best to all of you, apologies for the length of the post, and God bless!!!