Many people add butcher block countertops to the bathrooms, providing an aesthetic wood look to your place with many other benefits.
How do you seal a butcher block countertop in a bathroom? You can seal a butcher block countertop by cleaning the surface, removing the sink and sanding, applying stains, adding sealants, and finishing.
It has pores on its surface; therefore, it is better to seal the surface to avoid wood warping due to water and moisture. In addition, sealing can make it durable, easy to clean and stand in moisture for a long time.
How can you seal a butcher block countertop in a bathroom?
Here are easy steps to seal the butcher block and make it last longer.
Start by cleaning the counter on which you are going to put the butcher block with a dry cloth or sponge.
Next, remove the silicone from the edges of the countertops by gently peeling it off with a knife if you change the old one.
Silicone is commonly present at the edges and seams between the wall and sink of old countertops.
You can use a wet cloth or sponge to clean the peeling material to avoid accumulation in the faucet and sinkhole.
The areas where the fungus is present due to standing water or moisture need more attention and exertion to clean because it can severely affect the wood countertops.
Remove the sink and sanding
It can be exhausting to remove the sink if you change it to butcher block countertops. The sink can easily pull out when you disconnect it from the plumbing system, and all silicone around it is removed.
Put the butcher block on the counter carefully to fit all the edges and sides around your vanity. Sanding the wood to remove the pores in it is an important step to perform before sealing it.
You can use sandpaper with 95-155 grit to even the surface and fill the pores. A high grit can make the surface so smooth that it can not absorb any stain or sealer properly.
You can use a vacuum cleaner, or any soft cloth dipped in mineral spirit to clean the dust from the surface after sanding.
Stain is a material you apply on the countertops to change its color that deeply soaks into the wood to protect it. You can choose any stain color that goes well with the wall and vanity of your bathroom.
It is better to use a lint-free cloth to avoid seeping out of color on the counter and walls. You can put a puddle of stain on the block and rub it, but do not wipe it over the surface to soak it into the wood.
Place puddles of stain in different areas to color the whole surface, and make sure you do not miss any area because it can cause discolored spots on it.
You can apply oil-based stains to make them more durable and add shine to them. It can take 22-25 hours to dry the surface completely, and then it is ready for the sealant.
The surface of your bathroom countertop is ready to apply the sealant when the stain is dry. You can sand the surface with high grit sandpaper to make it smoother for soaking the adhesive.
It is better to clean the surface with any dry cloth to apply the sealant on the blocks smoothly. The smoother surface can give more finishing to absorb the glue and protect it from water and moisture in your bathroom.
It is recommended to use a brush for applying any sealant on its surface to cover the whole area. You can apply 2-3 coats of sealant to add a good finish and protection.
The sealant can take 23-24 hours to dry, and then you can put the sink in its place and connect the plumbing system. You can use different finishers for butcher blocks depending on the place you are going to put them.
It is more exposed to water in bathrooms; therefore, you can use any oil-based finisher to apply on its top layer.
You can apply 2-4 coats of a finisher to add shine and make it more water-resistant. It should dry completely before any exposure to water and moisture.
Why would you seal a butcher block countertop in a bathroom?
The bathroom often gets damp because of water use, and this moisture on your vanity counters can cause the warping of wood if you do not seal it properly.
You can make it water-proof to a good extent by sealing it with a sealant. However, germs, mold, and dust can accumulate if the countertops are not sealed with a sealant, which can eventually cause diseases to spread.
It can save your counter from these bacteria and fungi as they do not get any place to get into the gaps or pores. You can use a stain to finish your wooden countertops to fill the pores and maintain their shine.
It becomes easy to clean the counter when you seal it nicely because a good finisher will make the surface smooth and even.
In addition, the sealing method can increase its durability and save you money because you do not need to change the countertops more often.
What type of sealants can you use to seal butcher block countertops?
You can use different types of sealants to seal your butcher countertops depending on the place you are going to put these wooden slabs.
You can use epoxy resins to seal your countertops because it can make the countertop durable by adding a good polishing layer to save it from daily erosion.
In addition, they are more heat and corrosion-resistant and protect the wood from moisture and humidity.
Polyurethane sealants act as a plastic layer between the wood and you when it is dry. It is better to leave the room for some time because there is a strong smell in your bathroom when you apply it, but the results are satisfying.
Oil-based sealants are of two types such as evaporating oils and polymerizing oils.
Evaporating oils evaporate initially, and you have to apply many coats of it to increase their lifespan. It includes mineral oil, coconut oil, and walnut oil sealants.
You can apply it with a lint-free cloth and rub it on the surface to avoid the warping and cracking of wood. Polymerizing oils fill and seal the pores in the wood and are easy to maintain and less opt to stains.
Wax finishers or sealants are a good option if your wood is dark, heavy, and oily. You can mix beeswax with oil and apply it on the surface to give a pleasing and shiny appearance.
Things to consider while sealing butcher block countertops
These countertops in the bathroom look great, but you need to consider some tips and suggestions to avoid any mess.
Do not mix any oil with a film finisher because it is water-based and can cause problems when mixed with oil.
It is better to avoid silicone sealant because it can block the wood movement and cause cracking and warping. In addition, it does not work well in filling the pores and does not give a fine finish to the surface.
Mineral oil is also used as a sealant, but it can stain the paper or cloth you place on the counter. It is better to clean the counter every time you use it because dust, makeup products, or creams can stain the surface.
It is better to remove the old butcher block countertop completely if you are going to put in a new one.
Remove the silicone from all edges around the vanity and fill the holes to avoid problems while placing the new counter slab.