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How much does butcherblock counter expand?

Posted by poorowner (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 17, 09 at 2:59

So on a 25" wide edge grain hard maple counter top, how much does it move/expand, from what I can gather it is approx 3/16" - 1/4"

Does sealing ALL the edges with waterlox reduce the movement? Since it would seal in the moisture content inside the wood?

I am planning to leave a 1/4" gap between the block and the wall and have a slotted hole near the wall side. The reason I can't have it expand outwards is because I have 90 degree butt joint, and I wouldn't want the expansion to push the other piece sideways. Is this enough?

The climate in California is mild and is never really humid.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How much does butcherblock counter expand?

Those numbers are averages, and they already assume the wood is coated with a film finish. Without a film finish they could move more than that. If your local climate is exceptionally stable (if you live near the coast, for example), or if your house's climate control is better than average (a humidifier to keep the central heating system from drying out the air in winter; central air conditioning to keep summer humidity from getting too extreme), they might move quite a bit less.

Your 1/4" allowance should be plenty.


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RE: How much does butcherblock counter expand?

Look up the type of wood in the Wood Handbook.

Nothing will stop it from moving, and finishes only slow the inevitable movement.

The wood is exposed to the air in your house all the time, and will come to equilibrium with the humidity present.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wood Handbook


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