The original counter top was a close match to the existing material used by the sink and stove, however, it was not secured to the cabinet. During our brainstorming session on "how to secure a counter top we don't really like", I ran across the pre-made butcher block tops at IKEA. It had a a lot of pros going for it . . . it was solid wood, it came in beech and oak, the dimensions were close to perfect, and the price.
The next step after installation was treating it with oil (something I forgot to investigate -- lucky for me I have an amazingly resourceful hubby). So instead of another trip to IKEA for the fruitwood oil they recommend, we used food grade mineral oil . . . you know the kind found in the laxative aisle at the grocery store. It seemed to absorb in just fine. Here are the before and afters . . .
|Before -- note "unlidded" kitchen cabinet|
|After -- just oiled|
|Overview of kitchen so far!|