While butcher blocks are a huge trend in the kitchen because the wood grain is beautiful, they don’t make good church pews. Butcher blocks are constructed with a special technique that is sometimes used in furniture building, especially in cheaper styles of furniture made with low quality wood.
We don’t use butcher block construction when we make our church pews for a number of reasons.
You’ll notice that most kitchen goods that use butcher block construction, like countertops or cutting boards, look as though they are made out of big squares of wood. However, butcher block construction doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting big pieces of wood. Instead, it can be made of hundreds of layers of thinly cut wood. These pieces are then glued together. It’s then coated in a layer of sealant that creates a high shine exterior.
While it looks pretty and is an economical way to use wood scraps, this type of construction isn’t sturdy. As the wood dries out naturally, each piece of wood responds differently and the layers can start to crack and separate. If you use this construction in a pew, that means you have to either replace or repair the whole pew because of a crack.
While solid wood does age, because it is one piece it ages more consistently. The solid wood needs to be of a higher quality too because you can see the grain of the wood, unlike in stacks of butcher block construction. Higher quality woods also have far fewer problems with warping and cracking. This is why we build our church pews out of solid wood instead of butcher block constructed pieces.