In years past, butcher block was used as a cutting surface and for food prep. For this reason, it was left unfinished, instead, being conditioned frequently with mineral oil and natural wax to prevent the wood from drying out. This requires regular maintenance, and
over a period of time, the surface shows wear,
especially in your favorite work spot.
While this is still an option; today, butcher block is usually preserved for its beauty. So, it’s sealed with a food-safe topcoat that requires little-to-no maintenance.