I have butcher block countertop in my kitchen. I had a dish rack on top and water seeped onto countertop bowing the wood and I'm not sure what to do. This is a rental and I need an easy fix.

The counter top is in sections and I'm not sure if it will go back into place after it dries out or if I'll need to replace the small piece by the sink for a quick fix.

I sealed these 6 years ago because the cheap landlord didn't. Where it bowed it was silicone and I believe that's where the water damage came into play.

What should I do to fix this?

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  • 1
    It's difficult to tell from this fuzzy, poorly lit picture where the actual damage is. Could you turn on another light or two and place some sort of a straight edge on the counter so we can see where the damage is? You ask if it will "fix itself" when it dries out - only time will tell, have you given it enough time to actually get dry? TBH, it's not likely, but it could happen. It could take weeks for the wood to actually dry enough - who knows how long water's been sitting under there and it can take about 1 year per inch of thickness for fresh cut lumber to dry.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 12:20

1 Answer 1


That does not look like butcher block to me. It looks like a veneer on top of plywood.

In any case there is zero chance you can fix this. It has to be removed and replaced.

When wood absorbs water like this and expands, it will never return to its original shape, even if it dried using specialized methods.

  • I've never seen plywood that has narrow strips of plys like what is shown in the OP's picture. I will agree that it's not "butcher block", as true butcher block exposes the end grain. However, this term has come to refer to any surface that (appears to) consist of many small pieces of wood glued together to form a solid surface.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 15:12
  • @FreeMan Veneered plywood or particle board is a common cheap way to imitate butcher block. All of the Ikea products cheap veneers like this. Here is a typical description: ourstoriedhome.com/… All of these kinds of products are highly susceptible to water damage (as you can see) because once water gets past the hardwood veneer its all over. Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 15:50
  • TBH, if that's a veneer on plywood/particle board, I'm impressed with the quality of the veneer. Maybe it's an actual hardwood veneer and I'm thinking of laminate where it's just a picture of wood printed on plastic then glued down. In any case a more clear pic and something showing where the actual deformation is would be helpful. I'm not seeing it.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 16:42
  • Thanks for all the feedback..l do believe it's a veneer..it's held up for years and l stained n polyurethaned it when l moved it, it was very dry..l believe we'll replace the section as the best option..not my choice of countertop but it is a rental..
    – Sam
    Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 13:15

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