Re: Butcher block shrinkage
You can control where the block moves by where you choose to make the fixed attachment point, the other attachment points being cleats which allow for the wood to move. If you fix it at the back, all movement will be along the front edge, allowing you to tile right down to the wood. If you secured it at the front edge of the cabinets, every bit of movement would have to be along the wall (bad). I'd probably attach it at a quarter to a third away from the wall, so most of the movement would be at the cabinet edge where it's less noticeable.
Various tabletop fasteners: https://www.google.com/search?q=tabl...w=1252&bih=551
Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.