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The Top Debate

 

 

We often get asked to recommend the “Best” worktop for our customers, with all the choices available to customers on the market today we understand that it can be a bit of a minefield choosing the right work surface for your dream kitchen, but the truth is there is no right or wrong answer to this question.

 

The choice of material should reflect the level of use (and abuse!) the top is likely to have, the length of time it needs to look good for and the level of maintenance you are willing to carry out to keep your tops looking in tip top condition.

 

Over the next few weeks we will try to help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of the most popular work surface choices available to you, this week we feature the pros and cons of solid wood.

 

 

 

Solid Wood

Few materials can compare with the Natural beauty and feel of a solid timber top.  Wood suits virtually any kitchen design, looking just as good in chic ultra-modern penthouse as it does in the cosiest of cottage kitchens. There are many species available on the market today from the traditional and lighter colours like Maple and Beech, through to the ever popular oaks and finishing with the premium quality hardwood timbers like Walnut, Wenge and Iroko.

 

Solid wood tops are created by laminating together long strips (or staves) of solid timber, this creates a beautiful top with variation in colour and grain throughout, but more importantly it reduces the chances of the tops from bowing of cupping once installed.

Solid wood tops need to be treated to keep them water resistant and to maintain that deep lustre, most customers use Danish or Linseed oil to seal their tops this gives the tops a real depth and character, although the tops will need several coats of oil to begin with it’s easy to apply with an applicator pad or lint free cloth working the oil in the direction of the grain and once established a top up is all that is required now and then.

 

Advantages:

Available in many colours, sizes and thicknesses

Easily installed on site

Can be cut into any shape

Less expensive than Granite or Quartz

More tactile than Granite or Quartz

Stays at room temperature

Scratches and small damages can be sanded out

Undermount and Butler sinks can be used

Drainer grooves can be cut into the surface

 

Disadvantages :

Not as heat resistant as granite or quartz

Requires regular oiling to keep the top water tight and stop water ingress

Cannot be easily repaired if damaged badly

Spills should be cleaned up promptly to avoid staining (don’t leave that red wine from last night’s dinner party to fester)