- Wooden Kitchen worktops?
Apologies for another kitchen question.
Can anyone comment on solid wooden worktops (most likely oak in our case)? I’d really like them but a couple of people have said that the split and stain etc. Now, my feeling is that if looked after properly, then they’ll be fine but just thought I would ask for some advice.
We can save a significant amount of money by going for laminate worktops but I just don’t think they would look or feel as good as the wood. Am I right?
I’d really appreciate any comments or experiencePosted 9 years ago
We have oak. They need oiled once a month or so, otherwise stuff just soaks in. However, it really depends whether or not all this really bothers you. If you’re going for the “rustic” look, a few spots and stains just go along with it. And, if they do get damaged, you can simply sand them down a bit and re-oil. We’ve had ours 4 years now I think – no splitting. Just makes sure you fasten them to the carcases correctly to allow for shrinkage and growth.Posted 9 years ago
IMO, they are for people who want their kitchen to look the dogs, but don’t actually use it much. Paulsoxo gives a perfect example of why they aren’t as good an idea as they sound. A friend had a kitchen with bamboo worktop fitted; within a week, it had a nice burnt ring motif on part of it, where they’d put a hot pan down. And you can’t simply sand it down and re-varnish it, as it’s often made of specially treated wood. Spose some dark woods might hide some sins, but I find it a bit silly to use wood, when far better materials are available. Granite and marble, f’rinstance. One of my favourites is Corian, which can be custom made, in a wide variety of colours, is extremely tough, and can be formed with the sink as part of the worktop, giving one continuous, smooth surface.
But on a small budget, most widely available laminated worktops are pretty decent, and good value for money. IKE especially, do some nice colours/patterns. TBH, the pricier stuff has little extra benefits, for often much greater costs.
A kitchen is a workplace, and should be designed with that in mind. it can be stylish, but it’s main function should not be ignored.
Blimey, I sound like a right ponce!Posted 9 years agomidlifecrashesSubscriber
Have beech worktops in my old place which I still own and let. It looked good as new for about four years with an annual light rub down and oil, but we always used chopping boards and trivets for hot stuff. It’s starting to look a bit rustic now (14 yrs?), and areas round the sink are starting to swell, but looks as though an hour or two with a sander and re-oiling would have it good as new. For me, now though it’d be laminate every time. What else has been designed for the job? You wouldn’t ride a granite or bamboo bike would you because of the look of the thing?Posted 9 years ago
druid, it’s product shot! Course it’s not going to look like a real kitchen!
But you knew that. 😉
Got to admit, it does look good though, eh?
I spose the toughest material is going to be Granite. But even then, I’ve seen chipped Granite worktops. Now that’s spensive stuff. And not easy to replace. I think midlife has it right, though. I have an off-cut of laminate work top for my desk, and it gets bashed about a fair bit. Still looks fine though, 8 months later.Posted 9 years ago
RudeBoy – Member
druid, it’s product shot! Course it’s not going to look like a real kitchen!
But you knew that. [:wink:]
Got to admit, it does look good though, eh?
I spose the toughest material is going to be Granite. But even then, I’ve seen chipped Granite worktops. Now that’s spensive stuff. And not easy to replace. I think midlife has it right, though. I have an off-cut of laminate work top for my desk, and it gets bashed about a fair bit. Still looks fine though, 8 months later.
I do like Corian, but it always looks a bit sterile and “cold”. Ours are well-used – it’s a proper family kitchen – I guess I’m just not as anal about them having to be like new all the time.
Slate is very nice too.Posted 9 years ago
No, I like wood. It’s just that every kitchen I’ve seen, with wooden worktops, there’s problems. Wood does take some ‘looking after’, and then there’s the issue of hygiene. Not such an issue with easy wipe-down surfaces in other materials.
I like the ‘sterile’ look! Personally, I’d love a kitchen that’s all stark, white ceramic, smooth contours, flush cooking surfaces. Bit of colour too, mind.
Posted 9 years agocannondalekingMember
please dont wood harbers so much bacteria i used to be a chef in her majerstys finest navy and its a big no no marbel is the way to go its naturally always cool easy to clean and great for working with pastry i might add i left working in my loverly bike shop to do this to come home 5 years later to go back to said bike shop 😆 ps i also trasfered to marine engineering dept after 1 year as a chef as it bored me 😆Posted 9 years agoGary_MMember
I like wood but as others have said it’s not really practical as a kitchen work surface. We stayed at a holiday place last year with wood worktops – looked great from a distance but was covered in stains and never felt clean
We’re changing our kitchen at the moment and are going for stone work surfaces.Posted 9 years agoBlazin-saddlesMember
I’m a pro kitchen and bathroom fitter and I’ve got oak worktops fitted and could have anything I wanted.
I don’t like granite, and it DOES chip, scratch and take colour despite what people tell you, Corian always looks too clinical to me and that really does mark, I dropped a felt tip on a piece once and couldn’t get it out. Oak is a lot stronger than beech and other woods used so is a lot more resiliant, I wouldn’t have beech as they just won’t stay flat.
Wooden worktops will NOT stay looking the same as the day they were fitted but that’s part of the package, they age, move slightly and change colour a bit but that’s why most people have them. You have to look after them a bit and you have to be sensible, put a hot pan on them and they’ll burn, so don’t! wipe up water and spills as soon as you can and they won’t stain or swell but that goes for laminates as well.
I sand (240 grit) and re-oil once a year, little bit more around the sink area but I have an undermount sink and they’re fine. The key is fitting them properly and using a good quality oil in the 1st instance, also putting enough on, I use 3 good coats on the underside before fitting and up to 6 thin ones on the topside.
I got my tops from these guys as they supply good grade oak for reasonable prices http://www.real-wood-flooring.com/solid-wood-worktops.html I don’t like their oil though as I find it stains the tops too dark, I prefer a clear oil, I use the Howdens branded one.
It’s all hourses for courses, I like mine and wouldn’t swap them for anything else.Posted 9 years agoandymMember
I’ve got an oak worktop as well (IKEA’s finest). I don’t oil it anything like once a month, so I have to get the sander out every so often. I use a dilute bleach spray to clean it – though I seem to recall that oak contains natural bacteriacides. It definitely beats the heck out of the usual plastic covered mdf worktop. One thing to be aware of is that it will stain in contact with mild steel (stainless steel is fine).Posted 9 years agoBlazin-saddlesMember
I personally would get what YOU like, you’ll never get people to agree on what’s right as it’s so personal, I fit a lot of kitchens that I don’t like but the owner loves.
They do mark with steel it’s true, the 1st one I fitted ended up with a stanley blade shape on it that I had to sand out!Posted 9 years agoBaldysquirtSubscriber
Matt, We have a beech worktop which we installed last year. It gets used very heavily, and is just starting to look used. We treated it with Rustins plastic coating, which gives a hard (not 100% scratch resistant) coating that’s very stain and heat resistant. It can also be thinned and used as a much more durable oil type finish. I’m really pleased with it all and would choose it again, but it does require more care than a laminate worktop. Also, we got the worktops for about £130 for a 3m long 40mm thick piece, so it’s not hugely expensive. Give me a call, or pop round if you want a chat.Posted 9 years ago
We had oak worktops installed about 18 months ago, and overall we’re very pleased with them. We used Howdens for the wood and Danish oil to treat it. It does pick up the odd nick or scatch – you can sand them out if you want, but I think they look fine as they are. I don’t know why people keep going on about hygiene – the surface is sealed with the oil and in any case you use wooden chopping boards without any worries. We only use Ecover type cleaning products, as I think anything more agrresive might attack the oil.
Like others have said, if you’re the kind of person likely to put hot pans directly onto the surface, they’re not for you. Get a trivet!Posted 9 years ago
I’m a pro kitchen and bathroom fitter
Is there any profession not represented in STW??? Wonder if I can get advice on going into Prostitution, what with this Credit Crunch an’ all…
So, the consensus about wood seems to be; looks nice, but needs looking after, and cleaning carefully, with gentle products. Can stain, and is not heat-resistant. Can also warp and split. And there can be an issue with bacteria.
Marble, Corian, slate etc- spensive.
Which leaves ‘MDF covered in plastic’.
Mine is extremely hardwearing, doesn’t stain, is very easy to clean, shows no signs of warping, and is heat resistant.
Other than snobbishness/desire to have a ‘rustic’ looking kitchen/ want to spend lots ofmoney, I can’t see why you’d want to go for anything else.
Plus, Laminate has the advantage of being the cheapest option. If you get bored of it/it gets damaged, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper to replace.
Oh, and no-one’s mentioned Stainless Steel; the choice of pro kitchens everywhere.Posted 9 years ago
And there can be an issue with bacteria.
Can there? A couple people have said this but I’ve not seen any evidence. Conversely I’ve also been told that wood contains natural anti-bacterial agents so it doesn’t harbour germs like plastics or laminates.
Either way it has been used in kitchens for hundreds of years and many butchers still use a traditional maple butcher’s block to cut raw meat on.
Other than snobbishness/desire to have a ‘rustic’ looking kitchen/ want to spend lots of money, I can’t see why you’d want to go for anything else.
Maybe I’m snobbish then, but I think laminate just looks like cheap rubbish and it always seems to peel.
Personally I don’t think paying more to get something that is well made and looks nice is snobbish at all.
no-one’s mentioned Stainless Steel
Fine in a working restaurant kitchen. Possibly acceptable in a very modern city-centre apartment. Ghastly in the average home (IMHO).Posted 9 years agoTandemJeremyMember
I have beech worktops.
No problems with staining or swelling or anything in 10 yrs – apart from a couple of marks from rusty steel / plant pots. IMO they are less damaged than laminates would be by now.. Wood holds less bacteria than plastic and anyway its not an issue. Using bactericides is a waste of time if you keep your kitchen clean and harsh chemicals will damage the wood.
Wood if you are prepared to look after them Mine get an annual scrub and reoil with occasional sandingPosted 9 years ago
An ex of mine had stainless steel worktops in her kitchen – they looked good for about 5 minutes but scratched really easily. Restuarants use them because they take hot pans and are easy to clean, not because they look good.
I scratched the laminate worktop in my old kitchen through to the chipboard underneath – only repair option would have been replacement. With wood being solid you can leave it without worries, or sand it down.Posted 9 years ago
The hygiene thing, well, I wouldn’t want to place a lot of faith in a material with lots of minute grooves and cracks in it’s surface. And I’ve seen some pretty manky wooden worktops. The top may not show much, but have a look underneath…
I’ve also been told that wood contains natural anti-bacterial agents so it doesn’t harbour germs like plastics or laminates.
Hmm, I’d want to get someone with the relevant medical knowledge to reinforce this statement. Possibly marketing guff? Wood will have anti-bacterial properties, when it’s alive. I have no idea whether this continues after the tree has been cut down.
As for laminate, well you can get some pretty decent stuff, these days. Certainly, I’ve seen kitchens where the laminate worktop has survived daily use for years, without any special attention, and still looked fine.
I agree re the Stainless Steel thing, though. Looks too cold and ‘industrial’. Mind, with careful design, and clever use of lighting, it could look good. Certainly one of the best materials to use, for use, wear, hygiene and VFM.
As for those with wood, who are happy- great! Lot of fair points and observations.
Spensive though, innit?Posted 9 years ago
“The hygiene thing, well, I wouldn’t want to place a lot of faith in a material with lots of minute grooves and cracks in it’s surface. And I’ve seen some pretty manky wooden worktops. The top may not show much, but have a look underneath…”
Take a look at what your local butcher cuts his meat on…they’re subject to regular hygiene inspections.Posted 9 years ago
Hmm, I’d want to get someone with the relevant medical knowledge to reinforce this statement.
Oh go on then…
Effectiveness of domestic antibacterial products in decontaminating food contact surfaces
Volume 24, Issue 4, June 2007, Pages 425-430
Abstract:Posted 9 years ago
“Four commercially available antibacterial products (two wipes and two sprays) were tested under laboratory conditions on a range of food contact surfaces (wood, glass, plastic, Microban® incorporated plastic). The products’ effectiveness at preventing cross-contamination of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus and the influence of surface type and drying time were assessed. Survival of the bacterial culture (approximately 400 colonies per 8 cm2) on the above preparation surfaces was determined using an in situ nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) method. In the absence of any antibacterial products, both bacteria survived up to 120 min on all test surfaces with glass and plastic showing no reduction in bacterial number. The order of survival is: glass>plastic>Microban® incorporated plastic>wood (<8%). The length of drying time did not affect the survival of either bacterium on glass and plastic surfaces. On wood and Microban® incorporated plastic, E. coli appeared to be more sensitive to drying time than S. aureus. Only plastic appeared to affect the effectiveness of the antibacterial products, where the reduction in bacterial number was significantly lower than the other test surfaces (p<0.05). The overall results suggest the antibacterial products are effective in disinfecting food preparing surfaces, provided products instructions are carefully followed.”
So, wood not better than anti-bacterial plastic, then? Or did I miss something? And it doesn’t say if the wood is plain, or treated. So, not particularly conclusive. I’d trust a surface I can see to be clean, tbh.
Think TJ has it:
Wood if you are prepared to look after them
Not everyone is.Posted 9 years agoTandemJeremyMember
Plastic holds more bacteria than wood but there is some dispute
Without washing, without touching it, the bacteria on the wooden board died off in three minutes. On the plastic board? The bacteria remained and actually multiplied overnight. It seems wood has a natural bacteria-killing property, plastic and glass don’t.”Posted 9 years ago
The topic ‘Wooden Kitchen worktops?’ is closed to new replies.