Oak worktops have a beautiful grain and colour variation, and being a natural product, the grain on each piece of worktop is unique which helps to create a wonderful surface complete with great character, definitely not something you can achieve with a laminated alternative.
Oak has and always will be a classic for wooden worktops, with its warm feel, oak is a must for traditional farmhouse style kitchens but it is equally at home in a contemporary styled kitchen, creating a soft balance against the trend of high gloss cabinets or a modern mix with lots of glass and even being used alongside other natural products such as granite.
Obviously, as with anything there are cheap alternatives but when it comes to using natural materials you really must go for good quality so you start with a good product and if the worktops are properly cared for, these good quality oak worktops will last a lifetime, and often even add value to your home when you come to sell.
The key here is “being properly cared for” and this has to start immediately! Being a natural product that is not varnished or heats sealed you need to be careful with the surface and take care with hot pans, spillages, etc but with a good maintenance routine, you can easily keep the oak in tip-top condition. Read more here
A few things to think about when considering replacing your existing kitchen worktops:
- Getting a proper fit – removing old worktops may disturb the plaster on your walls, before installing the new oak worktops make sure that the walls are repaired where necessary and are totally flat so that the new wooden ones fit snuggly to the wall. Please remember to leave a small “expansion” gap between the wall and the edge of the worktops to allow for the natural movement of the wood. This only needs to be between 3-5mm wide to accommodate for possible expansion – wooden worktops naturally contract and expand in accordance with small changes in humidity. A nice way to cover your expansion gap is to use upstands which can be a great finishing feature.
- Start as you mean to go on – follow our guide for what to do with your worktops as soon as they are delivered, and ensure they are stored properly if they are not being fitted straight away (we advise against prolonged storage). Get them oiled as soon as you can – ideally, after all, cuts and cutouts have been completed take care to ensure that you get every inch covered as this is what will preserve them and reduce staining, warping and general damage as you use them.
- Treat it well – it is good practice in any kitchen, whatever the worktop is made from, to ensure that you use chopping boards for cutting food to prevent scratching and always place hot pans/dishes onto trivets to prevent scorching. Read more here
- Remember it is a natural product – oak ages well but as with any natural product movement can occur, and it can dry out or swell if it constantly gets wet, but on the plus side, this means that it can be restored with a little knowhow. As it is solid wood you can lightly sand down the affected areas and then re-oil to protect them again.
Remember that we offer a wood sample service so you can get oak and three other types of wood sent to you so you can see which you prefer for your kitchen worktop!