Caring for and Using the Oak Worktop in the Kitchen
Having an oak worktop in the kitchen can be a great option for those who like to spend time cooking and preparing various dishes. It is a great surface for cutting, preparing dough or for trimming various cuts of meat. Not only is the surface very functional, but it can look great as well. However, using this type of surface requires some special care. When the below tips are followed, the wood surface can remain attractive for many years down the road.
Oiling kitchen worktops made of wood should be done periodically. Twice a year is all that is required for surfaces that have been in use for a while. Newly installed surfaces will need to be oiled three or four times in the first few weeks after installation to condition the wood and protect it. Linseed, tung and teak oils are the best for extending the life of the wood surface.
It is recommended that the underside and edges also be oiled to prevent bowing of the wood. Not as much care is required with surfaces that will not be seen, but they still need some protection. Any excess oil should be wiped off, and the oil should soak into the wood overnight. It may be an inconvenience to not use the surface for a while, but the longevity and the look will be worth the wait.
To get a smooth, glossy finish, some light sanding with fine paper should be done between oil applications. This accomplishes two things, it smoothes any rough spots that already exist. Oil also raises the grain of the wood, so sanding is necessary to remove the slight roughness or uneven feel on oak worktops.
Keeping the surface dry is another part of caring for the kitchen oak worktop. Promptly removing any standing water or other liquids is necessary for several reasons. The moisture from standing water will aid in rotting or destroying the surface over time. Standing liquids can also cause dark, unsightly stains.
For scratches or nicks, sanding of the surface may be required. It is a good idea to take care of such imperfections right away. Any depressions or areas where food particles can get trapped can lead to the formation of harmful bacteria on the oak kitchen worktop, which may get into food. For deeper scratches, it may be necessary to use wood filler or putty on the oak kitchen worktop. Colors should be matched as closely as possible, and then followed by sanding and oiling the entire surface for a more uniform effect.
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