Posts tagged oak worktop
Worktops are made from various materials ranging from granite, quartz, acrylic polymers and more. These materials come with their own set of merits and demerits, and differ in terms of appearance, shades, textures, finishes, density, durability and strength. However, one option that is arguably the most popular one among discerning homeowners is solid wood worktops. And there are more reasons than one why wooden worktops remain the worktops of choice for both modern and conventional/country-styled kitchens today. If you wish to install a new worktop in your kitchen or replace an existing one, here’s what you should know.
Solid wood worktops are today the most widely used alternatives in kitchens. This is attributed to a number of factors. They are made from natural wood – a renewable resource – which makes them eco-friendly. They have a beautiful, natural appearance and look even more appealing with age. They are hard-wearing and extremely durable. If properly and regularly maintained, these worktops will last longer than most other countertops. They are lightweight, and thus, easy to install. Best of all, wooden worktops are the least expensive of all other options.
Today, homeowners have the luxury of an extensive range and variety of choices in solid wood worktops. While the ones considered most practical and suitable for busy kitchens include beech, cherry, oak and teak, you may choose from several others. These include exotic hardwoods such as ash, apple, maple, mahogany and walnut, or those imported from Africa such as iroko, ebiara, wenge, and many more.
Beech worktops are the most versatile alternative. They are soft-grained and have a natural light tone and finish which is a mixture of ash and maple in color and texture. Cherry worktops are the most elegant option around. Their subtle, autumn-like reddish coloration usually darkens beautifully over time.
Oak worktops are exceptionally strong, durable and long-lasting. This is what makes them the most practical and economic choice among all options. An oak worktop also creates an atmosphere of old world charm in kitchens with their timeless appeal.
Like all wooden products, solid hardwood worktops need good maintenance to retain their original appearance, condition and longevity. Remember, all species of natural woods have pores, which often absorb moisture and bacteria into their surfaces. Moisture can damage the wood while food can be contaminated with bacteria contact. Although most wooden worktops are pre-oiled, coated with a transparent laminate or painted, they will still be susceptible to stains, cuts, scratches, cracks and other forms of wear and tear over time. This makes it imperative to wipe, clean and disinfect them soon after use.
Re-sanding, repainting and re-oiling are advisable at least once every six months. Linseed oil or pure lemon oil are ideal for cleaning. To learn more about regular cleaning and maintenance of your solid wood worktop and the products needed for both, consult a qualified kitchen countertop installer.
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.