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A complete buyers’ guide to wooden worktops

Wooden worktops shown in the kitchen of @at_home_at_170

A complete buyers’ guide to wooden worktops

Wooden worktops are celebrated for their natural warmth. What’s more, they age beautifully over time. Find out how to look after your wooden worktops and what to avoid with our expert guide.

Which wood is best?

Hardwood (think oak, maple, walnut, teak and iroko) is more suitable for worktops than soft woods simply because it’s more durable. Choose a wood from an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) accredited source if you can.

How to look after wooden worktops

Wooden worktops need to be sealed when they are first installed to ensure the wood’s protected against moisture and stains. They then need to be resealed approximately every six months – ask your supplier for guidance on how to do this. For day-to-day maintenance, simply clean your wooden surface with warm water and washing-up liquid (avoid using any abrasive cleaning products). Always use a soft cloth, never a wire scouring pad.

What not to do with wooden worktops

Never put a hot pan directly onto a wooden worktop as it could scorch the surface. Instead, use a trivet or install hot rods (built-in metal surface protectors) into your worktop to protect it from hot pans and dishes. Avoid chopping directly on your wooden worktop too. Use a chopping board or butcher’s block instead. And wipe up spills immediately to avoid staining. If wood gets very damp, it can swell, which can be a problem around the sink. For this reason, I’d recommend using a different material here. If you’re determined to have wood throughout, consider teak or iroko, as both have a high oil content so are more water resistant.

How to refresh a wooden worktop

Did you know that you can give wooden worktops a new lease of life by sanding out any small scratches and stains? The experts at Worktop Express advise sanding the damaged area using 240 grit sandpaper until there are no signs of scratches on the surface, then cleaning the surface with a lint-free cloth to remove dust. Finally, re-oil the wood using Danish oil.

Note that this technique works well for light or small stains. However, if stains are spread over the whole worktop, Worktop Express recommends sanding and oiling the entire area to ensure a uniform appearance.

What about installation?

Some wooden worktops can be cut on-site, unlike stone, engineered-stone or solid-surface worktops that are made in a factory and delivered ready to fit. If you have the skills and tools to fit them yourself, this is a great way to save money.

Featured image: A beautiful example of wooden worktops the kitchen of Amy Avery of @at_home_at_170.

Want more? Dip back into the archive to see our other blogs designed to help you tackle home renovation.