How to choose worktops for solid oak kitchens

Choosing which surfaces would best suit your kitchen can be tricky – but this is one of the most important considerations for any new design. Fortunately, there are many fantastic options for solid oak kitchens: from laminate to granite and, of course, solid wood.

Each material has its own benefits. Here are some key considerations for the three most popular worktop materials:

Laminate worktops


How to choose worktops for solid oak kitchens

Courtesy of House to Home

Positives:

  • Easy to maintain
  • Easy to fit – can be installed on a DIY basis rather than by a professional.
  • Fairly durable – stains and chemicals are easy to wipe off, though take care not to place anything heated on the surface.

Negatives:

  • Can mimic other worktop materials such as granite or even wood, but cannot replicate the natural quality of these materials.
  • Arguably less pleasing in terms of aesthetic/style than other worktop options.

Solid wood worktops

Positives:

  • Easy to maintain. A regular programme of oiling is required but once sufficient protection has been achieved, little is required to keep wood worktops looking their best.
  • Easy to repair. It’s best not to leave anything hot, wet, or dirty on the surface as this can cause marks to appear; however, scratches and stains can be easily repaired by sanding the worktop and re-oiling.
  • Naturally hygienic. Hardwoods possess antibacterial properties and some are rich in oil, which means that they are naturally water-resistant.
  • Unique, versatile aesthetic. No two timbers are exactly alike so the finish is guaranteed to be unique from kitchen-to-kitchen; moreover, there are a wide selection of timbers on the market, so there is a stylish choice for any design scheme.
  • Easy to fit. Can be installed on a DIY basis.

Negatives

  • Not suitable for direct cutting and more prone to scratches (though these tend to be easy to repair) than a harder material like granite.
  • A natural product so correct maintenance and installation procedures must be followed to allow the wood to move (a natural occurrence due to changes in environmental climate) and prevent warping.

Granite worktops

Positives:

  • Extremely durable. Granite is water-tight and almost completely resistant to staining – though wine and citric acids must be mopped up immediately if spilt. It can also withstand high temperatures.
  • Easy to maintain. Requires an initial sealing but then nothing for about ten years – simply clean with a damp cloth and detergent and granite worktops will remain in fine condition.
  • Luxurious, versatile aesthetic. A popular material that will never go out of style, and suits both modern and more traditional kitchens. A variety of colours and finishes are available.

Negatives:

  • Specialist fitting required. Granite can be cut into a number of bespoke shapes but this must be done by a specialist; an experienced fitter is also required. The process can be lengthy and costly.

Ultimately, the worktop that you choose should reflect your own needs and style. If you have a young family, for example, heavier materials like granite may not be ideal – bumping into overhanging edges would be painful. However, if you are a keen cook, a highly-resistant material like granite may be ideal. Wood worktops, by contrast, offer a fantastic ‘middle-ground’ for those looking for an attractive worktop that is easy to customise (edges can be smoothened for high traffic areas, for example) and is fairly durable, whilst providing a unique and attractive aesthetic.

If you would like to discuss surfaces or any other aspect of your kitchen, our team of designers are happy to offer expert advice; simply pop into our Cheltenham showroom or contact us to chat about your kitchen project.

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