Wooden worktops – HOT OR NOT?

So one of the most frequently asked questions that I normally get when consulting with a client is … What is your take on wooden worktops in a kitchen? Ahhhh, they look so beautiful don’t they? ESPECIALLY with our hand painted kitchens! In these instances I ask them a few questions of my own…the most important ones being:

  • Do you want this finish in the entire kitchen or is it just for a specific area?
  • Will you be working with water on these tops?
  • Do you want it for the esthetical purpose or do you want it to be functional?
  • Are you willing to spend more money down the line on maintenance?

While they do look very pretty wooden tops CAN be a PAIN in the long run! To use a wooden top on a specific ‘area’ in the kitchen like a feature cabinet is more desirable. As this is not a station were you have got a lot of traffic – Traffic meaning you don’t use it constantly! Wooden work surfaces will most certainly get damaged with a lot of use. Water is a MAJOR no-no on wooden worktops! No matter what method or which expensive sealing product used, with time, water splashed will cause water damage and peeling. AND … All this resulting in maintenance every 5-8 years. Ohhh and don’t forget, there is quite a process going on here!

The worktop has to be:

  • Removed from the client’s home and brought back to the factory.
  • Redone i.e. stripping all the old product from the top, sanding it down, resealing, sanding (AGAIN) then the application of the final coat
  • Returning it to the clients home and refitted.

That in itself can cause major frustration, not even speaking of the high maintenance costs you will have ASWELL as the inconvenience of having to live without the worktop for a few days! There are A LOT of new stone products on the market with even newer ones emerging almost yearly. The best part? A lot of them looking like they might just have a wooden finish. My recommendation is that if you do have a high traffic, WORKING kitchen I would rather go for the finish that gives me more value for my money than having to worry about what my maintenance bill will be in 5 years time. Well…UNLESS you want to have an old butchers block “wooden worktop effect” – THEN…then I say GO FOR IT!

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