If you have in your mind that a wooden worktop is only suited to a country kitchen look, it’s time to think again. Wooden worktops are equally suited to traditional and modern kitchens and in fact can add a real edge to a highly modern, designer look. But the big question is which wood is the best to choose for your kitchen worktop? Like many things in life, there is no easy answer to this question, but in order to give you a good idea of what might work best for you, we’ll look at three of the most common worktop woods; oak, walnut and iroko.
|Strong & durable?||Very||Yes||Yes|
|Colour||Light to dark||White to black||Medium to golden|
|Grain||Variable||Straight & regular||Irregular|
Oak is arguably one of the most well-known hardwoods and is commonly used in the production of wooden worktops. Oak as a raw material is a really hardwearing option as well as a good-looking one. With it’s natural and appealing grain, oak is also exceptionally strong, making it the ideal choice for kitchen worktops. Add to this, the fact that oak comes in a broad range of natural colours from very light to relatively dark, and you start to see that it’s an option that is highly diverse. An oak wooden worktop solution will work equally well with matching oak cabinets or will create an interesting and appealing look when combined with glossy black cabinets or stainless steel.
Walnut again is a highly appealing wood for worktops and typically hails either from America or Europe. English walnut, as well as black and white walnut are all very popular as well as recognizable and feature a straight, regular grain. Once more a strong and durable option, walnut worktops will stand up to even the busiest kitchen setting. One thing that walnut offers more than the others is the option to create a highly polished look, which can work well in modern kitchens in particular.
Iroko wood is often called African Teak and again is a really hardwearing, durable wood. Perfect for use in worktops, iroko is normally sourced from the east and west coasts of Africa. This wood, like teak, has a fairly irregular grain and a course texture that makes it easy to recognize. Known for being particularly resistant to temperature and moisture fluctuations, Iroko worktop solution will take the pressures of any busy kitchen in its stride.
So, with all this in mind, how do you work out which wood would be the best for your kitchen worktop? Here are the things we’d recommend that you consider:
- Your budget. If you’re on a budget, the likelihood is that oak or iroko wood is likely to work out best for your project. At Wood and Beyond, we have oak wood worktops that start from only £95 ex VAT for a 2m length that’s 38mm thick and just over £96 ex VAT for a 3m length that’s 26mm thick. That said, if you’re after a full stave oak worktop, you’ll need to dig deeper in your pockets. At the other end of the standard worktop (not full stave) spectrum is a walnut option that will typically cost significantly more.
- The colour you want. If you want a seriously dark colour for your worktop, then the likelihood is that you’d be best to plump for walnut, whereas if you want a light colour, iroko or oak will be more likely to fit the bill.
- The grain you like. Depending on the oak option you choose, you might get a regular r an irregular grain, so it’s well worth specifying to your supplier what you’re hoping for. Thereafter with iroko, you’ll get a straight and regular grain and with walnut a varied grain. So, depending on what you prefer, you need to make your selection accordingly.
As we said at the start of this article, there’s no straightforward response to the question “What’s the best wood for kitchen worktops?” but we hope that this article has helped you narrow down what are priorities for you. If you’re considering investing in a wooden worktop and would like to chat through the pros and cons of each wood option, why not get in touch? At Wood and Beyond we’ll happily help you make the right decision for your unique situation.