Solid wood worktops are a great idea, no matter your kitchen style, but it is essential to protect them from the risk of water damage. Generally speaking, solid wood worktops are supplied in their unfinished state. No matter what species of wood you’ve selected, it’s really important that you invest the time necessary to protect your worktop from possible damage through day-to-day use, and particularly through water damage.
Wood is a completely natural product and as such changes with the atmosphere in which it finds itself. Kitchens are particularly challenging places for wood and it’s for this reason that all wooden worktops need to be well prepared and maintained in order to stay looking their best.
The first, basic level of protection you can afford your worktops is to keep a regular eye out for leaks or spills. Leaky plumbing can cause havoc with wooden worktops and is best dealt with as a matter of urgency. Thereafter, high moisture content of a general nature can cause long-term problems which appear gradually over time. If you’re aware of any damp or potentially damp areas in your kitchen, it’s important to make sure you keep a close eye on your worktop and make sure it’s well treated to withstand the moisture it encounters.
Before you fit your worktop you should oil the wood to prevent general warping and bowing, but also to protect against possible water damage. Oiling your worktop well will give it a great water-resistant finish and will help the wood stay in good condition longer.
Here are our Top Tips for oiling your worktop to prevent water damage and keep it looking great:
1. Choose a good quality oil such as Danish Oil, which is a blend of tung and polymerised linseed oil (plus a few added extras to help keep your wood looking good).
2. Oil every surface of your worktop (including all the edges and the underside). Two generous coats of oil should be sufficient on the underside and the non-exposed edges, but on the exposed surfaces, ideally you should aim to add at least three to five light coats of oil to ensure water resistance.
3. To oil the surfaces of your worktop, use a soft, clean, dry cloth and work in the direction of the grain. Simply pour your oil directly on to the worktop and smooth it towards the edges along the grain. Leave the oil to penetrate for a few minutes before re-working each application to make sure the coating is evenly distributed.
IMPORTANT: Although oiling is a great way to protect your worktop from water damage, it’s really important to check regularly for leaks or excessive moisture and to mop up spills as soon as practically possible.