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Laminate Or Solid Wood Worktops?

Deciding between laminate and solid wood worktops isn’t always as easy as it may seem.  It’s accepted that laminate worktops are (generally speaking) significantly cheaper than solid wood worktops.  That said, with the right looking after, solid wood worktops are likely to last significantly longer than even good quality laminate worktops, so how do you choose between the two?

Solid wood worktops are made, as the name suggests, from solid wood and nothing else.  Typically made from woods such as: oak, iroko, walnut, bamboo or limba, solid wood worktops are attractive, hardwearing and completely natural.  Laminate worktops on the other hand are made from synthetic materials which are made to look like either solid wood, stone or granite.  Laminate worktops, although normally significantly cheaper than solid wood, stone or granite options are less likely to stand the test of time than the “real thing”.

Whether you choose laminate or solid wood worktops will depend on a few key things:

  1. Your budget
  2. Your desire and ability to maintain your worktop
  3. How long you’d like your worktop to last

When you fit a solid wood worktop you need to make sure it is well oiled and treated prior to using it.  If you don’t invest the necessary time preparing your worktop, you will come up against problems in the future.  Generally speaking, solid wood worktops are supplied untreated and need to be oiled on each of their sides (including edges and undersides) prior to fitting.  You need to be careful, when oiling, to pay particular attention to any areas which may be exposed to the risk of water damage, such as areas around taps or near draining boards.

Once installed and treated, solid wood worktops should be re-treated, and rubbed down if necessary, every 6 months or so to keep them in top-notch condition.  This ability to sand, re-treat and re-finish your solid wood worktop will keep it looking great for longer.

When you fit a laminate worktop, there is no need for either initial or ongoing treatment, which makes this a particularly attractive option for people looking for a low maintenance worktop solution.  That said, if you choose laminate worktops they will only look brand new once in their life and that’s when they’re brand new!

So, at the end of the day, the decision about what type of worktop you choose will depend on a host of factors, but one thing you can be sure about is that solid wood worktops will give you a long-lasting and stylish kitchen solution.

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