Solid wood worktops: An objective review for kitchen use.

Whether you are creating a traditional cottage style kitchen or the latest minimalist designer look, nothing beats the warm look and feel of a solid wood worktop.

With a solid wood worktop your kitchen will be unique, because no two pieces of wood are the same. It will be solid, tough, warm to the touch and durable.

There are more than 25 different species of timber used for kitchen worktops, these are first air dried then kiln dried to 8-10% moisture content before being manufactured into worktops.

Solid wood worktops are made from finger jointed staves of hardwood which are glued together with a super strong construction adhesive. The staves are approx 40mm wide, and the width of the worktop is simply determined by the number of staves that are used. 

Infographic of a wooden worktop made of finger staves
Image 1 : An example of finger staves

 

You can also choose to have continuous stave worktops with no finger joints. This is a slightly more expensive option however it certainly looks great. It gives the illusion of a single solid piece of wood.

Infographic of continuous staves used to make a wooden worktop
Image 2: An example of continuous staves

 

Solid wood worktops are usually supplied at either 664mm or 913mm wide but can be ordered in other sizes to suit your project. 

Solid wood worktops must be treated with oil to protect them against the ingress of moisture, but this need not be a chore. Modern wood treatments such as TopOil and PolyXoil by Osmo or HaBiol will enhance the appearance of your worktop whilst ensuring long lasting protection.

Pro’s of using solid wood for worktops.

  • Naturally hygienic – this article from Mitchells Worktops demonstrates in laboratory tests that real wood is a hygienic material in contact with food. Oak came out on top. 
  • Versatile – real wood can be cut (and joined) to form any shape.
  • Sinks options – can be undermounted or inset. See our article on sinks for more on this.
  • Variety – 25+ Timber species available. Find something unique for your kitchen.
  • Value for money – with a wide choice of lengths, thickness and widths available fewer off-cuts will be needed.
  • Bespoke solutions – give a carpenter a length of hard wood with a brief for something personal (like a special carving or inlay) and they will be in heaven.

Very often wood is being combined with other worktops in kitchens. An example of this is perhaps having granite, quartz or Mistral around the kitchen and using wood on the island. Or using wood for the breakfast bar side of the island blending into the main worktop material.

Our guide to kitchen worktops is a great place to see the options available and find which materials complement or contrast with the solid wood worktops for your chosen colour scheme.

7 Most popular choices of solid wood worktops

Image of European oak worktop

A strong and durable timber with plenty of warmth and character. Oak has a timeless appeal and correctly treated will last indefinitely.

European Oak is a light golden colour with a strong grain pattern and can be used to complement both traditional and modern kitchens.

Image of European Walnut worktop

A contemporary favourite, European Walnut is rich and dark yet has lighter sapwood staves that add character to the worktop.

Popular in combination with Mocha or Latte gloss slab doors.

Image of Iroko worktop

Similar to Teak in appearance this timber comes in with a yellowish tint but soon darkens to a rich brown. It is a very hard wood and naturally oily making it ideal for use as a kitchen worksurface.

Image of light steamed beech worktop

A light tan coloured wood popularly used in the manufacture of furniture. The steaming process brings out the natural colour and enhances the grain.

Image of Plantation Teak worksurface

A unique colour, strong and varied grain pattern and proven durability combine to make teak an ideal choice for those who want to be different but not daring. Teak is a naturally oily wood and works well in large kitchens where its beauty can be fully appreciated.

Image of Zebrano worktop

As its name implies Zebrano is an exotic stripy wood that will create a wow factor in any kitchen. Zebrano is a designers ideal medium and can be used to great effect in contemporary kitchens contrasting with white gloss, or add an African flavour when combined with darker tones.

Image of black oak worktop

The heritage and character of Oak with a rich chocolatey colour, Black Oak isn’t just stained on the surface, the black goes right the way through the board thanks to a special process.

Combine Black Oak with an Ivory painted door and you’ll create a stunning look that will stand the test of time.

Alternative solid wood worktops

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