Are wooden kitchen worktops really a high maintenance choice for kitchens?

(70 Posts)
reastie Fri 04-Jan-13 13:04:48

Would appreciate any input from anyone who has wooden work surfaces or has experience of them. They look so lovely, but we're put off by the potential staining/looking mucky after a few years. Any advice to keep it in good condition or whether to steer clear entirely?

mothersmilkandherchickenseggs Fri 04-Jan-13 13:32:19

hi there, my dh makes bespoke solid wood kitchens i have one in oak with oak tops. It does depend entirely on the finish if you go for. For example if you go for oil (which is most widley used) there is a lot of up keep and you do have to be very clean they will stain and it does tend to go orange with age imo. however we tend to use a matt or silk extra hard floor laquear for most of our kitchens its great repels everything even red wine and curry and up keep is low iv had mine in for three years only now am i thinking perhaps the tops could do with a very light sand and another coat but i have a busy kitchen and am quite obsessive cumpulsive when it comes to wiping down surfaces so they have proably worn quicker. hope that helps

trixymalixy Fri 04-Jan-13 13:35:00

I wouldn't have them again. Far too much hassle.

Boomeringue Fri 04-Jan-13 13:55:00

They are hard work to keep looking good. DH managed to burn ours with a pan taken from the hob. We'll bear with them,but never again!

reastie Fri 04-Jan-13 14:14:36

mother that sounds like good advice to keep in mind. Thank you.

So it seems the juries still out in general though hmm . I wonder if some of it also depends on what type of wood you have.

Mynewmoniker Fri 04-Jan-13 14:17:32

or how much time you have to devote on upkeep. hmm

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 04-Jan-13 14:25:31

Hated ours.

Never again, not if they came free.

PigletJohn Fri 04-Jan-13 14:26:55

wooden worktops are absolutely fine in a showroom.

hattymattie Fri 04-Jan-13 14:30:31

I agree with piglet. Great to look at but on a practical level not so great - mine have gone black around the sink where water has infiltrated. To be honest I wouldn't have them againsad

NotAnotherPackedLunch Fri 04-Jan-13 14:47:03

I love ours.

They still look good after 8 years hard wear. They are occasionally oiled and we do take care to dry up around the sink and taps. So far no blackening of the wood.

As well as looking good, I think they sound much quieter when you cook compared to granite. Much calmer sounding.

50BalesOfHay Fri 04-Jan-13 14:51:22

Love my oak worktops, you just have to be disciplined about drying them and using mats etc. They're fine if everyone's tidy with pots and careful with water, but if you go for them be careful about letting guests wash up; I always check discreetly for water if anyone who's not used to them washes up

JanuaryJunes Fri 04-Jan-13 14:54:40

Never again.
Bolognese sauce, water, wet cups are all mark making. You need to be constantly sanding them.
Got laminate now. Love love love my new work tops.

reastie Fri 04-Jan-13 16:59:22

Well, we are relatively careful, but I also cook alot, and I don't want to spend my life worrying about staining/ruining the work surface when cooking hmm . Maybe wood is not such a good option, even though it does look so lovely in the showroom . Wood effect laminate just doesn't do the job as nicely visually though. Will have to think.

mirpuppet Fri 04-Jan-13 17:19:25

ditto --

I wouldn't have them again. Far too much hassle.

never again

mummyflood Fri 04-Jan-13 18:00:48

wouldn't go for them again personally. Looked gorgeous when first put in, but quite shabby now 5yrs down the line. Have recently sanded and re-varnished, but they still look quite battered. Echo all the comments re;water damage round sink. Pretty much impossible to remove.

LeonieDeSainteVire Fri 04-Jan-13 18:09:39

I thought I hated ours then I read a recommendation to use hard wax oil on them instead of finishing oil and what a transformation. It's much harder wearing and looks good. I now think I would have them again but they do require a lot of care, wiping up water round the sink, no hot pans or metal so it depends how careful you are.

So if you go for it treat them with something much more robust than oil!

applecrumple Fri 04-Jan-13 18:17:03

Our kitchen is 3 years old & has wooden work tops. They still look brilliant. You can buy mineral oil for them from ikea & just rub it into the wood once every 3 months. No watermarks round sink at all. We even had a cat who peed shock on the work tops & didn't even mark them

PigletJohn Fri 04-Jan-13 18:19:23

If you really want it, look for a "sit-on" sink like an Astracast Bistro which goes right back to the wall and is not set into the worktop, so taps will not easily get water on the wood.

kaumana Fri 04-Jan-13 18:20:24

Have a look at the top range of laminates. Expensive, almost as much as the real thing!

reastie Fri 04-Jan-13 18:33:18

Piglet you are a wealth on knowledge on everything! I've found some white ceramic (my sink of choice) sit on sinks which could work.

We went to Howdens and they have a new worksurface material - more expensive than laminate but cheaper than granite. It was solid whatever it was made of and apparently it can all be cut and shaped on site so it alot cheaper to install. Can also have grooves cut in for draining board and have a belfast sink with it. Apparently it's very new though so I'm not sure how durable it is, or even what it's called. It looked a bit like granite (well, it didn't look like granite but it looked like it was trying to give that sort of effect). This might work better.

Leoni we always use chopping boards for everything and never put hot pans etc on our worksurface now anyway, so things like that should be easy.

Hard wax oil seems to be the only way to go if I get wood then. Tbh I'm not sure I like the idea of doing that 4 times a year and then also having to sand them down and re prepare it periodically <lazy bones>

PigletJohn Fri 04-Jan-13 18:39:31

yes, I've recently seen worktops that look like reconstituted stone, and are moulded. If you look underneath you can see that the topping material is not as thick as the edge suggests, and has chipboard backing.

I don't know if they're made of crushed stone and cement, or crushed stone and plastic. They were very smooth but low-gloss.

reastie Fri 04-Jan-13 18:44:28

I don't know if that's what it is piglet . We saw what you mention in homebase when we went a couple of months ago but this stuff in howdens is different - she said it was solid. I'm not sure it's made of actual stone at all. You could tell to feel it it wasn't stone but it also didn't feel like laminate.

squaredog Fri 04-Jan-13 19:03:16

I've had wooden worktops, and call me silly, but I was expecting them to look kind of rustic....

All they look is shiny.

Anyone know how I can get a shabby chic look to them, you know dull wood and gradualy picking up marks over the years in a natural way......

niminypiminy Fri 04-Jan-13 19:12:50

I have Iroko wood worktops and they are both extremely beautiful and surprisingly practical. We cook a lot and our kitchen sees a lot of heavy use, but we are reasonably careful about putting hot things on the worktop and wiping up round the sink (no dishwasher so we also do a lot of washing up). They don't stain and we have very few marks of any kind, in fact they are much easier to clean and keep clean than the laminate we had before - eg bread dough from after kneading on the worktop comes off with water whereas before I used to have to use cream cleaner.

We use Danish oil. When it was installed we oiled it every night for about 10 days, then after that once a week for a couple of months, now every few months. It's not really a huge hassle, and even now 3 years later, I still think it is really beautiful every time I go into the kitchen.

It was bloody expensive - though I think worth every penny. I would certainly have it again.

judefawley Fri 04-Jan-13 19:16:46

We have got solid oak.

I have said this on here before, they have been painted with a hard plastic coating. This means they are a bit shiny but we can leave water on them with impunity.

They were only fitted in August so it's still early days, but so far, they look gorgeous and unflawed.

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