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?

Mynewmoniker Fri 04-Jan-13 19:30:35

Squaredog. Perhaps you could swap your new looking ones with many of the posters on here. Otherwise it seems like wet cups, water, hot pans and juice will give them the lived in look. grin

thirdfromleft Fri 04-Jan-13 19:38:10

Wood and water don't mix. Life is short and has enough worries especially with kids. which is why we replaced our wooden countertops with granite. What a relief - pans, water, you name it... no worries. smile

whataboutbob Fri 04-Jan-13 19:58:02

We have one out of thriftiness because my husband's college was chucking out a lab room worktop. It's Iroko. You should treat it monthly with Danish oil (which I've neglected to do) and not let water sit on it. Otherwise I like it, it looks good and has a nice organic feel. However it doesn't look pristine- it came pre used and I guess it does age, shows knocks and cuts etc. I do wonder though if we do move out and rent our place lout (a vague plan) what kind of a state will it be in after a few months of hard use from tenants.

Another one who wouldn't have wood again. smile

ceres Fri 04-Jan-13 21:10:41

we have oak worktops and they are great. we are far from careful - i put hot saucepans on them all the time, things get spilled etc.

they are coated in osmo polyx hard wax oil which has made a big difference - used to use danish oil but it didn't last well between oilings and turned the oak a horrible orange colour.

i'd have them again, they look good and are very practical imo.

reastie Sat 05-Jan-13 06:31:49

People who wouldn't have it again because it looked mucky quickly - did you oil it regularly? I'm wondering if I just am prepared to oil it all the time it will be fine or if regardless it will look a bit rubbish over time

ceres Sat 05-Jan-13 06:44:22

if you use osmo polyx hard wax oil it won't need re-doing that often. maybe once or twice a year.

the osmo is so easy to use compared to danish oil or linseed oil. you don't need to sand back to re-coat and for areas that need more protection - e.g.around the sink - you can just apply more regularly in that area if you are so inclined.

also much, much nicer finish that danish or linseed oil. it comes in a satin or matte finish.

reastie Sat 05-Jan-13 06:54:52

ceres so you just paint it on the worktop when needed and never sand it down? That doesn't sound too bad.

LeonieDeSainteVire Sat 05-Jan-13 09:35:43

The hardwax oil is really easy to use, I use Fiddes Hard Wax Oil but I understand the osmo one is superior but it was more expensive and as I wasn't sure it would work I went for the cheaper option.

Honestly it has transformed how I feel about wooden work surfaces, I think if I'd had it from the start I wouldn't have any marks at all.

If you do go for wood, and it sounds like you want to, it's good to get and understanding of what will mark too, I have found metal to be bad (possibly not through the hard wax oil, I did it before) tin cans, skewers and a metal tea caddy have all marked my surfaces (they sand off but it's hard work) I hadn't expected that at all.

Can't wait to get rid of mine.
Blackened with mould round the taps and draining area. Wood and water don't mix!

MN216 Sat 05-Jan-13 09:56:29

Hi Ceres that's very interesting about the Osmo stuff. Have just looked at their website and they suggest using Wood protector first on the brand new wood, both sides and alle dges so before it's fitted, then the hard wax oil. Did you do that? Very grateful for advice as we are having a new kitchen fitted next month with oak worktops.

Is there any way of getting rid of the blackened wood? Ours was like that before we moved in- can I sand it off?

lauriedriver Sat 05-Jan-13 10:04:44

I've got oak worktops & I love them. Wouldn't have anything else now.

As long as you don't mind having to do a little sanding every now & then & regular oiling they will look lovely. I find oiling them very theraputic/ rewarding.

Everyone who visits comments on our worktops, set off nicely with slate wall & floor tiles. Very rustic.

LeonieDeSainteVire Sat 05-Jan-13 10:18:53

stairsinthenight there is a chemical you mix to a paste and it bleaches the black stains - but I can't remember what it is. I expect someone else here knows or do an advanced search on 'wooden worksurfaces' and it'll come up on previous threads.

PigletJohn Sat 05-Jan-13 10:44:34

Oxalic acid.

Thank you. Will get into b&q today and try and get some. That Osmo stuff does look great, but £££!

reastie Sat 05-Jan-13 12:44:44

Went to kitchen shop this morning. He said hardwoods like oak and teak are great work surfaces but beech etc do stain and mark easily and are much harder to keep nice. So maybe that's why there's such a divide - it depends on the type of wood. We are looking at a teak work top - it looks lovely and apparently not that much work and is very resilient compared to other woods [hopeful]

hattymattie Sat 05-Jan-13 17:17:59

My crappy ones are beech if it's any help.

Oak is one of the worst woods for going black according to the carpenter we use, so I'm not sure that makes sense to me reastie?

NotAnotherPackedLunch Sat 05-Jan-13 19:45:07

My (still) lovely surfaces are birch. No blackening after 8 years.

so i can put this floor lacquer on top of previously oiled worktops? just sand them down and then paint it on?
I like...mine have been in six months and already stained and black round the sink and I am quite careful with them sad

It's funny how different people have such different experiences. We've had ours over 3 years, they weren't expensive (just Ikea) but they've lasted really well. I'm useless at remembering to oil them and when I do I just put more oil on top, certainly never bother with sanding or wire wool. I am reasonably careful in that I never put hot pans on them, wipe up water spills etc. OTOH my cleaner sloshes water round without wiping it up, she uses bleach in the sink and uses the gets it on the work top (nearly had kittens when I saw that!) but the work top seems to cope with it all fine.

reastie Sun 06-Jan-13 09:37:08

Oh mrs that's a really good point re: bleach - I use bleach all the time for cleaning <slight obsessive> - does this damage the wood then?

It doesn't seem to have damaged mine, but I can't think it would do it any good. I always thought that with wood you should really just use a damp sponge, possibly with a bit of washing-up liquid, but no kitchen sprays, bleach etc.

ItsIcyOutsideIThinkINeedThorin Sun 06-Jan-13 12:50:28

Hate, hate, hate my oak worktop section and would NEVER have it again. Can stand anything metal on it without it going black. The rest of the worktops are good-quality laminate (Duropal) and that is fantastic. Looks as good as new, almost 5 years on.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now