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Kitchen work surfaces - wood?

(43 Posts)
Tableclothing Thu 28-May-20 16:59:41

When The Awfulness is past we're going to have our kitchen re-done.

We are considering getting wooden work surfaces. Does anyone have any experiences they'd share? I've seen some really beautiful examples, but how much work are they to look after? How easy are they to ruin with one misplaced pan? Are they ever sustainably/ethically produced? How do they match up to the alternatives?

This is the first time we've had a new kitchen, so need all the help we can get. Thanks in advance!

OP’s posts: |
Zaphodsotherhead Thu 28-May-20 20:13:39

I have wood laminate worktops in my new house. They are that kind of pale beech and they look gorgeous, but they show Every. Single. Crumb. I know they aren't solid wood, but I guess the effect would be the same.

Tableclothing Thu 28-May-20 20:29:39

Thank you Zaphod, good to know. We do tend to take a "good enough" approach to housework...

OP’s posts: |
megrichardson Thu 28-May-20 20:31:56

I used to have wood worktops in my old flat. They do need some sanding and oiling periodically. Also, I didn't varnish mine (not sure if you're supposed to?) and over time, the area around the sink and taps became dark with water stains. On balance, I wouldn't get them again because of the water staining.

Comefromaway Thu 28-May-20 20:35:01

I had oak worktops in my old house. They looked beautiful at first but the regular sanding and oiling fell by the wayside and they soon started to go a mess, especially around the sink.

In my new house I'm either having laminate or quartz.

WitchWindows Thu 28-May-20 20:37:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hepzibar Thu 28-May-20 20:40:22

We have wooden work tops, they've been in 3 years and still look like new.
DH has sanded and re-oiled twice and they are due again.

They do need looking after. Any water needs to be wiped up immediately, we don't put hot pans etc. On them.

We are careful.

They look lovely but with hindsight - I wouldn't have them in again.

Elsiebear90 Thu 28-May-20 20:42:38

We had solid wood worktops in our last house, I hated them, they stain, never feel clean, you can’t bleach them, every time you wipe them your cloth is filthy.

Flamingolingo Thu 28-May-20 20:44:36

The main attraction with wood is that it’s considerably cheaper than stone but still looks lovely. But it does require work. The sink area is the most obvious and I once lived in a house that had granite sink and wood elsewhere which kind of worked, but the high templating cost of stone means that it might not work out any cheaper anyway. I did consider wood for this kitchen (especially as our worktops were delayed by lockdown) but in the end we chose an off-white Quartz. I’d consider a nice solid surface, but for our particular kitchen that actually worked out more expensive than quartz. If you can I’d steer clear from the older style laminate.

EnglishRain Thu 28-May-20 20:50:10

I've got solid wood. Sanded and oiled them once in three years and they still look great. I used osmo oil as you can patch sand and repair if you do accidentally cause some damage. I don't understand the MN dislike of them.

Tableclothing Thu 28-May-20 21:24:58

They do need looking after. Any water needs to be wiped up immediately, we don't put hot pans etc. On them.

I think this is everything I need to know! We're not pigs but I don't think we'd have the dedication time to properly maintain them. Will look fit something more hard wearing. If anyone particularly loves theirs and would like to show it off I'd love to see it!

OP’s posts: |
RestorationInsanity Fri 29-May-20 06:18:01

We're about to have microcement wortops put in. As durable as stone but repairable and much cheaper!

ParsnipToast Fri 29-May-20 10:41:36

We have wood on our island, where water contact is just from spills and it’s fine. I wouldn’t have them round sinks though. I slightly regret getting granite on the sink surface as it’s pale and I am constantly worried about staining. I stare at it sometimes trying to work out if something is natural variation in the speckles or a dreaded stain. I should have got sodding laminate.

Bluesheep8 Fri 29-May-20 14:13:02

I've got wood effect laminate and love it. Real would be too high maintenance for me.

horseymum Fri 29-May-20 14:35:30

We have wood laminate from IKEA and I love it. You do have to wipe up round the sink but not a big issue.

Helpusout Fri 29-May-20 14:40:54

Ball ache. Had mine a year have staines heavily around the sink area and cracked in places. I've oiled a few times but not sanded. As a wood worker I was like yup I want wooden countertops but if you got two young children it's just another thing to add to your list like cleaning the oven. Now we're moving I'm going quartz this time.

Helpusout Fri 29-May-20 14:45:05

And the tannin if you have oak and any little puddle forms anywhere it creates brown liquid so if you have a partner who loves to leave his dishing washing upside down on the side it just draws it out and you have to wash everything again. Another vote for it just never feeling clean. You wouldn't want to roll dough out on it too if you love baking.

rosie1959 Fri 29-May-20 14:48:06

Would not bother they are a pain in the arse

Tableclothing Fri 29-May-20 15:24:35

I really appreciate all these replies! You're making not-getting-wood a really easy decision!

But what would you have instead? If you love your worktops, what are they made from?

OP’s posts: |
Flamingolingo Fri 29-May-20 15:31:06

That depends on your budget - we currently have quartz, which I really rate, especially in a light colour, and I think it’s easier to care for than the granite we had before. But not everyone wants to spend £££ on stone. There are some very nice solid surface materials out there now, like Maia or Minerva. These are a thermoplastic so have issues with hot pans (but then so does quartz actually and I would never put a hot pan directly on granite either because I know people who have cracked theirs doing this), and I think are prone to scratches but can be buffed out. I really like Minerva, it was just more expensive than quartz here (combination of amount of worktop and particular style I chose)

Wearywithteens Fri 29-May-20 15:32:02

We have solid oak tops and none of the problems described here and we have a busy family of 5. The secret, as @EnglishRain said, is Osmo oil. It makes your wood waterproof and virtually bomb proof.

I spilt a whole bottle of oven pride on the top last year - it spread unnoticed for about an hour and turned the top black. I really thought that was Thousand of pounds worth of oak top ruined. My husband sanded it and put Osmo on the raw wood it’s now good as new again.

MrBennsshop Fri 29-May-20 15:34:17

If you use the right products on wooden worktops, a cloth shouldn't be getting dirty and water doesn't need to be wiped up immediately. Osmo oil (we used 2 products) will seal it completely. If you get water on it, it turns into tiny droplets. Have had all the same problems as everyone else above when using any other brand of surface protection, but we genuinely haven't done a thing to this worktop since we had it put in 2+ years ago and it looks brand new. Got the osmo tip from MN so thank you for that whoever it was!

mmmmmchocolate Fri 29-May-20 15:40:35

I loved them at my old house, you are supposed to oil them periodically —I didn’t— because they would take 2 days to dry and I couldn’t use the kitchen. I’d probably oil them once a year.. they look beautiful and yes I was careful with them but I’m careful with the laminate coated wood ones I have at my new house and these don’t look anywhere near as nice!

greytminds Fri 29-May-20 15:47:12

We have wood and the surfaces are now 8 years old and have had heavy use. We re-oil every three months or so, it’s really only a 10 minute job and then leaving it to dry overnight. I love the surfaces.
The main issue we have found is metal contact on the surface - tin cans etc have the potential to stain. We managed for 7.5 years not to mark them then BIL left an old baking tray on the side for a few days when he was house sitting and it left some black marks that we can’t seem to sand off (although haven’t tried the electric sander which will probably get rid).
I’d have wood again, I love the appearance. Don’t feel like they are always dirty, ours seem to clean up really well.

CountFosco Fri 29-May-20 21:35:26

This is very interesting. We moved into our house a couple of years ago and the surfaces in the kitchen are half wood and half laminate (Wren kitchen). The wood is round the oven, the laminate round the sink. I adore the wood,we've done nothing to it since we moved in and despite being a foody family of 5 (including a 10yo who has an omelette for breakfast every day and can't clean up after herself) it looks gorgeous. The laminate is suffering around the sink. I'd have wood again but probably have a composite like corian for the sink.

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