We're busy planning our new kitchen - there's sooooo much to do!!
Granite looks fab, but the cost is of concern (waiting for quotes to come in) normal worktops just don't seem to do it for me, esp as we're after a light coloured worktop, and we have ruled out wood due to the faff of oiling....I have 3 kids under 5 so seriously can't be doing with that.
It's dawned on me that we have a solid wood table from Ikea that we varnished with Dulux Diamond tough varnish 5 years ago. Its been battered by 3 kids, used 3 times a day for meals, playing lego, craft stuff etc - and is as perfect as the day it was done.
So can i use this on a lovely wooden kitchen work surface? If not why not? And why does everyone use oil?
Varnish is much more susceptible to damage from heat and scratches from kitchen knives etc.
If you properly oil a work surface when you first install it, you will only need to redo it 2-3 times a year (I do mine about every 4 months).
The trick is to really saturate the wood with oil. I have had two wooden work tops and each time started them off by over about 4 days soaking them with about 500ml of ordinary vegetable cooking oil per sq metre. It really does make the surface water resistant: even around the sink it just sits on the surface.
Water can get under varnish, the slightest bit of damage to the varnished surface and it's vulnerable, leaving water bloom (whitish areas). Heat will also mark varnished surfaces (like tables) - do you not use coasters/table mats on it? I bet you don't put pots from the oven on it, anyway.
Oil actively repels the water, so thoroughly oil-saturated wood will not allow water to enter.
I have used an acrylic sealer on mine which came ready oiled with danish oil.My Iroko is brilliant ,shrugs off all dirt and doesn't stain even with food on on it all night [also have 4 dc's].I have oak in the utility which is terrible.Forever going black and staining -even with water.The trick is to treat the wood right away before any use [i didn't with the oak].The sealer i used is Liberon Worktop Sealer but there are others that work equally well.I find granite looks very hard [and expensive],so i have a combination of wood and slate.Wood is not impossible for large families [also have a friend with walnut worktops and several dc's].
Just to add I inherited granite in my kitchen, and although I don't particularly like the look of it, it is fantastic for not marking, put hot pans on, etc and still ( at least 10 years on, probably more) looks like new.
talkingnonsense, is your granite high gloss dark stuff? Just asking cos a friend of mine got high gloss dark green granite for her kitchen, looked fantastic but she hated it so much she had to change it after a couple of years because it needed wiping all the time - every little drop of water or mark showed up and it drove her mad.
My mum's work tops are the backs of church pews . They are varnished wood and seem to work well. She has a glass workstop saver thingy next to the sink where most of the messy stuff goes on, always chops on a board (doesn't everyone) and puts hot things on a trivet (ditto)
The only other thing I would say about having stone/granite/marble surfaces is that they're very unforgiving if you drop something. I moved into a house once that had quarry-tiled work benches (weird!) and that caused me problems! A bottle of milk slipped from my hand, about 5" above the surface, and smashed. Wouldn't have happened on anything but a stone/tiled surface. Wood would have just absorbed the impact, I'm sure.
If you are getting a new kitchen then look up a French polisher/sprayer and get it sprayed with pu or acrylic matt lacquer. It will last The lifetime of your kitchen and you'll be able to put hot stuff on it without marks.