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Kitchen - oak work surfaces Yay ot nay?

(64 Posts)
WetAugust Thu 29-Aug-13 17:21:29

They look nice but they seem to need maintenance in contrast to other surfaces are just wipe clean.

If I did plump for oak is it a case of the thicker the better? Because the 27mm thinnish ones do look good to me

Some seem to ne oak stave - is there anything I should look out for?

Thank you

doglover Thu 29-Aug-13 17:32:07

You either love 'em or hate 'em! Most people on here seem to fall into the latter camp - I do - simply because of the maintenance issues. You WILL need to look after them in a way that other surfaces don't need. Having said that, they look lovely smile

Probably because I'm a poor, lazy bugger (!) , I've opted for wood laminate which will cope with just a wipe-down!

StillSlightlyCrumpled Thu 29-Aug-13 17:44:25

Love ours. You do need to oil them twice a year but honestly it takes about fifteen minutes & it looks brand new again.

I am careful about putting hot pans etc on surface savers but other than that I'm really pleased with it.

Our kitchen units are blue (think great British bake off) & the oak looks fab.

WetAugust Thu 29-Aug-13 17:48:06

I had to use Danish oil to seal the oak thresholds. The smell was overpowering? Is that what you have to do with the work surfaces twice a year?

I'm sorely tempted.

Would the installer be able to cut the sink hole or should I get the oak work surface supplier to do that?

27mm or 38?


Rooners Thu 29-Aug-13 17:56:43

Actually I find them surprisingly low maintenance.

Don't use Danish oil. It's crap.

Use a hardwax oil. Unica make something, I used that and it sets hard so it's almost a varnished finish - I have only had issues with a couple of small areas that got a bit wet before I used that. Everything else is great.

To answer your q's, get 38, it is much stronger - esp if not supported entirely all along the length with cupboards. Also your installer should cut the sink hole - I cut mine using a very good jig saw but it was hard work.

Also make sure you have some other type of surface (I have a Victorian butcher's block I found on ebay for £30) for cutting stuff.

I have a rule of no cutting, be it sarnies or fruit or anything else on the oak. We have to use the cutting table as it is known. It works fine like that, it's a small kitchen, you may want to rethink if you need a larger area for food prep.

Rooners Thu 29-Aug-13 17:57:58

Btw I installed ours a few years ago now and have not had to sand or reseal apart from a month or two in when I used the hardwax.

Rooners Thu 29-Aug-13 18:00:34

And if I could have anything I'd have a mixture of marble and old wood. Not oak again - not caos it isn't good, but because I like something I can chop stuff on, you know, something really solid and I find marble more attractive.

We're renting so couldn't afford marble, but in my forever house I'll have it smile

TerrysNo2 Thu 29-Aug-13 18:12:39

no no no. but I am a bit of a slattern

WetAugust Thu 29-Aug-13 18:15:42

Thanks Rooners. That's given me a lot to think about.

My kitchen is small. It has beech effect laminate at the mo, which I like. I trained the kids never to chop directly on it so after 23 years blush it only has a few small cuts.

New kitchen will be ivory shaker style and oak wood surfaces look gorgeous on it in the showroom. Alternatives are laminate - which don't look really fake, granite and the cor-thing that are out of my price range. Perhaps treating myself once in 23 years is not too much of a deal grin

Have noticed a big difference between getting them from kitchen supplier and ordering them on-line. Huge difference in cost.

Tizwozliz Thu 29-Aug-13 18:19:44

I've found them fairly low maintenance if you do all the prep right at the start.

Our worktops came from worktop express which worked out almost as cheap as laminate. We got a couple of samples before we picked one, you pay for the samples but get that cost back when you order.

Our kitchen is off white shaker style with oak worktops, see photos below

Kitchen renovation

myron Thu 29-Aug-13 18:34:45

Nooooo! Actually, that covers anything porous which includes marble/granite for me. Think black bits around the sink area from water splashes plus oil/water penetration.

Tizwozliz Thu 29-Aug-13 18:41:44

We have no black bits round the sink

WetAugust Thu 29-Aug-13 18:47:25


Thanks for sharing your photos. Wow! Your kitchen looks good. It's actually identical even down to the handles to the one that I'm planning. Only difference is that I'm going to have a grey floor. It seems to be a pretty classic design that should not age.

Oh dear - people seem very polarised about this oak work top thing.

georgedawes Thu 29-Aug-13 18:48:36

I've just ordered a kitchen with an oak worktop. I've been warned to oil it more often than 2x a year, monthly or quarterly, but hopefully it will be OK. We're having it with a belfast sink which is a little impractical but hey we will have a dishwasher. Not entirely sure what I will do for a draining rack though!

Weegiemum Thu 29-Aug-13 18:49:57

I LOVE mine. Sand and oil annually, and they're great!!

Tizwozliz Thu 29-Aug-13 18:55:40

I had to be sold on mine, always liked the look but I was put off by stories of high maintenance. We had beech worktops in a rental house which were awfully marked but I don't think they'd ever been treated properly and oak is much more hard wearing anyway.. OH persuaded me that if we sealed them properly they'd be no problem and it proved to be right. Really glad we didn't go for something else.

lalalonglegs Thu 29-Aug-13 19:24:50

I bought a 4m length for the flat I'm renovating today - it looks fantastic (and it won't be up to me to maintain it as I am selling on). I bought from Top Worktops and found the staff really helpful and the price amazing (£150).

WetAugust Thu 29-Aug-13 20:34:13

You can get grooves etched into the oak work top if you have a Belfast sink - I noticed that earlier when I was looking.

DS say 'Absolutely not!'. I said 'They're not negotiable - I shall have what I want' grin

My holiday cottage this year had a Belfast sink. It was dreadful! There wasn't enough dirty dishes each day to warrant putting on the dishwasher so we washed the few by hand. 10 minutes stoopping over the belfast sink and I had backache. There was also a huge splashback each time the tap water hit the bottom of the sink - and I was putting the water on gently. I'm wondering if they had it set too low?

I saw their offer lala. They're cheaper than the mainates I've been quoted for.

WetAugust Thu 29-Aug-13 20:34:33

duh! laminates!

lalalonglegs Thu 29-Aug-13 21:56:01

Yes, that's what I thought. I was planning on buying a laminate but found it really difficult to find someone that stocked anything longer than 3 metres and, those that did, had a 4-5 day delivery period. So I just drove over to them this morning and they were great.

georgedawes Thu 29-Aug-13 22:29:26

Yes I've seen you can have grooves cut in for drainage, but it's decorative really. If you use it like that I think you'll knacker the wood. To be honest, we won't really use the sink, all that goes in that is some le crueset pans, everything else is in the dishwasher. I'm tempted to sell them.

Capitola Thu 29-Aug-13 22:35:54

We have solid oak, it's a year old. It had a clear plastic coating painted onto it and so we don't need to worry about water left on it etc.

It still looks as good as new and we love it.

alreadytaken Thu 29-Aug-13 22:38:46

38mm but ours are some other sort of wood that is tougher. They may need a little care but they look like new afterwards and our non wood worktops didnt last.

WetAugust Thu 29-Aug-13 22:53:37

Just watched a youtube video showing how they epoxy resin wood to give it that plastic coating. Labour intensive!

AlwaysOneMissing Thu 29-Aug-13 23:01:19

We have been debating this too as we are having an ivory shaker style kitchen.

We are starting to chicken out of wooden work tops since we stained our current laminate one with red wine. We might go for granite instead.

myron does granite really suffer from water damage? I thought it was pretty indestructible.

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