Once you’ve decided that oak kitchens are for you, there is then the tough decision as to which worktop you should pair with your glorious oak cabinetry. Whether you are going for a traditional theme, or something more contemporary – there is a worktop for you. We have put together this guide to give you some information that will hopefully help when it comes to making a decision.
Solid wood kitchen cabinets work well with a variety of different worktop materials. Granite surfaces are a classic choice and provide a timeless style for any home. Laminate work surfaces provide a versatile and affordable option that can be used in a number of styles and settings. Solid wood worktops provide a warm, welcoming aesthetic and with a little maintenance can look fantastic for years. Wood and laminate options are cheaper than solid stone worktops and can be installed more easily which saves money when it comes to fitting too.
Going traditional or contemplating contemporary? Your worktop can have a huge impact on the overall aesthetic of your kitchen. Solid wood worktops or wood effect laminate worktops are well suited to farmhouse styles, and granite or granite effect worktops are popular in a variety of contemporary settings.
Wood can also be used in contemporary styles – thanks to the wide variety of luxurious timbers available, there are species to match all manner of current kitchen designs. Wenge, zebrano, iroko and walnut are all very popular in up-to-the-minute kitchen schemes, along with the simple charm of oak.
Light colours look exceptional in oak kitchens, particularly pastel shades like those we feature in our selection of Farrow & Ball paints. If you’re sticking with classic worktop timbers like oak or beech, then consider complementing their natural hues with cream, off-white or pale blue cabinetry. If you’re going for a totally modern look, then statement colours like deep crimson and pitch black can look fantastic with granite and timber worktops alike.
Before installing your worktops, you must carefully consider the characteristics of the material you’re using, and how that might affect or complicate the process.
Relatively light and easy to cut, laminate worktops are simple to fit but time needs to be taken to ensure edges are properly finished.
These surfaces are extremely heavy and very hard-wearing – because of this, special considerations need to be taken when installing. Additional supports may need to be added to cabinetry to ensure sufficient support for this incredibly dense material.
Solid Wood Worktops
Wooden worktops can be cut to size and generally do not need any additional support when fitted on top of cabinets. Expert installation is not a requirement, but if you need alterations and are not utilising our fabrication service, it is important to ensure your fitter is a confident and experienced woodworker to get the best out of these surfaces.
Very few kitchens can be fitted with straight worktop sections that do not require any modification. Therefore, simplicity of fabrication is something that requires careful consideration when choosing your kitchen worktop.
When measuring out for your new worktop, be very careful to allow for walls that might not be completely straight or square, objects such as pipe-work and other anomalies on your kitchen wall that might get in the way of a worktop. On a laminated worktop, bespoke cutting is quite straight forward, but re-finishing the worktop can be a pain.
Cutting intricate adjustments in to a granite worktop is not an easy task. Most pre-fabricated granite worktops use expensive water-cutting equipment, angle grinders and laser-saws that require an experienced stone mason to achieve a polished finish.
Making bespoke adjustments to a solid wood worktop however, is far more straightforward as wood can be easily worked with the right equipment. A router is most commonly used to make adjustments to a wooden worktop, and can perform a number of tasks including applying an edge profile, cutting draining grooves, and a variety of other cuts and adjustments.
If you are considering curved cabinets, radius corners can be easily cut in to a worktop to match the curvature of the cabinet, and no matter what size of worktop you need, worktops can be joined together to create huge swathes of beautiful wood. CNC machines are used in high-volume cutting services for increased accuracy, but ultimately wood can be finished by hand quite easily.
We are solid wood specialists and feel that this wonderful natural material offers flexibility, affordability and aesthetic appeal like no other! As such we offer a wide range of solid wood worktops to complement our cabinet collection, featuring timbers such as classic oak and opulent black walnut. If you think wooden worktops are right for your kitchen, our sister site Worktop Express®, can make whatever bespoke adjustments you may require.
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Please note:this guide was originally published on 23rd May 2014 and was most recently updated on 17th May 2018.