When your kitchen has reached that stage where it is either looking dated, a little worse for wear or even just somewhat tired a great way to rejuvenate its look is to install some quality solid wood worktops. This may sound like a drastic option but when you compare this to the price and stress of ripping out the entire kitchen it is often the best option. By replacing your current worktops with solid wood examples you not only give your kitchen a new lease of life but you are giving it a major facelift, creating a contemporary, stylish kitchen that you will be able to show off to friends and family.
Solid wood worktops come in all manner of materials of varying quality, look and expense. All bring a sense of homeliness to your kitchen without having to compromise on design and contemporary chic. In fact, solid wood worktops are becoming an increasingly predominant design feature when designers are laying out new kitchens. Their durability combined with a sense of old worldliness not only makes them a practical choice, but also an aesthetic one. But what options do you have if you are planning to install solid wood worktops in your kitchen?
The most common forms of solid wood used in worktops are oak, walnut and beech; however, increasingly exotic woods such as iroko and cherry are being used for a darker, more refined look. Your choice of wood is of course entirely up to you but it is worth considering how durable you want your worktops to be, whether they are going to be placed around the sink and naturally the overall look of your kitchen. By taking this approach you should be able to find a type of wood that suits your kitchen and your design needs.
For a classic look the best type of solid wood to go for is oak. This timeless timber has been known for its strength and durability for centuries and will undoubtedly look great in your kitchen. Its traditional look, with well defined grain emanates an elegance that is difficult to achieve using any other material. The superbly rich colour and markings can easily make a kitchen and thanks to its slow aging process, oak worktops will only enhance your kitchen with time.
If you want a decorative wood however it is advisable to utilise walnut as its immensely strong grain can be considered a design feature in its own right. The patterns walnut creates along with the unbelievable sense of warmth it brings make walnut worktops a great asset in any kitchen. Beech on the other hand has a softer grain that is both subtle and elegant, solid wood worktops made from this material not only enhance a kitchen but as it does this with a subtlety not found in many kitchen materials, they are sure to be a talking point.
Of the newer, more contemporary solid woods being used in kitchen design cherry is one of the most attractive. The sheer sense of drama created by cherry worktops through their rich colour makes this material one of the most aesthetically pleasing used today. As with oak, cherry will darken and only become better with age, making worktops made from cherry a fantastic investment.
Remember that solid wood worktops are however an investment. Once they are fitted they will have to be stained on a regular basis to keep them healthy. Those who are somewhat workshy may prefer to opt for a laminate option that will not require as much work. But for those who have the energy to care for their kitchen worktops, solid wood is the only choice for a kitchen that exudes elegance, style and class.
Interior design expert Thomas Pretty looks into which materials are now being used to construct solid wood worktops in contemporary kitchens.