The wooden countertop is the most traditional of all possible, but at the same time not the most popular. And it's not just about its higher cost (compared to the chipboard), but also in some operational features. And yet, we insist that the worktop made of wood can be an ideal working surface - easy to clean, wear-resistant and durable. The main thing is to choose it correctly and know how to use it, which we will tell about in this material.
On the pros and cons
First, let's find out the arguments for and against the wooden work surface.
- Natural beauty and warmth of the tree. The table top made of wood always looks nobler even the most high-quality imitation and is appropriate as in the modern, and in the traditional interior. In addition, the wooden top will be an ideal choice for those who like to photograph their culinary masterpieces and share these photos with friends.
Below are photo-examples of modern interiors of kitchens with wooden countertops.
But a small selection of photo interiors of classical cuisines.
Classic white kitchen with wooden top
Also the pluses are:
- The ability to change the tone and finish of the tree.
- Service life of 25 years and more if used correctly. It is worth adding that the tree with age becomes only more beautiful.
- Ease of care due to antistatic properties and texture, on which dust, dirt, stains, etc. are not very noticeable. However, ease of care largely depends on the quality of the surface treatment.
- Possibility of local repair and full renovation. If necessary, scratches, potholes and stains can be sanded, and then covered with oil / varnish.
- The opportunity to easily create a working surface of irregular shape (for example, for a headset in which narrowed thumbs are built in), which can not be said about natural stone and chipboard.
- The cost of a wooden countertop is lower than an artificial stone or a natural stone (2-3 times) and can often cost the same as a chipboard.
- The ability to perform any milling cutter edge countertop.
- The tree can swell from the water, bend and crack from sudden changes in temperature and humidity.
- Luzhitsy water, fat, color juices from products, aggressive cleaners, alcohol and acids from the wooden surface should be wiped no later than 2 hours, but better as soon as possible.
- The kitchen top made of wood needs to be treated with oil or varnish, which requires additional expenditure of time, effort and money. However, this is really not so difficult.
- If the tree is not treated in a timely or poor quality, the surface will quickly cover with stains, dents, scratches and cracks. The worst thing that can happen is the molding of wood from constant contact with water, for example, at the junction with the sink (due to poor handling of the sealant).
- Massive table top is more expensive than chipboard.
See also the material: Choosing a kitchen countertop - the advantages and disadvantages of popular materials
9 Tips for Choosing
Tip 1. If possible, choose a table top made from 100% wood
Wooden countertops can be divided into two categories:
- Made entirely of wood;
- Veneered boards based on chipboard / MDF.
Often, the "wooden countertop" is called the second type of material - a plate based on chipboard or MDF with a thick layer of veneer (up to 3 mm) from above. Outwardly such a table top does not differ from completely wooden, but has two significant advantages.
- Firstly, it costs two times cheaper, and secondly, it has much greater stability in temperature and humidity surges. At the same time it is very durable and can last up to 25 years.
However, because of its design, the cuts in place of sawed slabs must be closed with an edge, and therefore no milling of the ends and curvilinear cutting can be said.
- By the way, Ikea makes its wooden countertops from veneered chipboard. Unfortunately, the countertops from the array of series Numer and Hammarp company no longer produces.
The fully wooden countertop consists of wooden lamellas, which are firmly glued together and joined together by dowels and a parquet device. The advantage of the top of the array is its absolute environmental friendliness, and most importantly - the possibility of cutting the plate irregularly and milling its ends.
Table top made of solid beech complex
In addition, if the veneered countertop has some limit on the number of surface restorations, then the wooden can be renewed indefinitely.
At the same time, entirely wooden countertops are less tolerant of temperature changes and high humidity.
Tip 2. The most wear-resistant wood species are oak and larch, the cheapest of pine
Of course, there are countertops made of oak and larch much more expensive, but due to their density, they practically do not have a shelf life, they do not lend themselves to decay, they are less afraid of moisture, temperature drops, shocks and mechanical damages.
- By the way, лиственница почти так же хороша, как и дуб, но стоит в полтора раза дешевле.
If the expensive tree does not fit into your budget, choose the tops more easily - from walnut, ash, beech or birch.
- The tops of pine or spruce are good at a low price, but because of their softness they are not resistant to mechanical shocks, quickly covered with dents and scratches.
Tip 3. Remember, the wear resistance of the table top depends largely on the processing
Kitchen countertops are most often sold unprocessed or processed only partially. Therefore, having bought a kitchen table-top from a tree, be ready to immediately cover it with a good varnish or oil-wax, and then repeat the procedure once a year. Correctly processed table top made of wood is not afraid:
- Short-term contact with hot dishes (but not just removed from the plate!);
- High humidity and temperature changes;
- Spray and juice of coloring products;
- Water (droplets and puddles are not absorbed, but remain on the surface).
What is better than lacquer or oil?
Both types of coatings protect the wood well from moisture and dirt, but oil impregnation has several advantages. Firstly, it's easier to work with oil and faster. Given that the first six months of the top is desirable to handle as often as possible, this nuance is important. Secondly, oil, unlike varnish, allows for local repair in case of a scratch or stain. All you need to do is sand the damaged area with sandpaper "nulevka", and then cover it with two layers of oil. Thirdly, unlike varnish, oil impregnation does not crack, does not darken and does not exfoliate over time, but simply gradually fades to nothing. In addition, varnishing deprives the tree of its warmth, the feeling of "liveliness" of the material.
- Remember that in the protection of oil, not only the top of the countertop needs, but also the ends.
Tip 4. Want a light top? Choose beech, elm, birch or spruce
А вот темный топ лучше всего сделать из ореха или дуба. By the way, очень темные поверхности – не слишком практичны, так как на них больше заметны крошки, крупинки, пыль, разводы и капли воды.
Tip 5. The table top should be combined with other elements of the interior
You can choose a kitchen countertop in the tone of the apron, the lower cabinets of the headset or other wooden interior elements (floor, window sill or dining table).
Also, the countertop can, on the contrary, contrast sharply with the headset, apron and kitchen walls.
- Dark table top made of solid wood
- Dark table top made of solid wood
Tip 6. It's good if the kitchen top has an increased depth
Most often, the depth of the table top made of wood is 60 cm, but ideally it is necessary to find a top with a non-standard depth of 63-65 cm. Thus, the protruding end of the table top will prevent shocks against the handle of the lower pedestals and the pedestals themselves.
Tip 7. Buy countertop only from trusted manufacturers
Making a wooden countertop is a complex and multi-stage process that does not tolerate mistakes. Therefore, it is worth buying only from manufacturers with many years of experience and providing guarantees.
Tip 8. You can save on buying a wooden table-top by reducing the thickness
The standard thickness of the sheet from the solid / veneered chipboard is 38-40 mm. Such a top looks very solid and can withstand heavy loads. For example, you can sit on it and even stand up to wipe the upper cabinets. But the thicker the table top, the more expensive it is. Therefore, if you want to save, choose a tabletop with a reduced thickness of 20 mm as in the following photo-example.
Tip 9. The joint between two canvases of the corner table top (and not only) can be made invisible
If you need to create a non-standard long, angular or U-shaped table top, the joints between the sheets of wood can be covered with metal profiles or join them to internal dowels by camouflaging the seam with the putty on the wood in the tone of the top.
- Guide for choosing and planning a kitchen set
- How to equip a U-shaped kitchen
Reminder for care and operation
To keep the kitchen top from the tree as long as possible to maintain its beauty, observe the following rules of operation and maintenance:
- Try not to put hot dishes on it without a stand. It is desirable that heating appliances, for example, a kettle or кофемашина just stood on some kind of substrate.
- Puddles and drops of water, splashes and stains from coloring juices and products, as well as fat and acids, should be wiped off as quickly as possible and not left for more than 2 hours.
- To wash the wooden countertop, it is enough to dilute the soap solution from one drop of Fairy or another dishwashing detergent. But caustic with chlorine, acids, alcohol, abrasive particles can not be used at all. If you clean the stove or oven with a grease cleaning agent, try not to let it come into contact with the tree.
- Process the countertop oil should be once a year. However, the first six months it is desirable to do this as often as possible, for example, once a month. To understand that it is time to restore the protective layer is very simple - the surface will absorb the drops of water and become slightly rough and faded.
- Renovate the varnish on the varnished table top needs about once every two years.
- To restore the shine of the wooden countertop, you must first sand the surface with fine-grained sandpaper (P600 or P800), and then treat it with a soft cloth.
- It is desirable to glue / mount any waterproofing under the counter top over the dishwasher.
How to treat the kitchen countertop with oil your hands, see this video tutorial.