Worktop Express Blog

May 21, 2018

Trees are not only beautiful to look at, but they are vital for life on this planet. They are responsible for producing oxygen for us to breathe, removing carbon dioxide, helping to prevent flooding and erosion and creating shade. Some parts of the world see various trees as sacred or holy thanks to their importance for life, whilst some have the ability to grow in strange places.

Without trees, we would not be able to create our stunning solid wood worktops – so they are incredibly valuable to us! In honour of our fabrication service – which provides a number of bespoke customisation options for your work surface – we have put together this quiz to test your timber knowledge. How much do you know about these wonderful plants? Take our ‘True or Fabricated’ quiz to test your knowledge.

How many answers did you get right? Tell us below or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

May 18, 2018

Our worktop fabrications team provide a number of bespoke worktop cutting services, and there is a lot of work that goes into ensuring we are providing our customers with exactly what they want. We have a fabrications team within our sales department who deal with all the requests as they come in and manage them through to the warehouse to be made. Today, we spent some time with Christina and Mia who work as part of the fabrication sales team to find out a little more about the work that is involved.



Mia and Christina – 9am

The first thing we do when we arrive is to check the online tool and also listen to voicemails that have come in whilst we have not been open – we both do this as it is important that we work through this as quickly as possible before starting on the emails. From the emails, a list of customers who we need to contact for payment is compiled. We need to take payment before the warehouse team can start fabricating the worktops, so this is a top priority for us in the morning too. After this, the rest of the inbox can be tackled and we get a variety of emails – from quote requests to technical questions about specific services we offer to more broad queries asking for general advice.

Christina – 10:13am

The cut off for booking orders in for delivery is 12, so whilst Mia keeps working through the inbox I make sure orders that have been created are booked in. I also start working on booking the orders that are waiting to go into production through Dapulse – this is an internal system we use to send diagrams through to the team in the warehouse.

Mia – 11:47am

A member of the sales team has a customer on the telephone with a question – we are happy to speak to customers who have questions over the telephone, but for more complex enquiries we like to use email. This gives the customer a point of reference and has an added benefit as we always need confirmation of acceptance of CAD drawings in writing.

Christina – 12:33pm

We take our lunch breaks separately to make sure the team has enough people to cover the phones if necessary – Mia has just come back so I will take my half hour now.

Mia – 1:20pm

After lunches, I go back through the diagram inbox work on CAD drawings that customers need to have updated and send these back out and also create CAD diagrams for customers who have sent their measurements in to us.

Christina – 2:56pm

Mia is still working through the diagram inbox so I order some bespoke worktops in from Europe. Occasionally we have a request for something that is an extra large thickness or length and we have to obtain this from an external supplier.

Mia and Christina – 4:27pm

We are both back dealing with questions and queries from the inbox again, amending quotes and making sure customers are being responded to. This is our last task of the day and we work through to make sure the inbox is as clear as possible for tomorrow.


Mia and Christina – 5:03pm

That is us done for the day – we are clocking out now ready to come back in tomorrow and start all over again! Bye!

This is the third part in our From Forest to Front Door series – you can read our previous articles where we spent time with Lisa in purchasing and Jade in sales. To stay up to date with everything that is happening at Worktop Express, please sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

May 14, 2018

Worktop Express has championed charitable causes since our inception – as a business, giving back to the environment and local communities is very important to us. We are proud to be supporting London Reclaimed, a charity working with young people in South East London. The organisation helps 16-25-year-olds who are struggling to make the jump from education into employment.

Training, mentoring, employability skills and paid work are all provided by the charity, improving the recipients’ employment prospects so they can then find sustained full-time positions. Placements of up to a year are offered in their associated businesses.

London Reclaimed believe that the next generation – and wider society – will suffer without adequate training or job prospects, and they are hoping to take on up to ten trainees in the next year. The charity has links to a number of business and colleges to ensure that these young people can make the right step into the next phase of their working life.

To show our support, we are providing our worktops to London Reclaimed at a discounted cost. We are delighted to be able to offer our support to an organisation that is giving back to the community it is rooted in.

If you would like to donate to the charity or sponsor a place, please click here. Visit our environmental policy page if you wish to read more information about our long-term charitable and sustainability commitments.

May 11, 2018

If you consider yourself to be a talented cook, you will need a stunning kitchen to match your culinary skills. Celebrity chef Mary Berry’s kitchen is as beautiful and as elegant as you may have imagined – she has recently downsized to a slightly smaller home, but she often used her former cook space for television shows and cookery classes. Read on to take a virtual tour and see how you could achieve a similar look on a smaller budget.

Mary Berry’s kitchen with a neutral colour scheme and a pale blue island

Credit : House Beautiful

Country Kitchen Style

This kitchen, formerly enjoyed by the Great British Bake Off judge, is decorated in a traditional, farmhouse style. The colour scheme is kept neutral with white cabinetry and pale accessories, which creates a calm and restful atmosphere for cooking in. Berry told House Beautiful that she wants her kitchen to feel fresh and timeless, so she chose more classically styled items that are unlikely to look out of date in a few years.

The large Aga range cooker is one of the centrepieces of this expansive kitchen, and it is used extensively for creating recipes and teaching classes. This appliance is a staple in Mary Berry’s kitchen – many of her previous cooking areas have featured one.

With a lot of baking and cooking equipment, Berry needs lots of cupboard space. The cabinets are painted white and constructed from solid wood. You can purchase traditional and Shaker kitchens by visiting our sister site, Solid Wood Kitchen Cabinets. They stock a wide range of cabinet sizes, the option of glass frontals and many different handles.

Mary Berry’s kitchen has granite worktops and a pale blue island

Credit : Mary Berry

Worktop

The worktop is an integral part of any kitchen, especially one that is being used by a professional chef on a daily basis. Solid granite is used for its strength, resistance to heat and luxurious look, but is expensive to buy and install. Which worktop should you have if your budget does not stretch to real stone?

Worktop Express offers five different granite effect laminate worktops with a textured finish and a natural appearance. If installed correctly, these laminate worktops are moisture-resistant and durable – whilst being considerably less expensive than real granite, ensuring you can get the look for less. We also stock a range of Earthstone worktops, which offer a realistic look and a cold feel that is exactly like real stone. A cold worktop is great for baking foods that need rolling and kneading. Earthstone surfaces feature a sturdy core and are very long-lasting, with their appearance making them perfect for an elegant kitchen on a budget.

Mary Berry standing at her kitchen island with a selection of cakes on the worktop

Credit : Mary Berry

Kitchen Island

This kitchen also features a moveable island that adds both style and practicality. The light blue paint makes it really stand out against the otherwise neutral colour scheme, making the island excellent for filming television shows. The island is topped with a solid oak worktop that enhances the traditional aesthetic of the cooking area. Our oak surfaces start from as little as £95, so you can easily achieve this look in your kitchen.

The large size of Berry’s former kitchen also allows a large dining table to be included, which creates a welcoming feel for family and guests. The dining table ensures everyone can spend time and eat together, and does not isolate Mary when she is cooking.

You can create a similar kitchen to Mary Berry’s using products from Worktop Express. If you had this cooking space, what would be the first thing you would cook? Let us know below or on our Facebook or Twitter.


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May 4, 2018

Whether you are choosing our solid wood, laminate or Earthstone worktops, you will need to consider how heavy your selection is. The worktop weight differs for each individual product, but most weigh between 35 and 85kg. This means you will need sturdy support and the resources to lift the surfaces into place. Read on for more information, and where to find the weight of our products.

Strong Supports

You will need to be confident that your kitchen carcass can support your new worktop. Whether you are replacing the whole kitchen including the cabinets and carcass or retaining your existing setup, the supports should be more than capable of upholding the worktop properly. However, it is best to double-check and to ensure that the worktop will be supported in the right places, as incorrect support can lead to your worktop bowing and becoming misshaped.

Delivery of the Worktop

Throughout the week, our worktop deliveries are handled by our in-house and trusted 2Man team, which minimise the risk of damage during transit. Our drivers are highly trained in manual handling techniques, and will carry your worktops to your chosen ground floor location. For both health and safety and to prevent damage to your home and worktops, a clear pathway to the room is required.

Saturday deliveries will be completed by one person, so please ensure someone is present to be able to assist the driver. For more information, visit our delivery details page.

Lifting the Worktop Into Place

Whichever delivery service you choose, you will need to lift the worktops into place during the installation process. As these worktops are very heavy, do not try to lift them unassisted. Straining to pick up a long, weighty item like this can cause serious injury.

How to Find Each Worktop Weight on Our Website

You can find each worktop weight on the individual product pages. To get to these pages from our homepage, select the type of worktop you are interested in. Scroll down this page past the video and gallery to the table of sizes and products. Click on the product you require and you will be taken to a very similar page to the overall product page. Once again, scroll down beneath the video and gallery, and there you will find the worktop weight. For example, our 2m x 620mm x 27mm Oak worktop (pictured here) weighs approximately 38kg.

Our worktops provide a sturdy and durable surface to prepare food safely, but correct installation and aftercare is imperative. Have you found this blog helpful? Tell us below, or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

May 1, 2018

Have you been waiting for the right time to treat your kitchen to an upgrade? Good news – you can save 10% on all orders of more than £300 in our Spring Sale, which includes almost all of our top-quality kitchen worktops and kitchen accessories.

To benefit from this generous offer, simply apply the discount code SPRING10 at the online checkout. All items covered by this sale – including floating shelves, chopping boards and worktop installation kits – will have 10% deducted from their price.

If you would prefer to order via email, over the telephone or in person at one of our eight showrooms located across the UK, you can still claim the saving by quoting the SPRING10 code to the team member processing your order.

Orders exceeding £300 placed between now and 23:59 on Tuesday 15th May 2018 will be able to take advantage of our Spring Sale.

Please be aware that delivery costs are not included in this offer, and our standard oak range is excluded – although all other oak worktop varieties including Prime Oak and Full Stave Oak are eligible. For full terms, please visit our current offers page.

Are you planning a stunning makeover for your kitchen? Let us know below, or start a conversation on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

Apr 23, 2018

Slinky Studio is a website that reviews a huge variety of different products, from outdoor jackets and e-bikes to ovens, speakers and lots in between. Its team has published a Worktop Express review in which one of our beautiful Prime Oak worktops was tested. Slinky Studio picked us in order to scrutinise the process of buying worktops online, and we are extremely proud of the resulting write-up, which gave us a five-star overall rating.

The consumer website chose two of our 2m x 620mm x 40mm Prime Oak worktops, and utilised our bespoke fabrication tool to have their surfaces cut to size. The team were pleasantly surprised by the amount of information and features you could incorporate into the fabrication tool, commenting on how easily you can adjust it to your requirements and see the finished product.

Slinky Studio also praised our in-house 2Man delivery service, which minimises the risk of damage during transit. The review mentions our protective packaging – used to keep the worktop in pristine condition – and the inclusion of all the offcuts so they can be used to create other, smaller products. Continuing the glowing feedback of their Worktop Express review, the team said the quality of the Prime Oak worktops far surpassed their expectations.

In fact, they say the worktops ‘transformed’ their shaker kitchen. All the bespoke features added were cut to perfection and, as a result, the worktops offer a flawless appearance. This review was published six months after the countertops were fitted, and Slinky Studio affirm that the worktop has retained its stunning appearance, despite being subjected to stress tests, water and dropped cups.

Read customer experiences and leave your own Worktop Express review on our Trustpilot page. We are delighted to have an ‘Excellent’ rating overall with in excess of 20,000 reviews.

Apr 20, 2018

Worktop Express has supplied approximately half a million customer orders since our inception and, whilst we are best known for kitchen worktops, not all of the worktops we have sold were destined for this use. Some of our more creative customers have decided to make wooden furniture out of our top-quality solid wood worktops, including desks, tables and even beds! Here are some of the fantastic handmade products crafted using the items we sell.

Hallway

Whilst we sell stair cladding kits, this customer chose to use our worktops instead. The end result is a striking small staircase up to a raised bed. It has had a lot of time and effort invested, but the final product is clearly worth it. The storage underneath is very practical, and would be a great idea for small rooms and messy kids.

If you utilise our bespoke fabrication service, we can include all the offcuts with your order. Our customers have created amazing products using these bits of wood, such as this coat rack made out of our black oak worktops. This item would be simple to create, yet it is elegant and almost certainly used every day.

Lounge/ Dining Room

Our worktops are easily strong enough to support a television, and this enterprising customer had the insight to build an oak TV cabinet. The multi-level stand is both functional and stylish, maximising usable space and creating an eye-catching, one-off product. We love the contrast of the dark blue paint on the cabinets and the golden colour of the oak, and how it matches the leather recliner.

Creating this beautiful dining table required one of our stunning 4m oak worktops and ornate painted table legs. This table would make mealtimes special, and it is large enough to accommodate the whole family. The satin silver legs are the perfect complement to the modern pendant lamps and almost hypnotic seat cover.

Kitchen

Our offcuts have been used to create spice racks on a number of occasions, as they are perfect for displaying your most-used condiments. This particular one was created by the same person that crafted the coat rack above and the wine holder below. Clearly, he sees our worktops as the optimum material to make wooden furniture from!

A wine bottle holder might not be an essential item, but it provides a lovely sculptural touch to your dining experience. If you have an extra length of worktop left over, creating a bottle holder is a useful and practical option.

Bedroom

Whilst spice racks and tables are comparatively common uses for our worktops, it is incredibly rare that we receive photos showing a double bed constructed from the wood we sell. Repurposing worktops for a bed may not be the first idea that comes to mind, but our surfaces are sturdy, durable and well-suited to supporting you while you sleep. This dedicated DIYer also created the side tables to the right of the image.

Why not let your kids sleep on a bed of worktop pieces too? This customer used our products to create this wonderful child’s bunkbed that will last for many years. The bunkbed has a professional quality to it – every piece of wood has been perfectly cut to size and sanded – and the finished product looks amazing. In fact, we would happily sleep here!

Office

Kitchen worktops are very similar to desks in how they are supported and the weight of items placed on them. Making a desk out of our solid wood worktops will be an elegant and long-lasting addition to your office space. However, with a lovely grain pattern like the one in this photo, you may get distracted from your work!

Adding greenery

If you have a length of worktop left over from your kitchen upgrade, you may decide to recycle it. This customer, on the other hand, found the ideal place to feature the remaining wood. He has created a plant shelf to make his home greener and closer to nature. The shelf is attached to a mezzanine level, allowing people in the rooms above and below to enjoy the plants (and the beauty of the worktop!). This idea could also be a fantastic way to invite nature into a small apartment.

Not content with his majestic floating plant shelf, this customer also created a unique plant pot to encourage the next generation of floral growth. A plant pot can bring colour and interest to an area or corner, while helping to bring the outside into the home environment.

Many people have decided to make wooden furniture out of Worktop Express products, and the results speak for themselves. Let us know what you would create below, or, if you have built something extraordinary out of our worktops, we would love to see it on our Facebook or Twitter pages!

Apr 18, 2018

Upgrade your kitchen with a worktop that is stylish, sleek and durable. Our selection of Earthstone worktops replicate natural stone surfaces such as quartz and granite, but are much easier and less expensive to install. These countertops are created using a thick layer of hardwearing acrylic bonded to a chunky wooden particleboard core, in a process that ensures a water-resistant, low-maintenance surface. Our Earthstone collection offers many benefits – read on for our top five reasons why you should choose them.

1. Luxurious Feel

If you would like an authentic representation of real stone with a luxurious feel, these worktops are perfect. . Both the appearance and cold feel of Earthstone surfaces mimic the qualities of natural materials as closely as possible. These countertops will suit contemporary and traditional settings equally as well and can be bought for an affordable price.

2. Seamless Appearance

Solid surface worktops can be used to create a truly seamless aesthetic in your kitchen. The worktop joins are hidden underneath, so are not visible from the top or sides. This process allows your countertop to look like it has been hewn from a single piece of stone. Earthstone worktops can therefore be used to make complex shapes, as multiple worktops can be joined without the connections being seen.. A lack of visible joins means your new kitchen tops will also be incredibly hygienic as there are no gaps which cannot be easily accessed for cleaning – their non-porous surfaces prevent water ingress and bacteria growth too.

3. Incredibly Durable

These surfaces are fantastically long-lasting and hardwearing. The thick layer of acrylic means they can withstand sustained use for many years, so they are a brilliant choice for busy family lives. A moisture barrier is incorporated into every Earthstone worktop, helping to prevent water damage to the wooden particleboard core.

4. Can Be Repaired Easily

The kitchen is the heart of the home and is likely to be one of your most-used areas. This means that there is potential for accidents to occur, but our Earthstone worktops are wonderfully easy to repair if the worst is to happen. If your worktop sustains any damage, it can usually be remedied by simply sanding and buffing back to its original condition. We recommend always using a chopping board when preparing food. Exposure to hot pans will show burn marks, but you can prevent this by using a trivet or our integrated hot rods.

5. Easy Installation

As stone worktops are usually very heavy, they need expert installation and have high labour costs. Real stone will require expensive specialist cutting equipment to ensure a clean, accurate cut, whereas we cut our Earthstone worktops to your exact specifications using the same tooling and machinery as our solid wood and laminate work surfaces.

Treat your kitchen to our Earthstone worktops and enjoy their many benefits, including the accurate representation of real stone and a hygienic, water-resistant surface. If you would like more information about these fantastic countertops, read our nutshell guide. Thinking about choosing one of these Earthstone kitchen tops? Tell us why below, or start a conversation on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

Apr 13, 2018

Since April 1st, you have been able to save 10% on any of the laminate worktops on our website, but this generous offer is ending soon – making now your last chance to benefit.

We have a comprehensive selection of laminate surfaces in our collection, from realistic timber effect tops – like our full stave rustic oak – to high gloss options for a glamorous look – like our black andromeda worktops, incorporating a variety of options to suit a number of styles. All you need to do to claim your 10% saving is add the items you need to your online shopping cart and use the code LAM10 at the online checkout.

Should you prefer to order in one of our showrooms, over the telephone on 0345 22 22 644 or via email, incorporating a variety of options to suit a number of styles. All you need to do to claim your 10% saving is add the items you need to your online shopping cart and use the code LAM10 at the online checkout.

If solid wood worktops are your preference, you will be pleased to know that we are offering up to an unprecedented 15% off our bamboo and caramel bamboo surfaces. This saving has been applied to eligible items, and is available until the end of April.

Bamboo is one of the most sustainable timber species in our collection and is naturally incredibly durable too. The uniform grain pattern gives a unique look which is naturally water-resistant, making it ideally suited to life in the kitchen. Our caramel bamboo worktops go through a caramelisation process that gives them a beautifully rich amber colour, and both this and our natural bamboo options will add texture and warmth to any setting.

Saving up to 15% on these surfaces is incredibly easy as the offer has already been applied to eligible products – all you need to do is select the items you require and add them to your shopping cart. This promotion is also available if you are purchasing your new bamboo worktops through one of our showrooms, over the telephone or via email.

*not including clearance worktops.