Worktop Express Blog

Jan 30

2014 was a hugely busy and enjoyable year for the Worktop Express® team – thanks to all of our wonderful customers! We were very proud to grow the business in all areas, and when completing our analysis of 2014, we were astounded at the sheer numbers involved.

Despite being the core of our business, it is not just about the thousands of block wood worktops we have delivered around the U.K, it’s about the service as a whole: from the number of bespoke alterations made by our fabulous fabrication team to the number of satisfied customers; plus the fact that our products have been delivered by a host of new vans and lorries from new depots in the East and North West of England.

On the customer experience side, we have seen tens of thousands of new Facebook fans, Trust Pilot reviews and many more exciting numerical developments. Have a look at our snazzy infographic to learn more:

Block Wood Worktops in 2014: the Numbers Don’t Lie!

And there you have it – a bumper year, we think you will agree. If you would like to keep up with our latest news, then don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or add us to your circle on Google +. We always love hearing from customers old and new, so do connect with us in 2015 if you haven’t already.

Jan 26

Around Christmas and New Year our fabrication team didn’t stand still, helping to ensure that customers received their bespoke worktops in time for their brand new 2015 kitchens. Despite the Christmas and New Year shut-down, our team have completed over 250 orders since Boxing Day, with some unusual and beautifully customised real wood work surfaces passing through the team’s capable hands.

Here are our top three favourite fabrications from the last month:

Caramel Bamboo

Caramel bamboo worktop with irregular cut outs.

An often overlooked worktop choice, caramel bamboo worktops have oodles of character and are one of our most sustainable worktop choices. It gets its name from the unique caramelisation process that the timber goes through before worktop construction, which brings out the natural sugars in the timber, creating a warm honey-coloured surface.

This particular caramel bamboo worktop was subject to an irregular cut on the back corner to allow it to fit comfortably against a supporting pillar in the kitchen, whilst two rectangular and one circular cut-outs were made to the customer’s specification.

Like the look of this worktop? Head over to our caramel worktops page to see all available worktop sizes, starting at just £125 for a 2M worktop. View more bespoke examples of this unusual timber over on our caramel worktops gallery.

Oak

Oak worktop with irregular cut outs, pencil edge profile around the undermounted sink cut out and butt join cut outs.

Proof – if ever it were needed – that oak worktops are our most popular worktop choice; this month we have two excellent examples of worktops fabricated from 40mm oak staves. It’s a characterful timber that works well in both traditional and modern kitchens, and the first of this month’s oak fabrications is a real corker.

First our team made an irregular cut-out into the back left corner of the worktop to allow it to snugly fit against the customer’s wall, followed by another cut-out with a pencil edge profile near the centre of the worktop to suit an under-mounted sink. Drainage grooves were routed either side of the sink hole to allow for water to naturally drain, and finally three butt joins were cut into the underside of the worktop, enabling this piece to be seamlessly joined to another of our oak worktops.

Oak

Oak worktop with irregular cut out.

The second of this month’s two oak worktops is a very unusual fabrication indeed. The perfect centrepiece for a contemporary kitchen, this worktop was cut using our sophisticated CNC equipment to match a template provided by the customer.

It was specially made to create a totally unique breakfast bar that will sit amongst other oak worktops in the customer’s new kitchen. Whilst this isn’t a standard cut-out offered by our fabrication department, it is a great testament to the skill of our team, and shows the elegance that can be achieved.

If you’re looking for a truly exclusive worktop made from oak, or any of our other timber choices, then do contact our fabrication team, who will be happy to talk through the options available and provide a quote on request.

If you think oak is the worktop for you, then you’ll be pleased to know that prices start at just £100 for a 2M worktop. For further examples of our fabricated oak worktops, please visit our oak worktops gallery.

That’s it for now; if these excellent examples of our bespoke cutting service have inspired you to create something a little unusual for your new kitchen, our team can make installation a breeze by pre-fabricating to your requirements. Once your worktop arrives on site, all you need then do is attach it to your cabinets: no muss, no fuss!

Jan 23

Try Our Wood Workbenches Sample Service

Ready to start planning your new kitchen, or maybe you have decided to replace your existing counters with some beautiful solid wood workbenches? At Worktop Express® our worktops sample service covers our entire range of wooden surfaces – from oak worktops to wenge and everything in between.

We also offer 200mm x 150mm x 40mm samples for all different types of our worktops, so that you may easily see the stave formation of our worktops before placing an order. Our standard samples are cut from our range of worktops constructed with 40mm staves, while our Deluxe and full stave worktop samples are cut from worktops with staves that are approximately 90mm in width.

All of our samples come sanded to a smooth finish, and pre-oiled with a coat of Rustins Danish Oil to provide a true representation of the colour and quality of the finished product. The underside of the sample is left unfinished so that you can see the timber in its natural state.

Our worktop samples are great value for money at only £5 including VAT and delivery, and are yours to keep – whether you order a worktop or not. They make great miniature chopping boards, bookends and anything else you can imagine.

Best of all, when placing a full worktop order – whether you decide to order a luxurious choice such as our black American walnut worktops, or something more traditional like beech worktops – we will refund the cost of our worktops samples on a one-to-one basis! Simply mention it to one of our advisors and they will ensure the sample’s cost is discounted from your order.

Remember, if you decide to place a worktop order, you have until midnight on January 31st to save up to 10% in our ‘Wonderful Worktops’ sale, simply by entering one of these discount codes at the online checkout: WORKTOPS10 or WORKTOP10.

Jan 19

This month, our entire range of wood counters have had up to 10% knocked off of their already great prices. Whilst we are not necessarily biased towards any one of our worktops, we thought we would highlight three fantastic examples from across our range of full stave, Deluxe and standard worktops – whatever the theme, these worktops will fit right in.

Full Stave Oak Worktops

Full Stave Oak

Oak is an unmistakable timber that exudes warmth and traditional beauty, and in the full stave form, it’s even more special.

Our full stave oak worktops feature extra-wide staves up to 90mm that run the entire length of the worktop, showing off the timber’s colour and grain in a way no other construction can.

It is ideal for recreating a farmhouse kitchen feel, but can also be used to great effect in a modern setting.

2m x 620 x 40mm full stave oak worktops usually £235

Deluxe Iroko Worktops

Deluxe Iroko

Hailing from Western and Central Africa, iroko trees produce a timber that has an unmistakable toffee-coloured hue, and an unusual iridescent sheen.

For our Deluxe Iroko worktops, the staves are 90mm rather than the usual 40mm, which means that the wood’s attractive figure is even more obvious than usual.

Iroko works especially well alongside dark coloured cabinets and modern appliances.

2m x 620 x 40mm Deluxe Iroko worktops usually £180

European Walnut Worktops

European Walnut

Our European walnut is a timber that is both incredibly hard-wearing and with staves that exhibit an unmistakable rich colour variation.

In the standard 40mm stave form, walnut still looks distinctive and high quality, and if you’re looking for something extra special, then Deluxe Walnut worktops are also available.

Whether you are designing a kitchen with a traditional or modern feel, we think walnut is definitely a worktop worth considering.

2m x 620 x 40mm walnut worktops usually £175

Still undecided as to which of these beautiful wooden surfaces you should choose for your kitchen, dining room or office? Consider ordering one of our great value worktop samples – they’re only £5 including fast courier delivery, and if you go on to order a worktop from us, the cost will be discounted from your order.

Jan 16

We have been posting informative guides on our website for over 2 years now, and in the last year alone published an astonishing 86 articles! Our growing library of information is amongst the most concise and well-researched material on solid wood kitchen worktop surfaces available online, and covers many aspects of their aftercare and manufacture, along with details and updates regarding our products and services.

As well as our popular guides, we post a question from past and present customers every week, answering many queries that are frequently sent in to us.

With such a wealth of information at our fingertips, it was very difficult to choose our favourites; however, but after much deliberation, here are our top 5:

How to Clean Wooden Worktops

How to Clean Wooden Worktops

After all the business of Christmas and New Year is firmly out of the way, now is the perfect time to revisit this useful article on cleaning your solid wood kitchen worktop surfaces. Fortunately, cleaning wooden worktops is relatively straight forward, but be sure to follow our guide to make certain that you use the right cleaning solution, and follow the correct aftercare procedures.

read this information guide
All About Oak Worktops

All About Oak Worktops

In March we published our first ever worktop species Nutshell Guide, and it should be no surprise that it covers by far our most popular product: oak worktops. This wood exudes tradition and hard-wearing qualities, and our highly informative guide covers everything you would ever need to know about it – including the science, sourcing and manufacture of this fantastic worktop.

read this information guide
Preparing for your Wooden Worktops Delivery in 5 steps

Preparing for your Wooden Worktops Delivery in 5 steps

Before your worktops are delivered by our 2Man team, there is plenty to consider in order to make sure that your delivery goes smoothly. This information guide covers everything you should need to know, whether your worktops are delivered by our own courier, or by our chosen third-party, should you live outside our current delivery area. It’s no wonder that this guide is so popular, as our customers often ask what they can do to make sure everything goes to plan.

read this information guide
Using Worktops Outside of a Kitchen

Using Worktops Outside of a Kitchen

Whilst our wooden worktops are clearly the surface of choice for kitchens, they can also be used for a range of other furnishings. In this information guide from October, we delved into some of the best uses we have come across, and also looked at how we have put them to use here in our own offices, and to create one of our more recent product ranges: solid wood floating shelves.

read this information guide
Sourcing and Manufacture of Solid Wood Kitchen Worktop Surfaces

Sourcing and Manufacture of Solid Wood Worktops

We are often asked where the timber for our worktops is sourced from, and so in this information guide (posted at the beginning of March), we published all the details regarding their source and manufacture to show that we are truly committed to offering a sustainable and environmentally sound product to our customers.

read this information guide

If you have any questions you’d like to send to us to feature in our ‘Question of the Week’ section, or have any suggested subjects we haven’t covered in our information guides, please do get in touch via email, or through one of our social media channels. We can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

Jan 12

Our Top 5...If – like us – you are a fan of natural products, then nothing other than solid wood furniture will do. As well as our solid wood tops and oak floating shelves there are plenty of other beautiful wooden furnishings available, including many fantastic coffee tables. If you are not afraid of a bit of DIY, you could even make your own from one of our worktops, perhaps with a little help from our fabrication service: it’s a popular choice with many of our customers, and indeed we’ve made our own coffee tables from some choice worktop materials here at Worktop Express® HQ!

If you would rather buy something pre-made, though, here are some other options to consider:

Valentia Coffee Table in Oak

Valentia Coffee Table in Oak

Looking for some real oak for your living room to match your oak worktops? Being hard-wearing and featuring a fantastic grain pattern, oak is an ideal material for making solid wood furniture that will last.

This oak coffee table is simplistic in its design but is spacious whilst not swamping smaller rooms, and has a warm and comforting feel thanks to the look of the solid hardwood; it is also very reasonably priced.

Available from Furniture123.co.uk for £77.98

Cuba Sheesham Square Coffee Table

Cuba Sheesham Square Coffee Table

Another chunky yet elegant coffee table, this particularly rustic model from the Cuba Sheesham Collection is constructed from sheesham wood, also known as Indian Rosewood.

Sheesham has a very characterful irregular grain structure and distinctive appearance, whilst being strong and durable – perfect for home furnishing.

Available from OakFurnitureSolutions.co.uk for £205.98

Rivermead Oak Coffee Table

Rivermead Oak Coffee Table

This coffee table is another made from one of our favourite materials – oak. Whilst being chunky and relatively simplistic, the design means it will easily contemplate many different living room themes with ease. There is also a handy second shelf underneath for extra storage.

The look and feel of the oak timber would look perfect alongside our solid oak floating shelves, which are great value and available in a range of sizes.

Available from PineSolutions.co.uk for £135

Classic Quarters Mango Toko Coffee Table

Classic Quarters Mango Toko Coffee Table

Looking for something a little different? This Mango Toko coffee table from Wayfair is crafted from solid mango wood and stained with a rustic walnut-coloured finish.

Rather than extra shelves, this coffee table is fitted with four handy square drawers with wooden handles that offer plenty of storage space for knick-knacks.

Available from WayFair.co.uk from £240.99

Coffee Table Solid Walnut Live Edge Detail

Coffee Table Solid Walnut Live Edge Detail

Solid walnut is a really popular worktop material, and it’s no surprise as it looks fantastic – as you can see in this Live Edge coffee table from Not On The Highstreet.

It is made of 5 large staves of walnut, with a natural edging that gives it additional character. The design is very simple – made from three sections of walnut, and could easily be replicated using one of our walnut worktops if you fancied making your own version!

Available from NotOnTheHighStreet.com for £670

Jan 09

Wonderful Worktops Sale Reminder

We are two weeks into our ‘Wonderful Worktops’ sale already; and the enticing offer of 10% off our entire range of worktops has proved too popular to resist, meaning that 2015 is off to a very busy start!

Until 11:59pm on January 31st, all of the hardwood kitchen worktops in our range are discounted by up to 10%. That means that as well as our popular favourites, all of our most exotic species are now better value than ever – including Deluxe and full stave variants.

Taking advantage of this fantastic offer is extremely easy. Simply enter the codes WORKTOP10 or WORKTOPS10 at the online checkout, or mention it when speaking to one of our sales advisers via telephone or email.

Not sure which wooden worktop is the right choice for you? Why not place an order for one of our worktop samples? They come sanded and pre-oiled on one side, priced at just £5 including fast courier delivery. If you go on to place an order, we’ll refund the price of the sample on top of the discount!

Would you like to know more about many timber species in our wide collection? Our Information Guides section has a huge wealth of facts about all our worktop types, and everything related to their manufacture and aftercare.

Jan 05

Whether used to create mysterious pathways to an unknown destination or an intricately carved masterpiece, hardwood has been a popular staircase component for hundreds of years. If your house is home to one of our beautiful worktops, then extend the beauty of wood into your home with one of these five inspiring staircases.

Wooden Staircase by YTL

Nestled in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s skyline, an ultra-modern home designed by Paris-based Jouin Manku houses many outlandish and futuristic interior design elements, requested by the extremely wealthy Malaysian owners.

The staircase is constructed by more than 30 hardwood ‘petals’ that are splayed in a spiral fashion to create a unique stairway that appears to float freely from the surrounding building. When viewed from above, the staircase looks like the inside of an intricate seashell.

View more photos of the house on TheCoolHunter.co.uk.

Spiralled staircase in the Peleş Castle

The Peleş Castle, north of Bucharest in central Romania, is an architectural marvel from the late 19th century, home to many incredibly decadent features that are typical of Renaissance palatial architecture of the time.

This amazingly tight, spiralled staircase joins the first and second floors of the main palace atrium, and is made entirely from hand-carved wooden sections that depict cherubs and German fairy tales.

View more photos of this astounding castle and other Romanian masterpieces on Budget-Travel-Tips.com.

Atmost Studio's Sensualscaping project

Atmost Studio are a London-based design and architectural studio that has created some exceptionally elegant designs using a combination of digital design and natural materials.

Perhaps the finest example of their work to date is the ‘Sensualscaping Stairs’, which were created entirely using a CNC machine; blending in with the overall design, these stairs follow the skirting board lines that trace their way throughout the house. Each oak stair is – like our worktops – made from a number of individual staves that are incredibly hard-wearing.

Read more about it on AtmosStudio.com.

Levitate Staircase

This masterpiece from Levitate – a literary-lover’s dream – can also be found in London. The stairs were specially commissioned for a private residence in a Victorian mansion block.

The staircase leads to a loft room and is constructed entirely from English oak and holds space for an entire personal library of books – perfect for book lovers, and an ideal space-saving solution.

Read more about it over on the Levitate website.

Design innovators TAF's staircase

Created by designers Gabrielle Gustafson & Mattias Ståhlblom, at Swedish design innovators TAF, this simple yet elegant staircase is made from boxes constructed out of pine staves. These boxes have been arranged at ingenious angles in order to create a steep staircase for a private Swedish residence.

The staircase was designed to be very low budget, whilst having a totally unique design, and could be replicated easily in other hardwoods such as oak or walnut.

View some other projects by TAF on their website.

We may not have branched out into stairs yet, but our solid wood worktops have been used for many types of home furniture from desks to dining tables. We also sell oak floating shelves which are made from the same solid oak surfaces as our worktops, and look simply stunning in a modern home.

Jan 02

At Worktop Express® we have timbers to suit every taste. Whether you are creating an ultra-modern look or something altogether more traditional, your solid wooden counters should be seen as the centrepiece of the kitchen, so choosing the right timber is an important decision. We’re beginning the year with one of the most luxurious and dense surfaces in our collection: wenge worktops.

Wenge is an exotic timber that is extremely dark in colour – looking almost black in some lighting. It’s 50% more dense than oak, and has a distinctive linear grain with light flecks spread throughout the surface. As well as our standard variant, we also offer a full stave option, which features 90mm staves that run the entire length of the worktop for a truly elegant finish.

Wenge timber is imported from mid and western Africa, and is carefully sourced by our team; we only accept timber from merchants that provide full ‘chain of custody’ in order to prove that the timber is logged legally from areas with established re-planting schemes.

Deluxe Oak - November's Worktop of the month

As well as waxing lyrical about our wenge, we’d like to take this time to wish all of our customers a very happy New Year, with best wishes for 2015! It’s been a simply spectacular year here at Worktop Express® and we hope to make the coming year another record-breaking one.

Many thanks from all the Worktop Express® team!