Worktop Express Blog

Jul 29

It may be hot and sunny outside but there’s no time for a break in the Worktop Express® workshop; indeed, our tireless fabrication team have been working hard all month to create a plethora of terrific, tailor-made wooden countertops.

As part of our bespoke worktop cutting service, our skilled team craft all manner of customisations – from sink cut-outs to hotrod grooves to edge profiles – to produce stunning custom work surfaces that are truly unique.

We have seen many species of timber pass through our fabrication department this July, and here are our top three:

Caramel Bamboo

A bespoke caramel bamboo worktop featuring a large aperture to accommodate an overmounted sink.

Our beautiful caramel bamboo worktops are a darker alternative to our standard bamboo surfaces, showcasing gorgeous caramel tones. This rich hue is derived from a caramelisation process, which deepens the bamboo’s colour to a golden brown. Bamboo has a very high silica content, which helps to make it a naturally water resistant and hygienic surface for kitchens.

In this example, a caramel bamboo countertop has been cut by our fabrication team to accommodate a glossy Reginox Overmounted Ceramic Sink. As with all custom worktops, the wood was given three coats of Danish wood oil before being wrapped and delivered (a treatment which serves to hydrate and protect the timber).

Oak

These worktop connector bolt cut-outs allow the oak worktop to be easily joined to another.

Traditional oak worktops are a popular choice – in fact, this is our best-selling timber species! With an attractive golden colouring, distinctive grain pattern and immensely hard-wearing surface, these countertops are a characterful addition to kitchens that will last for many, many years to come.

This particular section of oak worktop has been cut on the underside to accommodate grooves for dog bone connector bolts, in order to create a butt joint with the corresponding worktop. We recommend three bolts for this style of joint, and strongly advise inserting a silicone sealant between the two worktops to protect against water ingress. When we create these butt joints, the bolts are always included.

Deluxe Sapele

This Deluxe Sapele worktop had a number of customisations to create a beautiful kitchen island surface.

Sapele – sometimes also known as ‘sapelli’ – is a robust timber with magnificent colouring. With eye-catching chestnut hues, these sapele work surfaces are darker than iroko worktops and warmer than black American walnut tops. Though sapele originally boasts pale pink tones, the timber will darken to a rich red colour shortly after installation and oiling. This timber is available from Worktop Express in standard, Deluxe and full stave variants.

On this Deluxe Sapele worktop, a cut-out for an undermounted sink has been made by our knowledgeable fabrication team. A taphole cut-out has been added to complement this, as well as drainage grooves. Finally, a pencil edge profile has been applied, creating a softer look that is well-suited to both modern and traditional kitchens. All our fabricated worktops are pre-oiled to help protect any freshly-cut edges, though the surfaces and edges will require further coats of oil after installation. Adhering to a regular programme of oiling will ensure that the timber builds up sufficient resistance to water.

If you would like to order worktops that incorporate any of the customisations featured in July’s ‘Fabrication Top Picks’, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Custom worktops can be ordered by telephoning us on 0345 22 22 644, or by emailing . Alternatively, you can use our Online Bespoke Worktop Tool to receive a discount of 10% across all bespoke options.

Jul 25

Across our extensive range of hardwood countertops, Prime Oak worktops consistently prove to be among the most popular and well-loved timbers on offer. Therefore, it seemed only appropriate to put them in the limelight and herald Prime Oak our ‘Worktop of the Month’.

One of our best-selling ranges, Prime Oak worktops exude plenty of lavish charm. Featuring the beautiful, warm colouring of our standard oak, and boasting solid wood staves that have been specially hand-picked for their lack of natural imperfections, Prime Oak is blessed with a wonderfully consistent and refined appearance.

Prime Oak is naturally hard-wearing, providing a long-lasting, durable work surface for any kitchen. Oak is a traditional timber, making it a popular choice for older properties; however, with a sleek surface and appealing grain pattern, this versatile and elegant hardwood is equally at home in modern builds.

Make an impact in your kitchen with impressive Prime Oak worktops.

Prime Oak worktops are carefully constructed from 40mm wide staves, which are meticulously glued together under high pressure, though we also offer a wider stave construction (90mm) for our magnificent Deluxe Prime Oak worktops and full stave Prime Oak worktops.

At Worktop Express® we provide an efficient sample service, allowing you to order a sample of Prime Oak – of any other timber of your choosing – straight to your door, for just £5 apiece with free delivery. Best of all, the cost of samples can be refunded against your worktop order, which means that – however many you purchase – the price of samples can be deducted from the cost of your worktops on a one-for-one basis.

By selling directly to our customers, we are able to provide hardwood countertops up to 75% cheaper than high street retailers. If you would like to start saving on wooden worktops, please contact us now on 0345 22 22 644, or send an email to .

Jul 22

We are proud to be based in the heart of the Cotswolds; as such we often talk to customers who are looking to create a ‘country kitchen’ for their home. Whether you would like to purchase some gorgeous real wood work surfaces or are planning an entire kitchen makeover, we have some recommendations on how to achieve this charming and appealing kitchen style.

Wood Kitchen Worktops

When it comes to our solid wood worktops, we suggest choosing timber in medium to light shades, rather than a darker wood which can look very modern. Of course, oak worktops have always been a firm favourite for country cottages, and are one of the most popular and traditional choices. Oak worktops look fantastic with any colour scheme, but are particularly well-suited to neutral palettes including shades of cream, green and grey.

However, if this is not your preference, other types of timber make an attractive alternative to oak. For instance, the warm hues of cherry worktops are perfect for giving your kitchen a warm and cosy appeal. The inviting caramel grain is quite distinctive, and looks fantastic in a large farmhouse kitchen. Cherry is a characterful worktop and looks excellent with white walls, letting the beautiful grain speak for itself.

For a countertops that incorporate more delicate tones, pale maple worktops are a bright, light-reflecting surface that are perfect for houses lacking in natural light (such as older properties with thick stone walls). Maple wood looks especially stunning alongside soft blue cabinet fronts, though its pale colouration means that it’s suitable for pairing with an array of brighter accent colours.

A glossy Belfast sink is a popular choice for traditional kitchens.

Image courtesy of House To Home

We have a range of beautiful Belfast sinks on our website.

Image courtesy of House To Home

Bring a dated country kitchen into the present with a shiny stainless steel range.

Image courtesy of House To Home

Sinks and Appliances

There is a wide range of sinks that would look perfectly at home in a country kitchen, but none more so than the traditional Belfast sink. Also known as butler sinks, these eye-catching white ceramic basins look fresh and glossy – and are also ideal for washing larger pans! We are pleased to supply a number of sinks in this style, including single bowl and twin bowl designs, from acclaimed companies such as Rangemaster. If you would prefer a sink style that incorporates a draining board, we also provide magnificent overmounted ceramic sinks with a lustrous finish, in single bowl and 1.5 bowl arrangements.

To achieve the definitive country kitchen look, the AGA oven simply cannot be surpassed. As an AGA authorised showroom, we have the AGA Total Control 3 on display in our flagship showroom in Gloucestershire – please pay us a visit to see this impressive oven in situ!

Other range cookers can look equally as impressive in this style of kitchen, such as the Belling Classic 90DFT in Cream or the Falcon 1092 Continental in China Blue. For a country kitchen with a modern twist, incorporate a shiny stainless steel range cooker.

Nothing says 'country kitchen' like this cream shelf and coat rack unit!

Image courtesy of Hill Interiors

Painted chair with rush seats are an attractive choice for the modern country kitchen.

Image courtesy of The Cotswold Company

Make a feature of attractive kitchen accessories like this eye-catching pestle and mortar from Le Creuset.

Image courtesy of John Lewis

Accessories

Wherever you shop, there are plenty of characterful accessories that would sit wonderfully well within a rustic kitchen. Nothing says traditional country style like an overhead shelf with coat pegs and a pair of wellies by the back door! Traditional painted chairs with rush seats are also very well-suited to this style of kitchen, especially with a matching painted wooden table. There are lots of cooking accessories that make a stunning and practical feature to display on worktops, such as a Le Creuset pestle and mortar in Almond. Furthermore, our attractive wooden kitchen trolleys – painted in Farrow & Ball’s New White with an oak work surface – are perfect for providing additional storage and food preparation space, and are an excellent complement to a charming country kitchen.

Other accessories such as solid oak or ceramic door knobs are ideal for accentuating this design style, and can be found on our sister website, Solidwoodkitchencabinets.co.uk, along with an extensive collection of high-quality solid oak cabinets.

If you’d like to begin your country kitchen makeover by installing our superb real wood work surfaces, why not take advantage of our worktop sample service? Available with rapid free delivery, these samples allow you to discover the quality on offer within the comfort of your home, and cost just £5 each. Even better, the cost of samples can be refunded against the order total when you go on to purchase your worktops from Worktop Express.

Jul 18

You may already have heard about our efficient worktop cutting service, but did you know that we offer bespoke shelving too? We understand that it is not only wood kitchen worktops that sometimes require a quick cut to size: shelves, for instance, are also often in need of adaptation. Many homes are full of irregular wall protrusions and recesses, but with our handy service you don’t need to worry: we’re on hand to alter your solid wood floating shelves to just the right proportions.

Wooden floating shelves are available in all of timbers in our collection, allowing you to order shelves to match any wooden worktop. We offer a wide variety of sizes, from 200mm to 2000mm in length, and ranging from 130mm to 250mm wide.

Our bespoke floating shelves are routed for brackets, sanded to a super smooth finish and given several coats of Danish oil to protect the timber. They are then carefully packaged with the required ‘invisible’ brackets and installation accessories before being delivered to you on a swift, secure service (typical lead time from point of order to delivery is just five to ten working days).

Bespoke floating shelves can be ordered by telephoning us on 0345 22 22 644, or by emailing . If you would like to order them online, we have a useful bespoke floating shelf tool to calculate the cost of your shelving, based on the timber, length and width you require.

If you have any questions, or would like to place an order with one of our friendly sales advisors, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Jul 15


From our hardwood workbenches to these hi-tech CityTrees, trees are great in all their forms!

Courtesy of Green City Solutions

Our hardwood workbenches are – of course – incredibly stunning, and a credit to the beautiful trees from which they came. If, like us, you enjoy learning more about all trees weird and wonderful, you will love this latest discovery here on the Wacky Wood Uses portion of our blog.

Trees are already famous for their amazing photosynthesising properties – but the CityTree goes one step further. In a mission to reduce the high level of pollution in the city, Paris officials are trialling new “smart trees”, which combine a wall of moss culture with air pollution monitors. These three fascinating new installations filter fine dust and nitrous oxides (and resultantly large quantities of C02 equivalents) from the air, and – according to their creator, German start-up company Green City Solutions – are 275 times more efficient at reducing air pollution than normal planted trees. If the trial is successful, it is likely that the company will introduce many more of these vertical plant installations across Paris.

90% of inner-city populations regularly breathe polluted air, and 8 million fatalities are attributed to air pollution each year. Clearly, this is no minor matter, and it’s great to see the power of nature being harnessed in order to tackle this issue. Recently, these hi-tech “smart trees” have also been installed in central Berlin, Oslo and Hong Kong to help combat the city smog.

Awesome feats of bioengineering, the CityTrees utilise hardy moss (which can withstand temperatures ranging from -40 to 50 degrees Celsius) and recyclable materials. Highly environmentally viable, these sustainable installations are some of the most fascinating “trees” we have seen yet!

Here at Worktop Express we are committed to going above and beyond what is necessary to minimise our carbon footprint and give back to the planet. If you would like to learn more about our pro-environmental projects, please read our Environmental Policy page.

Jul 11

Our gorgeous solid wood worksurfaces are an attractive feature of any room – be it in the kitchen, the office, or any other space in your home!

If you are in search of a little inspiration before making the leap and choosing one of our stunning and affordable worktops, you might like to take a look at our impressive Customer Kitchens Gallery.

We have a beautiful collection of photographs featuring worktops belonging to our happy customers. Get ready to feel inspired – here are some of our favourites:

If you would like to discuss a future worktop order with one of our helpful sales advisors, please feel free to telephone us on 0345 22 22 644 or email . Alternatively, to see a representative example of the superior quality and finish of our worktops, why not take advantage of our worktop sample service? Samples of any timber species cost just £5 – a price which can be refunded against your worktop order on a one-for-one basis.

Got a stunning solid wood worktop already? We would love you to share some photographs with us on Facebook or Twitter, or feel free to tag us on Instagram!

Jul 08

Worktop Express are proud to work in partnership with the International Tree Foundaton

If you have been following our journey for a while, you might know about our partnership with the International Tree Foundation (ITF). Though we already take measures to minimise environmental impact when sourcing timber for our hardwood worksurfaces, we have also been working with the ITF to help preserve nature for the enjoyment of future generations.

So far, much of our work together has focused on supporting a number of community tree-planting schemes across the UK and Africa. These projects have helped to protect and regenerate the growth of indigenous trees, engaging regional groups so that they are able to conserve their local woodlands for years to come.

In their most recent impact report, the ITF revealed the latest developments in their work to protect the environment and promote sustainable forestry. In 2014, we donated £10,000 to the organisation in order to fund some of their recent projects. Most prominently, part of our donation has been used to support the growth of a ‘Food Forest’ in the Dom village in north-west Cameroon. Along with the help of COMAID (Community Assistance in Development), new indigenous trees have been planted to create a buffer strip around the native forest to provide a source of food and income for local residents. In addition to helping threatened tree species to thrive, COMAID have been educating the Dom community on the value of the forest and equipping them with the knowledge to sustain it. The project has shown participants how to establish tree nurseries (in order to sell seedlings); it has also enhanced forest conservation in the area; restored parts of the forest affected by recent bush fires; and encouraged long-term sustainability.

To find out more, please read the complete International Tree Foundation Impact Report 2015.

If you would like to learn more about our commitment to sustainability, visit our ‘Environmental Policy’ page. We will shortly be preparing for the next phase of our partnership with the ITF, so keep following us to find out what our next venture will entail!

Jul 04

Here at Worktop Express® we are dedicated to taking care of the environment; as such, when sourcing our beautiful wood worktops for kitchens, we ensure that all manufacturers utilise timber from well-managed forests with established, rigorous replanting programmes.

We know that many of our customers are as passionate about the environment as we are, so – for the eco-conscious among us – we wanted to explain a little more about our two most planet-friendly work surfaces: bamboo worktops and rubberwood worktops.

Our bamboo tops are available in two variants: standard and caramel. Our caramel bamboo worktops possess the same qualities as regular bamboo, but have also undergone an extra-special treatment to produce a beautifully warm colour that is reminiscent of honey.

Bamboo worktops take a unique spot within our collection – largely because bamboo is not technically a wood. Instead, bamboo worktops are made from a material that is classified as a grass, and which grows rapidly. Thus, whilst trees can take a long time to grow to full size, bamboo is quickly replenished within only a few years, making it one of the most sustainable materials in the world. What’s more, bamboo has a very consistent texture, which means it experiences little of the variation seen in other surfaces such as our walnut worktops. Though this sustainable raw material is known to have large pores, it is very water-resistant – a characteristic owed to its high silica content – making it even more practical and hygienic as a worktop surface.

A relatively new addition to our website – though a very eco-friendly one – our rubberwood worktops use timber sourced from plantations where the rubber trees are tapped for latex sap. These trees grow on a plantation for about 30 years, at which point their latex yield slows and they are harvested and replaced. Many years ago, the trees would be burned after felling, or chopped up for firewood. Nowadays, the timber is used extensively for furniture and – due to their size – a good deal of wood can be provided by each rubber tree. This repurposing of the timber establishes far more sustainable practices, and allows us to provide our beautiful and robust rubberwood worktops, which are known for their innate resistance to fungus, bacteria and mould.

If you would like to see these worktops in person, why not visit one of our kitchen showrooms? Alternatively – should you find that there is not a showroom close to your home – you could also take advantage of our efficient sample service and have wood worktop samples delivered straight to your address.

To find out more about our eco-friendly ethos, please visit our ‘Environmental Policy’ page.