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Worktop Express Blog

Sep 30

Tree-themed cupcakes on a solid oak worktop.

Here at Worktop Express®, we take pleasure is getting involved with a variety of projects, whether helping our local community or planting trees across the UK. To ensure we go above and beyond what’s expected to minimise our carbon footprint, we certify that each and every wooden worktop that passes through our hands is ethically and sustainably sourced.

Today, we are pleased to be a part of Macmillan Coffee Morning 2016. Our staff have teamed together to produce a variety of delicious baked goods, to be sold to raise funds for this fantastic cause. The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning takes place today in businesses, organisations and neighbourhoods across the country. Macmillan is a charitable organisation, providing medical, emotional, practical and financial support for those affect by cancer; if you would like to find out more, please visit their website.

In addition to being the day of the Macmillan Coffee Morning, today is also FSC Friday, a day dedicated to the promotion of responsible forestry and the role that the Forest Stewardship Council plays in it. The FSC award certification to forests that are managed sustainably and in a manner that is environmentally sound and socially beneficial, and we are pleased to be able to provide many wooden worktops with FSC certification.

At Worktop Express, we have decided to unite these two commendable events, selling tasty forest-inspired goodies to raise money for Macmillan, whilst honouring the role carried out by the FSC – a theme perfect for ‘Botanical Week’ on the Great British Bake Off! The day is off to a flying start, and we wanted to share some photos of our tree-inspired cake creations!

Our staff baked a variety of delicious goodies to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Our cakes are inspired by forests, to also raise awareness of FSC Friday.
All proceeds for Macmillan Coffee Morning will be donated to charity.
What better way to promote the importance of responsible forestry than with tree-inspired cupcakes?

To find out more about our rigorous environmental policies, please visit our Environmental page.

Sep 26

Our team of solid wood experts have been busy fabricating a variety of made-to-measure wood worktops this month. Designed to meet each customer’s detailed specifications, each bespoke surface is made with its own unique template and cut with the ultimate precision and care.

From hob cut-outs to tap holes to decorative edge profiling, customers can take advantage of our broad range of services either by contacting us by telephone or email or by using our innovative Online Bespoke Worktop Tool. Shoppers who decided to order via this online tool will also benefit from a 10% discount on all our cutting services.

Find kitchen worktop inspiration with our three favourite custom worktops from September:

Black Andromeda

Bespoke Black Andromeda sparkle laminate worktop that is cut-to-size.

Thanks to our newly-introduced bespoke cutting service for laminate worktops, we are pleased to feature the first custom laminate surface in our ‘Fabrication Top Picks’ series. Our Black Andromeda worktops have an eye-catching sparkle surface with a high-gloss finish that is ideal for reflecting light in kitchens.

This Black Andromeda worktop has been cut to size using our high-quality CNC machine. Don’t forget, we can alter both the widths and lengths of our bespoke laminate worktops, as well as applying a number of other customisations. Visit our laminate worktop cutting servicepage to find out more.

Full Stave Oak

Made-to-measure full stave oak worktop for a kitchen island unit.

Full stave oak worktops are a luxurious choice. With 90mm-wide staves than run the entire length of the work surface, this configuration is perfect for flaunting the attractive natural figuring of oak. Oak worktops are blessed with a gorgeous golden colouration and a traditional grain; it’s no surprise, then, that they are amongst our best-selling surfaces.

This particular made-to-measure worktop has been specially produced to complete a kitchen island. The surface benefits from a small radius corner, which equips the worktop with a softer edge (a sensible choice in an area through which people frequently walk). To find out more about our complete range of services, please explore wood worktop cutting service page.

Bamboo

Bespoke Black Andromeda sparkle laminate worktop that is cut-to-size.

Bamboo worktops are a more popular choice for kitchens than ever before. We believe this is due to bamboo’s beautiful golden colouring, naturally water-resistant properties, and eco-friendly attributes. Bamboo is also a distinctive choice as – unlike our other worktops – these surfaces comprise slim, 20mm-wide staves that feature small markings where the nodes occur on the stem of the bamboo.

This custom worktop has been fabricated to incorporate a hob cut-out and an irregular cut-out to accommodate a pop-up extractor fan. By creating a unique template for every bespoke worktop, we can tailor your wooden work surface to your precise specifications. All custom wood worktops are treated with protective oil: this treatment preserves newly-cut edges and enhances the natural look of the grain.

If you would like to order a fantastic custom worktop of your own, why not try our innovative Online Bespoke Worktop Tool? This handy tool – which is unique to Worktop Express – allows customers to design, price-up and order bespoke worktops online, speeding up the ordering process whilst offering an additional 10% discount across all cutting services – it’s too good to miss!

Sep 19

We believe wooden counters are the natural choice for kitchens – quite literally! Crafted by Mother Nature herself, solid wood surfaces are totally unique, wonderfully warm and innately appealing. This month, we want to draw attention to our cherry worktops: thanks to their caramel colouration, these surfaces are sure to create an inviting and cosy kitchen environment – perfect for the upcoming autumn and winter seasons.

Cherry countertops have a fairly linear grain structure and are noted for their uplifting, warm colouring. This timber originates from the cherry tree, which is famous for its beautiful spring blossom. Though most commonly associated with the spectacular blooms of Japan, cherry trees are thought to have originated in Europe, and can also be found across Britain, Norway, and as far afield as Morocco and Tunisia.

Our charming cherry wooden counters will fill your kitchen with warmth and cosiness.

Due to the modest proportions of most cherry trees, our cherry worktops are only made in our ‘standard’ configuration, using 40mm-wide staves of solid wood (Deluxe and full stave constructions with 90mm-wide staves are unfortunately not available). Applying coats of Rustins Danish Oil helps to nourish these work surfaces, enhancing the natural grain and showing it at its best. The addition of cherry kitchen upstands creates a seamless join between your solid worktop and wall: a truly stylish finish.

If you fancy brightening your kitchen with charming cherry tops, why not take advantage of our kitchen worktop sample service? Samples are available in 200mm X 150mm X 27mm and 200mm X 150mm X 40mm sections, and come oiled on one side so that you can compare the original and finished product. For a price of just £5 (including delivery), these samples are too good to miss; and, better still, the cost can be redeemed against your order total when you purchase wooden worktops from Worktop Express®.

Sep 16

Being both very hardwearing and lovely to look at, it’s no surprise that timber is a popular material for countertops. The benefits of timber are not only realised in solid wood countertops, however: in fact, timber has been a valuable resource for construction since the dawn of time. Though some architects now prefer to use manmade materials like steel and concrete, traditionalists still tend to favour the unique characteristics and low carbon footprint of wood. We are pleased to note a continued use of timber in construction projects; indeed, plans are afoot for the development of many more magnificently-tall timber buildings (and some are already standing) – take a look:

The Treet Flats in Norway represent the world’s tallest timber structure, and we thought our 4-metre wood worktops were impressive!

Treet Flats – Bergen, Norway

In the Norwegian language, the word ‘treet’ means ‘tree’; apt, as this 14-storey block of flats in Norway is currently the tallest timber-framed building in the world. Measuring 160 feet tall, the structure comprises luxury apartments, and was conceived by the Bergan and Omegn Building Society in order to create sustainable and cutting-edge homes for the future.

Construction on Brock Commons will be complete next year – our solid wood worktops would make a fantastic feature!

Brock Commons – University of British Columbia, Canada

Due for completion in September 2017, this 18-storey building is being built to provide additional accommodation for 404 students at the University of British Columbia. The columns of the building are made from Glulam – glued laminated timber – which is a natural alternative to steel or concrete. Once complete, the building will stand at 174 feet tall, making it the tallest timber-framed building in the world.

The Haut building in Amsterdam will stand at 240 feet tall, and represents a growing trend for tall solid wood architecture.

Haut Building – Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Haut building in Amsterdam is scheduled for construction to begin in late 2017, and – if all goes to plan – will comprise 21 storeys and will top the charts at an enormous 240 feet! The wood-clad skyscraper is intended for the Amstelkwartier district, and is yet another example of a growing trend for tall timber architecture.

Committed to sourcing wood countertops sustainably, we fully support the construction of the energy-efficient Tratoppen in Stockholm.

Tratoppen – Stockholm, Sweden

Tratoppen – ‘the tree top’ – is one of the most impressive architectural endeavours to make it onto our list. Though there are no immediate plans to start work on this timber tower, conceptual designs were released earlier this year illustrating the plans of Anders Berensson Architects to create this 436-foot-tall structure. Boasting a total of 40 storeys, this tower would be made from cross-laminated timber (CLT) and decorated with giant numbers indicating the floor number. Designed with energy-efficiency in mind, the numbers are also intended to act as a sun screen, helping to keep the building cool.

The proposed site for London’s Oakwood Tower is just a short tube ride from our wooden worktops showroom in Camden!

Oakwood Tower – London, England

Not to be forgotten, London has hatched designs for its own timber skyscraper. A proposed addition to the capital’s Barbican estate, this unprecedented structure would dwarf all others before it: it’s set to measure 984 feet high and boast a grand total of 80 storeys. This would make it second only to the Shard in height, which dominates London’s skyline at a spectacular 1,016 feet. Designed by PLP Architects, the project is still awaiting planning permission.

Visitors to our blog will be aware that the Worktop Express® team are extremely fond of discovering ever-weirder and more wonderful uses for wood; so, if you have witnessed any outstanding timber structures on your travels, please share your pictures with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

Sep 12

There are a number of weird and wonderful kitchen gadgets available to improve the efficiency and enjoyment of your culinary tasks, ranging from putting the kettle on to eating your bowl of ramen-for-one.

In addition to our tech-friendly gadgets for wooden worktops, there are many other handy gismos on the market that are ideal for iPhone users. Take a look at our top-rated collection of kitchen gadgets for the smart phone enthusiast:

If you're dining solo in your wood kitchen, why not invest in the Anti-Loneliness Ramen Bowl?

Anti-Loneliness Ramen Bowl

Yes, it is really called that. The Anti-Loneliness Ramen Bowl is the ideal solution for ramen-lovers with a tendency to dine solo.

This innovative crockery, from MisoSoupDesign, incorporates an iPhone dock, so users can view their device with ease whilst slurping on a delicious bowl of noodles.

With this handy bowl you can make dinner dates with far-away loved ones a reality by FaceTiming over some soupy goodness!

Ensure food is cooked to perfection in wood kitchens with the iGrill Thermometer.

iGrill Thermometer

Download the iGrill iPhone app, and a long-range Bluetooth connection can guarantee your food is cooked to perfection with this useful gadget.

The iGrill Thermometer is compatible with iPhones and iPads alike. Simply insert the probe into the food you wish to cook, access the app and choose your goal temperature. Remain with a 200ft range and the app will notify you once your food has reached its desired temperature.

Whilst cooking up a storm on wood countertops, use the iPhone Chef Sleeve to protect your phone from floury fingerprints.

iPhone Chef Sleeve

Ideal for the budding chefs and culinary-curious among us, the iPhone Chef Sleeve keeps screens clean and free of floury fingerprints when the baking begins.

These screen-saving sleeves from The Orange Chef Co. are disposable, recyclable and touch-sensitive: if you’re keen to cook up a storm without clouding your screen, what could be better?

Solid wood iPhone stands are the ideal gadget-friendly accessory for real wood worktops.

Solid Wood iPhone Stand

Our solid wood iPhone stands are a smart addition to real wood worktops, and are available in a range of timbers. Coordinate your stand with your kitchen worktops for a supremely stylish look.

Crafted with a small groove to hold your iPhone snugly, these worktop gadgets also have a matching option for iPads.

Kit out wood worktops than an iKettle, and never leave the comfort of your bed until the water has reached the temperature you require.

iKettle 2.0 Wi-Fi Electric Kettle

Ever wake up with desperate cup-of-tea cravings and loathe the 2-3 minute wait whilst your kettle gradually bubbles to a boil?

Fortunately, these moments are no longer necessary, as you can turn on Smarter’s iKettle from the comfort of your bed, only emerging from your cave of slumber once the water is ready to go! You can even avoid a bitter herbal brew by specifying your preferred temperature.

Use our Wood Worktop Cutting Service to order surfaces with our handy WEX Solid Wood Wireless Worktop Charger.

Solid Wood Wireless Worktop Charger

With the WEX Solid Wood Wireless Worktop Charger, mid-recipe phone battery failures (and unfilled tummies) will soon become a thing of the past.

Another nifty device from Worktop Express, this charger comes built into a high-quality piece of timber, with a range of species to choose from. You can even plump for the standalone option, which we can integrate into your wood countertop itself when you take advantage of our Wood Worktop Cutting Service.

If you’ve got the gadgets but still want for wood worktops, don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss your requirements – we’re here to help and would love to hear from you!

Sep 09

If you are looking for eco-friendly solid wood worktops, rubberwood countertops are an excellent choice.

Looking for great savings on high-quality solid wood worktops? Our hard-wearing rubberwood worktops are discounted for one month only, making this the perfect time to invest in your new real wood work surfaces.

This environmentally-friendly countertop is a great addition to any kitchen, instilled with warm hues similar to those of our solid beech and cherry wood worktops. It may not come as a surprise that rubberwood is sourced from the rubber tree, a species which is grown en masse in order to be tapped for latex. Once trees are exhausted of all their latex, they are felled and given a second lease of life in these characterful solid wood surfaces. With slightly larger pores than other timbers in our collection, rubberwood showcases a charming speckled appearance, which helps ensure that every single 40mm-wide stave is absolutely unique.

From the 1st – 30th September, rubberwood worktops can be purchased at a discount when ordering online or by telephone or email. No promotion code is necessary – the reduction will be applied to all pricing automatically – but orders must be placed by 23:59 on Friday 30th September to qualify for this excellent deal, so be sure to purchase your worktops without delay!

To create a sophisticated and well-coordinated kitchen aesthetic, why not purchase coordinating rubberwood upstands and plinths too?

Before making your purchase, you may like to take advantage of our sample service, which offers speedy delivery of a representative 200 x 150 x 40mm section of rubberwood worktop.

If you wish to place an order with a member of our sales team, please feel free to telephone us on 0345 22 22 644 or send an email to .

Sep 05

The project with the International Tree Foundation expects the six tree nurseries to raise more than 170,000 seedlings of 30 species.

Fans of our ethically-sourced, sustainably-grown wood worktops may have heard about our ‘eco projects’ in partnership with the International Tree Foundation.

At Worktop Express®, we employ rigorous environmental policies and go to great lengths to minimise our carbon footprint and give back to the Earth. Our partnership with the ITF has seen thousands of trees planted in both the UK and Africa, as well as funding education for agricultural communities in Cameroon and Uganda, teaching locals about the importance and care of indigenous tree species, and providing entrepreneurial skills in tree nursery management.

One of our more recent projects funds a collaboration between the ITF and the Masaka District Landcare Chapter (MADLACC), in the Masaka District of South West Uganda. This latest endeavour began in August 2016, and plans to involve 500 households, a farming group, and two schools, with the aim of increasing farm productivity and income, managing land use (to cultivate and conserve trees), and planting a total of 25,500 fruit and agroforestry trees (including soil-enriching species, avocado trees, mango trees and iroko).

MADLACC is a community-based organisation, situated close to Lake Victoria. The group’s focus is to manage land sustainably, working with local communities to find local solutions. It also successfully harnesses practical skills, support from nearby institutions, and international expertise, in order to achieve its goals. The ITF have been working with MADLACC since 2014; as such, local communities already have a greater understanding and appreciation for trees, and are enthused by the prospect of enhancing their skills in agroforestry in the 2016/2017 phase of the initiative.

The project also offers a ‘Junior Landcare’ programme at Butale Primary School, which has 492 pupils and maintains its own small tree nursery. Since the start of the project, the school has reported an increase in academic performance and has become a learning centre for other schools in the area.

We will bring you more updates as the project progresses! In the meantime, if you are interested in purchasing sustainably-sourced wood worktops for your kitchen, why not order a worktop sample to discover the high quality on offer for yourself? The fast-growing bamboo used for our bamboo worktops makes them a particularly popular choice for the eco-conscious, as well as our rubberwood work surfaces, which use timber from trees that have first been tapped for latex (find out more in our rubberwood information guide).

Sep 02

Our wonderful wood worktops feature in a plethora of beautiful kitchens across the country. Not only are they a popular choice for homes, but we have also seen them used to magnificent effect in offices and businesses. This week, we were thrilled to receive photographs of our glorious caramel bamboo work surfaces – bearing all manner of delicious-looking treats – in Edinburgh’s quirky Cuckoo’s Bakery.

You can find this charming cupcake emporium in Bruntsfield Place, a street lined with an impressive assortment of boutique shops and restaurants. Cuckoo’s Bakery can also be found on Dundas Street, where the tearoom and cake shop offers a scrumptious range of sweet treats and savoury brunch and lunch menus.

Whilst Cuckoo’s Bakery offers a delectable choice of signature baked goods and celebration cakes, available to eat-in or take away, their incredible confections are also sold at the prestigious Harvey Nichols Foodmarket and at Waterstones on Princes Street in Edinburgh’s West End. Cuckoo’s Bakery now prepares up to 1,000 artisan cupcakes daily in order to satisfy Edinburgh’s cupcake cravings, so do stop by if you are in the area!

The company was founded by Graham and Vidya in late 2010, and opened its door on Valentine’s Day 2011. Here’s what Graham had to say about our worktops:

“We have used Worktop Express® worktops in both of our Edinburgh shops and highly recommend them. We put a huge amount of research into the opening of our second store, but returned to Worktop Express because the service is fantastic and the quality and price of the worktops is excellent. We used iroko worktops in our first store and these have withstood a great deal of daily wear and only require a little Danish oil every 6 to 9 months. They have been in situ for 5 years. The caramel bamboo worktops in our second shop (opened over a year ago) are beautiful and they still look as good as new – I’d highly recommend these for a mid-tone, eco-friendly and natural feel to a kitchen space – and they are great for repelling water!

We aim to offer our customers a relaxed, welcoming and ‘at home’ feel in our shops and the wooden worktops from Worktop Express provide the perfect amount of character and warmth.”

Find out more about the benefits of bamboo in our handy bamboo worktop information guide.

The latest series of the Great British Bake Off has just started, launching the nation into a cupcake-making frenzy. If you are as obsessed with the latest series as we are, you may be interested to hear about the #BrilliantBakeOffer competition that our sister brand Solid Wood Kitchen Cabinets® is currently promoting. The competition offers one lucky winner the chance to win a baking kit bundle worth £500, including a Kenwood kMix Mixer and Blender, and lots of cooking equipment from Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood’s own baking ranges. Visit their current offers page to find out more!