Worktop Express Blog

Jan 30

Endgrain butcher blocks are an elegant, unique food preparation space for kitchens.

End grain butchers block worktops are a unique feature for kitchens, and look particularly stunning when positioned on kitchen islands.

These hard-wearing food preparation spaces are available in circular and rectangular forms and – thanks to their solid wood construction – can be set into any kitchen island with relative ease.

Whichever worktops already feature in your kitchen, our choice of maple and walnut, maple, walnut or oak endgrain butchers block surfaces are guaranteed to provide a unique talking point.

Endgrain butcher blocks are not only a beautiful hardwood interior addition, but also provide an incredibly resilient surface on which to prepare food. This is down to a vertical stave construction that exposes the hard-wearing endgrain of the wood, which is perfect for cutting upon.

If you are looking for a bespoke endgrain butchers block, we are able to cut them to size and add a range of edge profiles at our Gloucestershire worktop fabrication facility. We can also provide bespoke larger sizes and different thicknesses, which are made to order with a five-week delivery time.

To see more images of our butcher blocks, please visit our worktop gallery. End grain butchers blocks are on show at each of our worktop showrooms, where samples are also available to take away.

Jan 27

Once in a while an exciting tree-related news snippet catches our eye. The latest concerns City of Trees and their fantastic project to plant three million trees – one for every man, woman and child – in Greater Manchester over the next 25 years.

The City of Trees project promotes tree planting and woodland management in Greater Manchester.

Credit: City of Trees

The benefits of tree planting in urban communities are not only aesthetic; indeed, trees have been proven to reduce environmental stress, improve air quality, and increase the time shoppers spend in retail areas.

As well as planting many new trees, the scheme also aims to improve the woodlands surrounding the city. “We are very much focused on bringing existing woodland into management because there is no point in planting new woodland if you can’t manage what you’ve got already,” City of Trees director Tony Hothersall explained.

“We want to engage people a lot more in their natural environment; in planting trees; in managing areas; in understanding more about the benefits that trees and woodlands bring to our society.”

He also expanded on the scheme’s intention to line streets with appropriate trees, as well as adding greenery to private gardens and parks.

“It is really about planting trees wherever it’s appropriate to put trees. What is really important is it’s about the right tree in the right place.”

The City of Trees team has partnered with researchers based at the University of Manchester to analyse how trees can help reduce surface water flooding in built-up areas.

In addition to the studies that link green spaces in urban zones to an improvement in community wellbeing, there is also research that highlights the positive effect trees can have in retail areas.

City of Trees is expecting to plant at least three million trees in Greater Manchester over the next 25 years.

Credit: City of Trees

Mr Hothersall said: “There has been some really good work done showing that people actually spend more in retail areas and linger longer in retail areas where there are trees.

“We’ve seen that as quite a good example in terms of a sort of cafe culture with one of my projects in Stevenson Square in the Northern Quarter in Manchester. The introduction of trees and general improvement of the environment there have actually led to a cafe culture developing from what was one of the, I suppose, harder environments in central Manchester.”

At Worktop Express we are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our business, and as such only handle timber that has been sustainably sourced and complies with the EUTR regulations. Our European and American wood work surfaces are manufactured from FSC or PEFC certified timbers, whilst all African timbers are carefully sourced from well-managed supplies.

Furthermore, each year we also fund the planting of trees in the UK and Africa in conjunction with the International Tree Foundation. So far they have planted over 100,000 trees thanks to support from Worktop Express, helping to improve communities and re-establish and protect tree populations. You can read more about this and much more on our Environmental Policies page.

Jan 23

After breezing through the busiest period of the year, our fabrication team continues to create hundreds of bespoke hardwood worktops every week here at Worktop Express.

Last year our facility expanded to accommodate a second high-tech CNC machine, and space for additional worktops to pass through our facility without increasing the lead time. With the recent introduction of our laminate worktop cutting service, the capacity has increased even further.

This month we have picked out three elegant bespoke wooden surfaces that recently passed through our fabrication facility:

Oak

A bespoke solid oak worktop with an end cap and smooth pencil profiles on the top and bottom edges.

Many of the worktops that are handled by our fabrication team undergo quite unusual and intricate bespoke amendments, though our craftsmen also produce worktops with less conspicuous customisations that are equally impressive.

Soft pencil edge profiles were applied to both the top and bottom edges of this particular oak worktop, which was also given an end cap. End caps are not only an aesthetically-pleasing addition to wooden worktops, but also help protect the end grain of the timber from the excess heat radiated by adjacent appliances.

After customisation, the worktop was sanded to an extremely smooth finish and a number of coats of oil were applied to protect it during transport and installation.

Wenge

This bespoke wenge worktop has been customised with an aperture to accommodate a hob.

Wenge worktops are among the most luxurious choices in our collection. Wenge can appear almost black in parts, though lighter flecks also occur within the dark, distinctive grain.

This customised wenge worktop features an aperture which was cut to the hob specifications provided by the customer, allowing it to be installed immediately after delivery. Once our team had finished creating the hob aperture, the surface was sanded to a very smooth finish, before being oiled.

Black American Walnut

This pair of black American walnut shelves were ordered via our bespoke solid wood floating shelves calculator.

Since its introduction a couple of years ago, our range of solid wood floating shelves has proved to be one of our most successful additions, and now comprises a variety of standard sizes and timbers (including oak, walnut, ash, iroko and beech). We also offer a bespoke floating shelf calculator on our website that allows customers to order shelves in many of the other timbers in our collection, and in bespoke sizes.

This pair of black American walnut shelves were ordered via the shelf calculator, and are intended to fit perfectly in the customer’s home. Special holes were cut in the rear of each shelf to accommodate the invisible floating shelf brackets we supply. After customisation, the shelves were sanded and pre-oiled to ensure they would be ready to mount immediately after delivery.

If you would like to see more examples of the worktops our talented team has fabricated over the last few years, please visit our Bespoke Worktop Fabrication Gallery.

Jan 20

At Worktop Express we are very proud to use our own next-day 2Man delivery service for the vast majority of worktop orders. In fact, in 2016 our ever-expanding fleet of 2Man teams delivered more than 60,000 orders – consisting of over 100,000 worktops – which totalled close to 90% of all deliveries made.

We have made a conscious effort to reduce reliance on third-party couriers as it gives us far more control over deliveries; by using our own fleet, we can ensure deliveries are on time and that our products are handled carefully.

Indeed, in 2016 we had a 98% delivery success rate on orders handled by our own internal delivery teams, a figure which is very difficult to replicate when using external couriers (as these do not operate under our control).

Our 2Man Delivery service offers next-day delivery on worktop orders placed before 12 noon

With this in mind, this year we have made the important decision to remove third-party courier options from all zones covered by our own 2Man teams. We believe this will not only help us to offer more reliable delivery options, but will also ensure that customers enjoy the high-quality service they have come to expect from Worktop Express.

We will still offer external courier options for surcharge areas of the UK that we are currently unable to reach with our own service, but please note that these will be limited.

Further updates to our service will be made throughout the year, with a focus on the ongoing improvement of our systems and processes at all levels – from placing the order right through to delivery.

If you would like to find out more about our delivery service, please visit the delivery details page. Alternatively, key information is included in the ‘All About Our 2Man Delivery Service’ information guide.

Jan 09

Pinterest is a great platform on which to gather ideas and inspiration for your wood worktops. This list has been put together to showcase the most popular boards on our page.

Prime Oak

It is no surprise that our Prime Oak board is amongst the most popular we have on Pinterest. One of our most commonly-purchased timber types, Prime Oak is a favourite with many due to the quality of the timber and the worktop’s seamless appearance (in this form the staves are specifically chosen for their consistency in colour and grain pattern). Naturally very strong and hardwearing, oak is an easy choice to make when it comes to selecting wood worktops for your home. Want to know more? Our Prime Oak worktops were picked as July’s Worktop of the Month in 2016 – please take a look at our dedicated blog for further details.

Camden Solid Wood Worktops Showroom

Our Camden Showroom opened in August 2016 and has proved a fantastic success thus far. For prospective customers who wish to see our wood worktops in the flesh, a visit to one of our worktop showrooms will provide great insight into what we can offer. We have a number of showrooms dotted around the country, but we also offer a sample service that allows you to see how one of our wooden worktops would look in the comfort of your home.

Caramel Bamboo

Caramel Bamboo is an elegant alternative to our standard bamboo worktops, with a honey-coloured hue that has always proved incredibly popular. As one of the most environmentally-friendly choices we have on offer, bamboo is technically not a wood, but a grass; so not only does it look beautiful, but also makes an excellent conversation starter!

Installing Wooden Worktops

When you order one of our wood worktops, you’ll make a huge saving against comparable products from high-street kitchen retailers. Fitting your own kitchen can mean further savings, so it makes sense that our board about Installing Wooden Worktops is so frequently visited. We offer a range of installation accessories, too, allowing you to order everything you need to fit your worktop at the same time as purchasing your surfaces.

Customer Kitchens

Finding out how other people have integrated their wood worktops into kitchens, bathrooms, and offices is a great way to get inspired. Our Customer Kitchens Pinterest board features a variety of examples in a range of different settings, providing a clearer view of our fitted worktops – and the beautiful, functional aesthetics that can be achieved with them!

You can find all these boards and plenty more on Pinterest. Remember, too, that if you’d like your kitchen to be featured in our ‘Customer Kitchens’ gallery, please do share your pictures with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Jan 02

Start the New Year by Sampling Our Kitchen Surfaces

In 2016 we expanded our range of solid wood worktops quite considerably as well as introducing a large range of highly-affordable laminate countertops.

With so much to choose from, we understand that picking new kitchen surfaces can be a difficult decision, which is why we offer a comprehensive worktops sample service. No matter what surface type you’re considering – whether your preference lies with solid hardwood or laminate – samples are available for each of the worktops in our collection.

Our wooden worktop samples are cut from existing worktop stock and measure 200mm x 150mm x 40mm. Each one is fully sanded and comes pre-oiled on one side to allow you to appreciate the appearance of the finished timber. Our laminate samples, by contrast, are supplied in a pack that includes a small sample of every type of laminate surface in our range, allowing you to compare them easily in the comfort of your own home.

All samples are priced at just £5 including free next-day courier delivery. If you go on to order worktops from us, we will happily refund the cost of the samples on a one-for-one basis. Simply speak to a member of our sales team when placing your order and we will be pleased to discount the sample’s cost from the total.

Samples can also be viewed at each of the Worktop Express showrooms; at present there are six branches – all of which are situated at accessible locations throughout the UK – with new sites due to open in 2017.

Jan 01

Our free 2Man delivery on worktops must end Monday!

Since the start of the New Year, we have already distributed in excess of 2,000 worktops to customers across England, Wales and Scotland, with the vast majority of orders qualifying for our FREE 2Man delivery offer. There are now just two full days left in which to take advantage of this fantastic saving – so don’t delay if you’re thinking of placing an order!

Our 2Man delivery service is usually priced at £25 for delivery of the first worktop, and £15 for each additional worktop ordered, but until 23:59 on Monday 16th January this service is being offered absolutely free of charge to postcodes within our standard coverage area.

Please note that our 2Man delivery slots are subject to availability, and – although we are continually expanding this service – they often get snapped up very quickly. To avoid disappointment, don’t hesitate to place your order as soon as possible.

If you happen to live in one of our surcharge areas (such as Scotland), we are still able to offer the same level of discount, meaning only the surplus charges will apply.

No discount code is needed to take advantage of this excellent saving – simply pick your desired worktops, worktop accessories and other products, then complete your order at the online checkout to choose a delivery date. Alternatively, get in touch via telephone or email and our sales advisers will automatically apply the free delivery offer to all qualifying orders.