Worktop Express Blog

May 25, 2018

Sandwiches are a lunchbox staple but there are vast options for those looking to venture beyond the classic combinations of cheese and pickle or tuna mayo. As this week is British Sandwich Week, we have found a contender for the best sandwich recipe to liven up your lunch. You can create a vegetarian version by replacing the beef steak with portobello mushrooms for a meat-free alternative.

This recipe, originally from MyRecipes, is a steak sandwich with a difference. Carne asada is a Latin American grilled beef dish that tends to be marinated or seasoned with a range of different ingredients, and is often used in fajitas, burritos and nachos. This sandwich will burst with flavour, and the spiciness of the recipe can be tailored to your taste by removing the jalapeno or adding extra pepper or chilli flakes.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 340g flank/ skirt steak
  • 1 full-size French baguette, halved lengthwise
  • Half a ripe avocado, thinly sliced
  • 8 tomato slices
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1½ tsp olive oil
  • 250ml mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Pinch of kosher or sea salt
  • Pinch of grated lime rind
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

Method:

  1. Brush the steak with the olive oil, before sprinkling the cumin, chipotle and salt evenly. Leave to stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Mix the mayonnaise, coriander, lime rind, lime juice and garlic in a bowl.
  3. Put the steak on an oven tray and grill under a medium-high heat for 10 minutes (longer for well done). Once out of the oven, let the steak stand for five minutes and then cut it into thin slices.
  4. Place the baguette halves face down under the grill and toast for approximately 1 minute.
  5. Spread the mayonnaise mixture onto the bread, and top with the avocado, steak, tomato and jalapeno. Cut the sandwich into four pieces and serve with chips, crisps or a side salad.

Nutritional information (per sandwich – approximate): 416 calories – 16g fat – 24g protein – 46g carbohydrate – 2g sugar

Top Tips:

Create a club sandwich by replacing the baguette with six slices of bread (for four people). Toast for a short period of time and split the fillings between the bottom and middle slices. You could also include spicy Mexican cheese to top this sandwich off.

Have we picked the best sandwich recipe, or have you created a better one? Let us know your most delicious (or weird) combinations in the comments below, or on our Facebook and 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.


Shop our granite effect worktops:



Shop our oak worktops:

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 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.

Apr 9, 2018

Thanks to our state-of-the-art technology, any of our worktops can be cut to your exact specifications. Our machinery ensures precise and accurate cutting, and you can incorporate designs and features you would like into our online bespoke fabrication tool. Whether you need cut-outs for appliances and sinks, edge profiling, radius corners or something completely different, Worktop Express can make your vision come to life. Here are some of our favourite ideas for unconventional worktop cut-outs.

A rising set of plug sockets on a kitchen worktop

Credit : Pinterest

Hidden Plug Sockets

For a sleek and modern look, consider a cut-out to concealing a pop-up plug socket in your worktop. Stashed out of the way until you need to use them, they can provide extra sockets where you would not otherwise be able to put a row of plugs. This kitchen shown here features a power bank on the worktop to make the space more flexible and useful. We can create the perfect-sized hole for extra plugs if provided with accurate measurements.

A small herb garden in the middle of a kitchen island

Credit : Ewe

Handy Herb Garden

Bring nature into your kitchen by opting for a herb garden on your kitchen worktop or island. A small herb garden is a convenient way to store fresh herbs, and could prompt you to use them more often. As an added benefit, the greenery is an attractive and beautiful feature that adds an extra touch of homeliness. Our talented fabrication team are adept in producing irregular worktop cut-outs, so will have no trouble creating this feature.

A multifunctional trough sink with oysters and a bottle of champagne

Credit : House Beautiful

Multifunctional Trough Sink

The next step up from an integrated herb garden is to have a ‘trough’ sink that offers many different uses and is separate from your main sink. This addition is not only rather useful, but is the perfect feature for entertaining. You could use this as a herb garden, as a space to keep bottles chilled or as an extra food preparation area. The cut-out needed for this installation is no different to some of our previous worktop alteration requests.

A circular worktop cut-out to sweep rubbish away

Credit : Kitchn

Waste Space

Whilst it may not be the most attractive part of a kitchen, dealing with waste is a fundamental aspect that needs consideration. If you have cupboard space to spare, you could put a rubbish, recycling or food waste bin inside and incorporate a cut-out in your worktop to easily sweep mess away. You may have seen this solution in coffee shops or fast food joints, and it provides an elegant option that hides the bin out of sight – whilst still being practical.

To see more of the worktop cut-outs and features we can incorporate, please visit our bespoke worktop fabrication gallery. You may need to contact us regarding your specific requirements. Which of these cut-outs would you choose for your kitchen?