Welcome to our engineered full stave oak guide. On this page there will be information about our engineered full stave oak worktops, including everything about their specialist construction, material sourcing, and the timber’s history.
Oak is remarkably resilient and hardwearing, but one of the most important reasons for introducing this timber into your kitchen is how it looks – and solid wood worktops with a full stave appearance are some of the very finest surfaces around. The delicate, golden colour and natural features make this an eye-catching, innately attractive worktop material.
Unlike our standard full stave oak worktops, these engineered worktops are made by applying a thin veneer of full stave oak to a regular oak worktop, in order to give the appearance of a full stave surface at a much lower cost. You’ll find out more about this in the ‘Construction’ section further on.
Type of wood and grain structure
Worktop Express offers a wide range of timber worktops that are made from hardwood. Despite what the name might suggest, some softwoods are just as ‘hard’ as hardwoods; however, what really sets hardwoods apart from the cheaper softwoods is the unique cell structure, which plays a huge part in creating a fantastic grain pattern. For example, hardwoods possess a type of cell known as vessel elements (which are absent from softwoods). These longitudinal cells are larger than the other surrounding cells and when cut leave little caveats in the wood called pores. The dispersion of these pores is what gives hardwoods their distinctive look and characterful grain pattern.
Size of pore also has a bearing on the appearance of the grain. Full stave oak has large pores and an open, coarse grain that gives the surface a textural quality, adding to the rustic charm of the worktop.
The characterful grain of a full-length oak stave surface has a multitude of natural features, and the naturally occurring colour variation creates that great ‘country’ finish that is highly sought-after in both traditional and modern design schemes. Our engineered oak worktops offer the distinguished look of a full stave oak worktop without the expense.
Sourcing and manufacture
As with all genera of timber-bearing trees, some species are more adept at being used for construction than others. Here at Worktop Express®, we source only the hardiest and most beautiful timbers.
European oak is widely held to have a richer grain pattern than its American counterpart and also has the distinct advantage of lesser quantities of sap.
Our wide board oak worktops are manufactured solely in the place of the timber’s origin (Europe). This has the distinct environmental advantages of promoting sustainability and saving airmiles (thus reducing carbon footprint), while allowing us to use a truly robust, attractive timber for our oak worktops.
Our expertise in sourcing and manufacture also allows us to keep our prices at a highly affordable level. We are extremely experienced in this field – having sold over 150,000 worktops since inception – and deal directly with manufacturers so that there is no middleman. Furthermore, we only purchase the highest quality lumber and have devised efficient, accurate process to reduce wastage and ensure minimal loss. For a more detailed discussion of our sourcing expertise and manufacturing processes, please visit our Sourcing and Manufacture information guide.
To learn more about the affordable prices of our full stave oak worktops, please visit the pricing section of this guide. For more information on our environmental policies, please visit our environmental page.
Unlike our other types of solid wood worktop, these engineered full stave oak surfaces are made by laminating a thin veneer of full stave oak to a standard oak worktop. The veneer is applied to the top, bottom and edges to create a worktop that looks very similar to our real full stave oak worktops.
Underneath the veneer, solid oak staves measuring 30-40mm thick are finger jointed together to create a solid wood surface, ensuring that the worktop maintains structural rigidity and material consistency beyond the veneer.
Our standard worktops are constructed from individual staves which are 40mm wide, whilst our Deluxe worktops use staves of varying lengths that are approximately 90mm wide. Our full stave worktops use the same 90mm wide staves, but – as the name might suggest – the staves run the full length of the worktop, for a truly elegant and unrivalled worktop.
Whilst our full stave oak surfaces are the most luxurious and desirable option for oak kitchen worktops, the compromise of an engineered full stave oak worktop allows us to create a solid oak surface with the appearance of full stave, but at a much lower cost.
The staves – or timber planks – that make up the worktop’s core are high-pressure bonded side-by-side to create a smooth and durable surface. For more information, please view our ’Construction Types Explained’ information guide.
- Tree Size: 24-35 m tall, 1-1.5 m trunk diameter
- Density: 720 kg/m3
- Average Dried Weight: 680 kg/m3
- Janka Hardness: (4,980 N)
- Modulus of Rupture (bending strength): 97.1 MPa
- Elastic Modulus (‘stiffness’ of wood): 110.60 GPa
image courtesy of Graniers
As one of the most recognisable trees worldwide, oak is internationally renowned, boasting an elegant combination of natural beauty and resilience against both age and natural elements. Oak’s versatility in the world of woodworking has made it a staple of many carpenters and builders since the medieval era.
Initially oak was most in demand straight after felling. This fresh timber – otherwise referred to as “green” oak – was used in constructs before it was allowed to dry, allowing it to be manipulated into a wider array of shapes and angles to fit the needs of the time. The most prominent examples of this still exist today in the curvature of medieval barns and the ‘hammerbeam’ roofs of churches and cathedrals throughout Europe.
Building bylaws established following the Great Fire of London in 1666 prohibited the use of wood for the construction of inner-city buildings. The conflagration’s aftermath demanded that brick and mortar should take the place of timber, ushering in an era of fireproof structures. The carpenters and joiners adapted, however, leading to a rise in both solid oak flooring and furniture that would evolve over the centuries that followed.
This trend continued until the latter half of the 20th Century where vast technological advancements gave life to CAD systems – computerised design focused on precise measurements and cutting.
Fast forward to the present day and it’s not difficult to see how the tables have turned (pun intended!) In a world where plastic is a common commodity, solid wood has become the perfect statement of uniqueness. With superior standards and sustainability programs to ensure you’re getting the most out of your wood, it’s never been a better time to experience the wonders that await with solid oak!
The prices of all wood, laminate and Earthstone worktops from Worktop Express® are reduced through high-volume purchasing and efficient processes. We hold in excess of 10,000 worktops in stock at any one time, and deliver direct to the public across England, wales and Scotland via our own 2Man service. Our advanced online stock systems minimise the amount of dead stock and eco-friendly policies also eliminate wastage (and cost in the long term). Efficient processes and our ‘direct-to-the-public’ e-commerce model drastically reduces overheads, allowing us to market up-to-date products at lower rates than any other e-tailer.
We are proud to be specialists in many types of kitchen worktops. Cutting out the middleman and building an expert network of internal support at every level of the business enables us to deliver high-quality worktops to our customers at an extremely competitive price. There are no agents; we visit all suppliers at least every three months to ensure standards are maintained. Worktop Express® are currently the largest importers of solid wood worktops to the UK, and are fast becoming the leading online supplier of laminate worktops, too.
Our engineered full stave oak worktops are available from £205 for a 2m x 620mm worktop, with matching 3M upstands for only £55, and plinths for £110.
As one of the most versatile surfaces around, oak worktops make ideal centrepieces for country kitchens. Pair oak with pale green or off-white frontals for a homely yet refined look. For a more modern take on the traditional kitchen look, consider stainless steel and bright red accents.
Please visit our engineered full stave oak worktops page for more information on how to purchase these wonderful work surfaces.
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