All about Birch Wood Worktops: A Worktop Express® Nutshell Guide
This guide has all the details you might want to know about our birch wood worktops, including facts on their appearance and the manufacturing process, plus a brief history of the timber.
Like the other natural timbers used to manufacture our wide range of worktops, birch timber creates an exceedingly durable work surface. A great alternative to maple or beech worktops, birch wood has honey-coloured hues and a natural iridescence. It is a hardwearing timber that also features unique grain patterns: a particularly appealing surface for traditional kitchen settings.
To see further examples of our worktops, please take a look at the Worktop Image Gallery. More images will be available soon.
Type of wood and grain structure
Worktop Express offers a wide variety of wooden worktops made using the finest-quality hardwoods. Though the name might suggest otherwise, some softwoods are actually as ‘hard’ as hardwoods. It is the unique cell structure that sets the two types of wood apart, whilst helping to create the beautiful grain patterns seen on many of our worktops.
Birch wood has a fine, even texture that is similar to beech, cherry or maple, with a grain that is generally straight or slightly wavy. These worktops are predominantly manufactured using the lighter sapwood, but occasionally staves of darker sapwood – which are a light, reddish brown – may be included.
Birch timber wood is easy to work with, does not splinter readily and reacts well to treatments, making it an ideal material from which to construct kitchen worktops.
Sourcing and Manufacture
Worktop Express takes great pride in only offering worktops that have been constructed using the highest-quality timber, whilst ensuring we can offer them at an unrivalled price compared to any high-street competitors.
The birch timber used to create these worktops is found across Europe, preferring well-lit areas with acid soils. It is found on heathland, mountainsides and clinging to rocky crags, and is often the first tree species to colonise bare land after clearing.
All of the timber currently used to construct our birch worktops is sourced in Ukraine, and is manufactured solely in Europe to meet strict specifications. By only using sustainably-sourced timber and meeting strict environmental standards, our impact on the environment is reduced at a local level.
Stringent checks ensure that the wood we use is not only hardwearing and aesthetically pleasing, but that it also has the environmental credentials to match. All timber is sourced from well-managed forests with established replanting schemes (elements that are verified in person by our own purchasing team). We do not rely on middlemen at any point in our sourcing and manufacture chain, ensuring that we can maintain our high standards at every step.
Since inception, Worktop Express® has supplied in excess of 375,000 orders, meaning we are now considered one of the industry leaders in supplying solid wood worktops. We only offer products of the highest quality, whilst maintaining unbeatable prices.
Every three months members of the team visit our European suppliers to check that our very high standards are being strictly enforced. We are very proud of our environmental credentials – you can find out more on our Environmental Policy page.
More details of our sourcing and manufacturing process can be found in our ’Sourcing and Manufacture’ guide.
Our birch worktops are made using a variety of 40mm staves. These ‘staves’ are the individual timber planks that are used to construct the worktop, and are carefully chosen from the best parts of the tree. This helps us to ensure consistent grain and colouration across our stock, though – as timber is a natural product – variances do occur: we believe these differences only add to the unique character of each worktop.
A number of staves are jointed together using ‘finger’ joints to create a wooden surface that is ideal for worktops. The joint looks similar to two interlocking hands, and creates a strong bond that is cemented with friction and a small amount of high-quality waterproof glue.
Further information on the construction of our worktops can be found in our ’Construction Types Explained’ information guide.
- Tree Size: 20-30m tall, up to 0.5m trunk diameter
- Density: 700 kg/m3
- Average Dried Weight: 640 kg/m3
- Janka Hardness: (5360 N)
- Modulus of Rupture (bending strength): 114.3 MPa
- Elastic Modulus (‘stiffness’ of wood): 13.96 GPa
Birch timber has been used for many hundreds – if not thousands – of years. Contemporary uses include furniture construction, production of plywood, veneers, skis, kitchen utensils and firewood.
Historically birch timber was used for making roof shingles and wooden footwear, whilst the sap can be used to create a waterproof glue. The thin sheets of waxy bark can be used as a fire lighter or writing paper, and also contain betulin, which is believed to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral and cancer-inhibiting properties.
Birch twigs are often used to create horse racing jumps, and can also be found in saunas where the fragrant oils released are believed to help relax the muscles. With this use in mind, it should come as no surprise that the birch tree is the national tree of Finland, where sauna culture is especially popular.
At Worktop Express® we go through great lengths to maintain our standing as industry leaders, which enables us to deliver worktops at a very competitive price whilst offering excellent customer service.
We commonly have over 15,000 worktops in stock at any one time, allowing us to promise speedy and direct delivery – both to the general public and our trade customers – via our efficient 2man delivery teams.
Advanced online stock-ordering systems allow us to drastically reduce the amount of dead stock we hold. Furthermore, through our ‘direct-to-public’ e-commerce business plan, we are able to maintain much lower overheads than some of our competitors.
Our birch worktops are available from £75 for a 2m x 620mm worktop, with matching 3M upstands for only £20.
With light colour and distinctive, iridescent grain patterning, birch is a great alternative to beech or cherry, whilst exhibiting its own unique character. Its hardwearing properties make it an ideal choice for kitchen worktops. We recommend pairing birch with strong greys and pastel blues in a traditional-style kitchen for a timeless, elegant look.
If you are interested in one of our 40mm birch worktops, or would just like to know more about the available options, please visit our solid birch worktops page.