Installing Our Wooden Worksurfaces: A Nutshell Guide
If correctly installed, wooden worksurfaces from Worktop Express® should be a beautiful centrepiece in your kitchen for many years to come. Provided that you follow our recommended guidelines, installation of your wood worktops will be a straightforward, relatively simple process.
Preparing Your Worktops for Installation
If you are not immediately installing your worktops after delivery, it is very important to ensure that you store them properly. Make sure they are laid flat in their original packaging and fully supported by battens as pictured.
If you are storing multiple worktops, battens should also be used to separate these worktops in order to ensure that they do not warp. Your choice of storage location should be an indoor area with stable humidity and temperature.
Unless you have selected our pre-oiling service, you should oil the worktops as soon as possible after receipt. We recommend that you oil all surfaces at least three times with Rustins Danish Oil (please note that end grains will require more). Wipe away any oil surplus 30 minutes after treatment, and allow 6 – 8 hours between coats. If any adjustments or cuts are made during installation, additional layers of oil will be required to protect the freshly exposed timber.
As mentioned, if you have ordered pre-oiled or fabricated worktops from us, they will have already been oiled prior to delivery; however they will require extra coats after installation to build up a layer of resilience against water and wearing.
Attaching Your Worktops to Base Cabinets
Once your worktops have been cut to the correct dimensions – or have arrived after being subject to bespoke fabrications by our in-house team – you can now consider attaching them to your kitchen cabinets.
If your worktops have not been subject to customisation by our fabrication team, you will first need to identify the ‘A’ and ‘B’ sides of your worktop. The ‘A’ side will have a consistently smooth finish and should face upwards. ‘B’ sides may contain minor natural imperfections and have a slightly rougher finish; this will not affect the integrity of the worktop, however it is important to identify which side is which prior to installation.
If you are cutting the worktops yourself (or with the help of a kitchen fitter), your worktops can be cut to the correct dimensions once the ‘A’ and ‘B’ sides have been identified, and can then be attached to your kitchen cabinets.
When you are deciding upon the correct position for your worktop, allow a 3-4mm gap between any of the worktop edges and adjacent walls or units. This extra space will allow the worktop to move with temperature changes without causing damage. To hide this expansion gap, consider using our matching hardwood upstands, which are available in any of our timber types, and can be attached directly to the wall in order to hide the gap.
If attaching your worktops next to a freestanding oven, you will need to increase this gap to 30mm, and consider the use of a solid wood endcap so as to protect the end grain and prevent splitting as the surrounding area heats up.
If there are any other appliances below the worktop that produce excess heat or moisture (such as washing machines, dish washers etc.) then we recommend using a length of reflective moisture barrier that sticks to the underside of the worktop to provide further protection.
To attach the worktops to your base units, you must only use slotted right-angle brackets. These brackets are designed to allow the worktop to expand and contract a small amount if the bracket is installed with the slot perpendicular with the width of the worktop. Use round headed screws to attach both the worktop and the cabinet to the bracket.
If your cabinets have a solid top, then an oversized 8-10mm hole should be drilled into the top of the cabinet, accompanied by a washer on both sides of the cabinet panel to allow the worktop to slide from side-to-side as it expands and contracts.
If you are installing worktops on top of a masonry wall, use a combination of timber spacers and damp proof membrane to protect the worktops from moisture, whilst creating an airspace underneath the worktop.
To aid with installation of your worktops, we can provide a Worktop Installation Kit for just £15. If you’d like to consult a more detailed guide with information on installing, cutting and finishing our worktops, please visit our worktop installation instructions page.