Worktop Express Blog

Here at Worktop Express, we love seeing our customers’ new countertops in their kitchens. In this blog post, we explore a kitchen case study from Dot and Charlie who live in Glasgow. Let’s take a closer look at how they have used their new worktop.

When Dot and Charlie wanted a new worktop for their kitchen, they decided to visit our Glasgow showroom for inspiration and to see first-hand the quality they could expect. With a mixture of traditional and contemporary features, such as traditional cabinet frontals and stainless-steel appliances, their L-shaped kitchen is a prime example of the mixed materials trend that is very popular.

This kitchen includes a central island which presented the perfect opportunity to utilise two different worktop styles. The countertop they chose was a full stave oak worktop. When compared to the solid black granite worktop, the effect is completely different in terms of colour and material.

The black granite worktops contrast beautifully with the pale wall cabinets but also complement the dark blue base cabinets. The oak worktop on the island mirrors the material choice of the solid wood cabinets and also helps to lighten the kitchen while softening the highly reflective surface of the granite worktop. The chopping board and black shiny domino induction hob on the island reflect the materials used in the work surfaces, adding continuity to the kitchen. To help create a flow throughout the space, radius corners have also been added to the island worktop.

What do you think of Dot and Charlie’s mixed material kitchen? Let us know in the comments below. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for even more stories like this or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

If you are looking to update your kitchen you might be considering replacing your current countertop with an oak effect or veneer worktop. But which should you choose? In this blog post, we explore these worksurfaces in detail and explain the benefits of each.

Engineered Oak Worktops

Our 635mm engineered oak worktops have been constructed from a core of robust composite wooden particle board. Atop this is a 3mm think veneer of prime grade solid European oak which covers all visible sides. The result is a worktop with the appearance and feel of solid oak. With the perfect combination of beauty, durability and affordability, engineered oak worktops enhance any traditional or contemporary cooking area with a timeless appeal.

Benefits of Engineered Oak Worktops

  • Requiring less care than solid timber, our engineered oak worktops are a low maintenance choice and are ideal for even the busiest household.
  • An engineered oak worktop measuring 3m x 635mm x 38mm costs £155.00 whereas a solid oak worktop of comparable dimensions costs £175.00.
  • Measuring 635mm wide, they are fully compatible with Ikea kitchen cabinets without the need for cutting.

Oak Effect Worktops

Oak effect worktops are constructed in much the same way as engineered oak worktops, however, instead of a layer of real oak veneer these surfaces have been wrapped in laminate overlays, before being sealed with heat under high pressure. The appeal of these countertops is that they replicate various styles of real oak but do not require the regular maintenance associated with timber.

Benefits of Oak Effect Worktops

  • With decors that replicate the authentic grain pattern and colours of natural solid wood, oak effect worktops are visually appealing.
  • An oak block laminate worktop that measures 3M x 600 x 38mm cost just £60 making them a highly affordable choice.
  • No other worktop is as low maintenance as a laminate work surface.
  • Our oak effect worktops are available in a wide variety of décors for traditional or contemporary kitchens.

Shop the Range of Oak Effect Worktops

Have you decided to choose an oak effect or veneer worktop for your kitchen? Let us know which one and why in the comments below. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for even more stories like this or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

There are a variety of natural countertops available, including solid wood. Although wooden surfaces can offer a quaint look, they are ideally suited to contemporary style kitchens too. Continue reading this blog post to learn more about our choices of natural worktops.

Light-Coloured Natural Countertops

Our light-coloured solid wood countertops are perfect for adding an airy feel to a room. Maple is the lightest of all of our timbers and with pale golden hues and superior density, is a popular choice for a busy contemporary kitchen.

As one of the world’s most sustainable timbers, Bamboo is not only ideal for a modern kitchen, it’s great for those who are environmentally conscious too. The 20mm wide staves are narrower than the other timbers in our range for a unique look.

Birch and ash are two species which are native to the British Isles and feature paler colourings. Combining any of these surfaces with dark cabinets and colour palette for a striking contrast.

Intermediate Hue Natural Countertops

For something warmer, we have a range of countertops which are slightly darker. Oak and Prime Oak are two worktops that work particularly well in contemporary kitchens, especially if they have a square edge. Both have a beautiful colour and interesting grain pattern. With an unmistakable caramel colouration, cherry worktops can be used to a splash of colour and warmth to any kitchen.

Caramel bamboo is an exotic timber with a beautiful amber surface that delivers warmth and character to a kitchen. Like the standard bamboo, this caramel version is ideal for a contemporary setting, especially one with a darker colour scheme.

Rubberwood and zebrano are also exotic woods. Rubberwood is another environmentally friendly timber which has a very tight grain and slightly red tinge. Zebrano is an exceptional timber which has golden colour inlaid with a dark, almost black grain pattern. This striking contrast makes it perfect for a unique kitchen.

The advantage of these intermediate colour natural countertops is that they can be paired equally well with both light and dark colour schemes.

Dark-Coloured Natural Countertops

Of all of our solid wood countertops, our dark timbers offer the most sophistication and luxury. For example, both our walnut and black American walnut worktops have dark brown colouration – the latter has the darkest shade. Like traditional oak, black oak worktops also have beautiful charm and sturdiness but with an added richness which allows it to fit seamlessly into a contemporary kitchen setting.

No other timber can compare to wenge. With an almost black shade, it is the darkest of all of our timbers and most suitable for lavish kitchens. Another two of our deep hued exotic timbers are iroko and sapele, which although not as dark as wenge, offer lots of charm.

Dark-coloured natural countertops can be paired with a light colour scheme for an intense monochromatic contrast or paired with other dark colours for a moody, sophisticated contemporary kitchen.

Which of these natural countertops would suit your kitchen the best? Let us know in the comments below. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for even more stories like this or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

With the help of many volunteers, Jamie’s Farm transformed this farmhouse in the heart of South Downs National Park. Credit : Anna Yanovski

One of the biggest problems affecting young people in the UK today is social and academic exclusion. Jamie’s Farm is a charity that was set up to help disadvantaged young people flourish. In this blog post, discover how interior design guru, Sophie Robinson, transformed a seven-bedroom farmhouse into a hub for children to stay, receive guidance and to socialise.

About Jamie’s Farm

Jamie’s Farm offers young people a residential stay and follow-up programme which utilises farming, family and therapy in order to help them succeed academically, socially and emotionally. To do this they build partnerships with schools and charities. Children visiting Jamie’s Farm are given support that is focused on improving self-esteem, relationships and behaviour.

The Facts

  • In the UK, 35 children are excluded from school a day.
  • Only 1% of those children go on to get 5 good GCSEs.
  • 50% of excluded children have a recognised mental health problem.
  • The majority of the prison population is made up of those who were excluded from school as children.
  • Today there are 43,000 young people who would benefit from Jamie’s Farm.

Sophie Robinson and the Project

This kitchen, with its white walls and cabinets, has been designed to be light, airy and welcoming. Credit : Anna Yanovski

Sophie Robinson is an interior design guru who has worked across media and retail for the past 20 years. Over four days and with the help of over 20 design professionals, Sophie transformed a farmhouse on a 200-acre plot on the South Downs National Park. Members of the local community also pulled together and contributed items for the house. Jamie’s Farm had this to say:

“The impact this has had on the charity is huge. Designing the space has been done with the children’s wellbeing in mind and a positive atmosphere exudes throughout the property. This ambience is empowering and aims to uplift the children as soon as they set foot inside.”

How Worktop Express Helped

In total over 40 brands, of which Worktop Express was included, donated furniture, furnishings and accessories. We gave our oak floating shelves which are well suited to a farmhouse setting. Positioned between two windows, these shelves establish symmetry along the wall. Here, they have been used to display a range of colourful cups and bowls and we think you’ll agree, they look fantastic.

Our floating oak shelves have been installed to house a range of colourful cups and bowls. Credit : Anna Yanovski

To learn more about the great work being done at Jamie’s Farm, visit jamiesfarm.org.uk. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for even more stories like this or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

Creating a unique kitchen can sometimes be tricky. However, the unusual worktops in our range are perfect for this exact requirement. In this blog post, we look at a few of these styles and the effect they have on your kitchen.

Blue Sparkle Laminate Worktop

The first of our unusual worktops is the blue sparkle laminate worktop. This vivid countertop has a high-gloss, reflective finish that has been infused with glitter-speckles and iridescent flecks. A décor from our Andromeda range, it not only reflects the light but catches the eye too. Definitely not one for the traditional kitchen, but when incorporated into a contemporary design will bring vibrancy and fun.

Red Sparkle Laminate Worktop

Staying with the Andromeda range, our next surface is the red sparkle laminate worktop. Retaining the same high-gloss, reflective quality and sparkly particulates as its counterpart, this red version is equally as vibrant. Pair it with dark coloured cabinet frontals and you can achieve something extremely contemporary. It works particularly well when designing in colour blocks and, as with all our sparkle range, is low maintenance and hassle-free.

Sealand Pine Laminate Worktop

Our Sealand Pine laminate worktops have a weathered effect giving them the appearance of driftwood. The various shades of brown, white and grey all add to the worn appearance of this rustic style worksurface and might appeal to those who want to create a coastal themed kitchen. It’s definitely more of a naturalistic décor and suitable for those looking to reconnect with nature.

Galaxy Gloss Laminate Worktop

The surface of this distinctive grey glitter worktop has been entirely embedded with glitter and yet has a smooth, high-gloss finish. The result is a sparkling statement countertop that demands attention and draws the eye as soon as you enter the room. Galaxy gloss works particularly well when used with stone effect splashbacks where the contrasting textures complement each other beautifully.

Zebrano Worktop

Zebrano is one of our most exotic solid wood worktops and, as the name suggests, has a heavily striped grain pattern. It’s a sought-after timber much loved for the dark brown striations against a background of rich golden brown. To accentuate this unique grain, we suggest the full stave zebrano option for an even more dramatic effect.

Which of these unusual worktops would you consider in your kitchen? Let us know in the comments below. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for even more great inspiration or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

Laminate worktops are stylish, affordable and durable but are they versatile? Many of our customers ask, “can laminate worktops be curved”, and the answer is yes. Carry on reading this blog post to find out more.

The Benefits of Curved Laminate Worktops

There are several advantages of fitting a curved laminate worktop in your kitchen, each one benefiting different lifestyles and personal preferences. A smooth countertop helps with the flow of a kitchen, especially within small spaces. It also adds interest and can be used in replacement of a rectangular kitchen island. From a functional perspective, there are no sharp corners for small children to bang their heads on.

Types of curved laminate worktops

We offer a laminate worktop cutting service that allows you to add bespoke curves to a laminate worktop. A few options are outlined below.

Radius Corners

Curved corners on a worktop are a stylish and popular option for contemporary and traditional kitchens alike. We cut radius corners to between 50mm to 300mm on square edge surfaces only – this is due to incompatibility of round edge worktop fabrication. This service is ideal if you have a corner cabinet or want to create a softer look in your kitchen.

This example shows exactly how stylish a laminate worktop can look with a curved edge. The contemporary kitchen cabinet doors have a pleasing shape which is accentuated by the radius corner of the pale marble effect laminate worktop. It draws the eye and helps to create a focal point within the kitchen.

Radius Ends

Providing a perfectly rounded finish, a radius end is ideal for a kitchen island or a breakfast bar, and much like radius corners offer a modern look for a contemporary kitchen. You can choose to have this bespoke feature on any of our square edge laminate worktops.

How to Order a Curved Laminate Worktops

To order a curved laminate worktop, visit our laminate worktop cutting service page or our online bespoke worktop tool which also saves you 10% on all fabrication services. Alternatively, you can also contact us via fabrication@worktop-express.co.uk if you would like to send a fabrication diagram through to our team.

Does a curved laminate worktop sound appealing? Let us know in the comments below. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for even more great inspiration or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

The sparkle worktops in our Andromeda range have a high-gloss finish with reflective metallic pieces embedded into the surface. In this blog post, we look at different ways to style Andromeda worktops in your kitchen.

Black Sparkle Andromeda Worktop

This stylish worktop has been paired with pale cabinets to allow the surfaces and splashback to stand out. Here, you can see a black sparkle Andromeda worktop with a slightly rounded edge, however ABS square edges are also available for an even more modern feel. Black works incredibly well with a huge variety of colours, but we recommend lighter shades to let the beauty of these black glitter surfaces shine. For more inspiration, view our black sparkle laminate worktops -Andromeda gallery.

White Sparkle Andromeda Worktop

Our white sparkle Andromeda worktop is just as contemporary but adds a light an airy touch to a kitchen. In this example, we can see the advantage of pairing it with a darker colour to create drama. It also shows how cabinet doors made from a similar high gloss material complement the surfaces for a sleek look. To see more examples of white sparkle Andromeda worktops in various different kitchen settings, take a look at our white sparkle laminate worktops – Andromeda gallery.

Grey Sparkle Andromeda Worktop

A versatile choice for any kitchen, our grey sparkle Andromeda worktop is compatible with a wide range of colours. Here, it has been paired with white cabinets for a contemporary look – this combination would work particularly well in a smaller space. View our grey sparkle laminate worktops -Andromeda gallery for more ideas.

Blue Sparkle Andromeda Worktop

Blue is a bold and striking colour – used for a worktop it catches the eye and becomes a centrepiece in any kitchen. Although you can combine blue sparkle worktops with other colours, we think that they work best with neutral shades like white or grey. They both have their advantages – why not see which combination you prefer using our worktop visualiser.

Red Sparkle Andromeda Worktop

Much like blue, red is a vivid colour, and red sparkle worktops, like the one pictured here, inject vibrancy into a kitchen. They are ideal for creating a striking look and are great when combined with white or black. These surfaces can be great for achieving a retro look – use with white, high gloss cabinets and chrome fittings if this is the style for you. For more red sparkle inspiration view our red sparkle laminate worktops – Andromeda gallery.

Which of these Andromeda worktops would look great in your kitchen? Leave your comments below. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for even more great inspiration or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

Shop the Range

If you are looking to update your kitchen you might be considering replacing your current countertop with a laminate worktop. But are laminate worktops any good? We explore this question in more detail.

Practicality

If you are looking for a work surface that is practical then laminate worktops are a great choice. Maintenance is minimal and they can be cleaned easily in seconds with just a soft cloth and warm soapy water.

Value

If you are looking for a work surface that is excellent value for money then laminate worktops are the perfect choice. Starting at just £60, they are an inexpensive solution that does not sacrifice quality.

Durability

If you are looking for a work surface that is robust and durable then laminate worktops are a good option. Just because they are less expensive than alternatives does not make them any less hardwearing. A practical solution for busy kitchens, laminate surfaces are constructed from a high-grade composite wooden particle board core and wrapped in a tough laminate top layer resulting in a long-lasting and water-resistant worktop.

Style

If you are looking for a work surface that is stylish then laminate worktops are the ideal solution. Our ever-expanding range offers you a choice of decors – from those that emulate natural materials, such as marble or wood, to those that are purely decorative like our Andromeda sparkle range. Either way, our collection is diverse and suitable for a range of kitchen designs.

Versatility

If you are looking for a work surface that will suit any kitchen then you should consider laminate countertops. As mentioned above, our range of decors makes them perfect for a variety of kitchen settings – not only this but we also offer a laminate worktop cutting service. This means that our laminate kitchen countertops can literally fit into any kitchen.

So, are laminate worktops any good? It depends. If you are looking for a work surface that is practical, durable, stylish, versatile and excellent value for money, then yes, absolutely. Still unsure if these countertops are the right choice for you? Ask your questions below or contact us to find out more information. Alternatively, drop into your local showroom or order a laminate worktop sample pack online to experience them first hand.

Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for even more great inspiration or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

In order to keep your kitchen countertops in the best possible condition, they need to be well cared for. Luckily, we have a range of products that have been tried and tested for oak worktop protection so that you can minimise the risk of damage from heat, moisture and scratches.

Heat protection

Kitchens and heat go hand in hand, which is why adequate heat protection is a necessity. It is easy to forget that a pan is hot and sometimes you can put it down on a worktop without thinking. Stainless steel hotrods are an elegant and practical solution to avoiding burn marks on your countertop. Essentially, they are a trivet that has been integrated into the surface of the worktop. Here you can see the linear formation however they can also be arranged in a diamond pattern.

Scratch Protection

Although durable, continuous chopping directly on an oak worktop can cause scratches and chips. Solid wood chopping boards offer valuable protection whilst you are preparing your meals – it is also more hygienic too. For something even more robust that is suitable for direct cutting and meat preparation, end grain butcher blocks are fantastic. Their construction and 100mm thickness make them ideal for demanding situations.

Stain Protection

Regular oiling should be an essential part of your kitchen worktop maintenance regime, regardless of the timber. We recommend using Danish oil, which has been specially formulated to protect your worktops and help them last longer. Without regular oiling, the surface is vulnerable to staining which looks unsightly and can lead to additional problems. In this image, you can see the benefits of oiling.

Cupping and Bowing Protection

One of the main reasons for cupping and bowing is through incorrect fitting causing restrictions to the natural contraction and expansion of timber. It is important to use a worktop installation kit and ensure your surface is fitted correctly. Each kit contains:

  • TCT router cutter
  • 3 x worktop connector bolts
  • 10 x slotted brackets
  • Worktop sealant
  • Woodscrews

Moisture Protection

Much like heat, moisture – which is the cause of a lot of damage to worktops – is found throughout a kitchen. Light spills that are cleaned up quickly will not cause an issue, especially if you regularly maintain your worktops with oil. However, moisture from appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers can prove more problematic – which is why it is important that your worktop is protected sufficiently. That is where moisture barriers come in useful – they prevent any excessive water build up directly affecting worktops.

Worktops fitted above washing machines, dishwashers and tumble driers need to be protected with a moisture barrier.

Credit : Best job around the world

Have you used any of these oak worktop protection methods in your kitchen? Did they avert an accident? Leave your comments below. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for even more great inspiration or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

Kitchen splashbacks are an excellent way to protect your walls from splashes and stains. Our range of patterned splashbacks do exactly that but also offer a way to introduce beautiful aesthetics to your cooking space. In this blog post, we take a look at how to style these decorative and functional kitchen features.

Victorian Mosaic Tile Splashback

Featuring a collection of elaborate charcoal grey patterns, Victorian Mosaic tile splashbacks are suitable for traditional kitchen styles. The monochrome shade is incredibly versatile, allowing it to be used in a range of colour schemes. Here you can see it paired with our walnut worktop, and the combination of dark work surface with pale splashback is highly effective.

Geometric Tile Splashback

Our Geometric tile splashback is unmistakably contemporary. The hexagonal dark grey on white design catches the eye and creates a focal point for your kitchen. Although you could combine it with any solid wood or laminate worktops it is particularly dramatic when matched with slimline solid laminate worktops – in this case Rouille Zenith.

Herringbone Tile Splashback

A stylish choice for contemporary and traditional kitchens alike, this Herringbone splashback has a rustic wood effect tile pattern. Here it complements a solid wood worktop but you could also pair it with wood effect laminate worktops for a similar result.

Alternative Options

One of the nice features of these patterned splashbacks is that they are double-sided and feature the same design but in a paler colour. Have a look at their reverse sides below. Which do you prefer?

The reverse sides of the Victorian Mosaic, Geometric and Herringbone patterned splashbacks.

Aside From Aesthetics, Why Consider These Splashbacks?

As well as being reversible, each one of these splashbacks is easy to fit – saving you time and effort during installation. The decorative laminate top layer covers a robust 9mm thick fibreboard ensuring durability. Unlike tiles, which require mortar and grout, these tile effect splashbacks are much cleaner to install and maintain, simply requiring a wipe with a damp cloth.

Which of these splashbacks would look great in your kitchen? Leave your comments below. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for even more great inspiration or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

These splashbacks not for you? Take a look at our other kitchen splashback ranges.