Worktop Express Blog

Here at Worktop Express we spend much of our time singing the praises of our undeniably gorgeous real wood worktops, but sometimes we come across fantastic wooden creations that we can’t help but share with fellow appreciators of all things ‘tree’-lated.

This week on the blog we would like to share a unique work of art by Havana-based carpentry collective, ‘Los Carpinteros’. This trio of cool Cuban artists have been carving wooden furnishings and creating other unusual designs since the early 1990s, but in 1999 they created one of their most iconic pieces yet, a giant wooden hand grenade.

Of course, this isn’t just any giant hand grenade, this 2 metre-tall solid wood creation features 36 separate drawers and is intended as a jewellery case. Whilst the shape makes it totally inconvenient, and it is unlikely that anyone could possibly fill each drawer to the brim with jewellery, the unusual design sure makes for a fascinating centrepiece in the exhibitions it has graced around the world.

If you find an unusual wooden creation you feel would justify coverage in our ‘Wacky Wood’ blog features, we would love to hear from you. Feel free to share it with us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Not a month passes us by without our fabrication team wowing us with the quality of their work. Using a combination of advanced CNC machinery and hand-finishing techniques, our team creates hundreds of bespoke kitchen worktops every month, which are then delivered by our 2Man team to customers throughout England, Wales and Scotland.

Here are this month’s top 3 bespoke solid wood workbenches:

Full Stave Prime Oak

If you are a fan of the highly-popular oak timber, then our Full Stave Prime Oak worktops are by far the most luxurious example of this traditional timber. Our team were tasked with creating an extra-wide and perfectly-formed kitchen island surface, which features four smooth radius corners and a circular cut-out to accommodate one of our end grain butchers blocks.

Before delivery, the worktop was sanded to an incredibly smooth finish before a number of coats of oil were applied to protect the timber and prepare it for installation.

Caramel Bamboo

Caramel bamboo is a richly-coloured variant of one of our most sustainable worktop choices. Each of our caramel bamboo worktops undergoes a special heat treatment that brings out the natural sugars of the bamboo, in turn adding a golden hue to the surface.

This particular caramel bamboo worktop features an extra-wide end-cap to protect the end grain, a large cut-out to accommodate a hob, and another smaller cut-out at one end which ensures that the worktop can easily accommodate the irregularities of the customer’s kitchen.

After customising this worktop, our team sanded it to create a very smooth surface, which then had a number of coats of oil applied to seal and protect it.

Black American Walnut

Black American walnut worktops are one of our most elegant timber choices, featuring a stunning grain and rich chocolate hues. This particular example was created by our fabrication team to suit life as a kitchen breakfast bar alongside other black American walnut worktops.

It features a smooth ellipse end that had a soft pencil edge profile applied to remove any sharp edges and make the surface family-friendly.

Like all the other worktops that pass through the hands of our fabrication team, the worktop then had a number of coats of oil applied to protect it during transit and allow installation immediately after delivery.

If you have been inspired by any of the fabricated worktops featured in this month’s ‘Fabrication Top Picks’, then consider creating your own using our Online Bespoke Worktop Tool. We have an ongoing promotion that will save you 10% on any customisations ordered through the online tool, which makes bespoke worktops quick to order and excellent value for money.

2Man Delivery of Kitchen Work Surfaces Now Available to Many Scottish Postcodes

At Worktop Express we have recently been delivering kitchen work surfaces to many more customers in the North of England with our 2Man service – thanks to the opening of two additional depots in Warrington and Chesterfield. Not content with stopping there, we have now increased our range even further by covering the vast majority of Scottish postcodes, too.

To start with we have limited the service to select Scottish postcodes, and cannot deliver 5 days a week. However, we are hoping that if the rollout of our 2Man service to Scotland proves successful, we will be able to open a fully-fledged delivery depot to serve further reaches of Scotland throughout the week.

To see the breakdown of postcodes that we can now deliver to, and to find out which days those areas are covered, please visit our updated delivery details page and scroll down to the Scottish postcode table.

Whilst we do not yet have a showroom to cover Scotland, don’t forget that our worktops sample service is delivered by a nationwide courier, allowing you to try our worktops before you buy – no matter where you live.

Win Rugby World Cup Prizes with Worktop Express!

If – like us – you are a keen rugby follower, then you will most definitely find yourself glued to the TV over the coming weeks as the 2015 Rugby World Cup gets underway.

As Gloucester is one of the host cities, we are very proud to support the Gloucester team in the form of sponsorship of winger Henry Trinder. Unfortunately Henry is still nursing a knee injury, otherwise we would have no doubt he would be in England’s squad, too.

For the next two weeks, we are offering lovers of real wood work tops who follow our Facebook and Twitter pages the chance to win a fantastic host of prizes including a digital projector – on which they can watch all the big games in the climax towards the World Cup Final on October 31st – along with an England World Cup rugby shirt and rugby ball.

To enter, all you need to do is answer one of the daily rugby-related question you will find on our Facebook page (for the first week) and Twitter page (for the second week) before September 30th. Each day we will select two correct answers to win a rugby ball, whilst every correct answer will be entered into the draw for the projector and England rugby shirt which will take place on Thursday the 1st of October.

If you would like to enter the competition, please make sure you have read our full competition terms and conditions to ensure that you are eligible.

Our wide range of hardwood worktops includes many timbers to suit a variety of kitchen budgets and themes – whether modern or traditional. Whilst oak and beech are very popular choices, it is without doubt that our wenge worktops are the most opulent within our collection.

This darkly exotic African timber is imported from mid and western Africa, and our team take great care to source the timber from merchants that can provide a full ‘chain of custody’; ensuring that our timbers come from legal sources in areas with well-established re-planting schemes.

Featuring a distinctive linear grain with lighter flecks throughout the surface, this wood looks almost black in some light and is 50% more dense than oak. In this full stave variant, the worktop is constructed from 90mm wide staves that run the full length of the worktop to create a truly luxurious surface.

Full Stave Wenge Hardwood Worktops: September’s Worktop of the Month

Prices for our full stave wenge worktops start at £400, and if you would like to see the timber for yourself before placing an order, we warmly invite you to visit one of our Worktop Express showrooms, or place an order for one of our worktop samples, which are priced at just £5 including delivery.

At Worktop Express® we appreciate that trees are the most flexible and useful natural resource available, so we were pleased to learn that the world contains considerably more trees than previously thought.

A team of 38 scientists released the important data, which shows that planet Earth is now home to approximately 3.04 trillion trees — considerably more than the previous estimate of 400 billion. The researchers claim that this means there are now 422 trees for every person in the world.

Whilst this news has been received with great positivity, this revised study also claims that there are 46 percent fewer trees on Earth than before humans started mass deforestation.

If anything, this figure simply reinforces the ethos of companies such as ours that are committed to using timber from replenished resources. Chopping down vast swathes of woodland and replacing it with fuel and food crops such as palm trees or grain is highly damaging to the environment, and could ultimately lead to more hardwoods becoming extinct.

We go through great lengths to ensure that all the timber used to manufacture our solid wood surfaces comes from well-managed resources. By working closely with forest managers in Eastern Europe and suppliers of timber from more exotic locations, we can ensure that each tree has a provable chain of custody to comply with the strict EUTR legislations.

After working very hard to build our reputation of conforming to sound environmental practices, we are now able to offer a range of worktops that conform fully to the Forest Stewardship Council® certifications.

We have also planted more than 50,000 trees in conjunction with the International Tree Foundation since partnering with them in 2014.

Visit our Environmental Policy page to find out more about how we create fantastic wooden worktops that are entirely eco-friendly and supportive of the natural world.

Deluxe European Wood Kitchen Work Surfaces Now on Sale

It is no surprise to us that European walnut has become one of the most popular timbers in our range of wood kitchen work surfaces, and in this Deluxe variant the timber looks especially luxurious. With up to 10% off all Deluxe Walnut Worktops until 15:59pm on the 30th of September, this stunning timber comes at an unrivalled price.

Curvy grain and an elegant colour variation are accentuated further by the extra-wide 90mm staves of this Deluxe option, making it a very desirable choice for kitchens – whether sleek and contemporary, or more traditionally designed.

We have made it very straightforward to save on Deluxe European Walnut worktops this month – there is no discount code needed as the generous discount has already been applied to every size of worktop in this range. All you need to do is head over to our Deluxe Walnut worktops page to start shopping.

Don’t forget: if you are looking for a bespoke walnut worktop, this saving also applies to any fabricated worktops, along with 10% discount on the customisations if ordered through the Online Bespoke Worktop tool in our ongoing Bespoke Services promotion.

If you haven’t had a chance to see our Deluxe Walnut worktops up-close, then why not order one of our worktop samples? Priced at just £5 including delivery, each sample is pre-oiled on one side to give you an accurate representation of the finished product, and can be refunded if you go on to purchase a worktop. Alternatively, pop along to one of our Worktop Express showrooms to see the worktops alongside many more in a demonstration kitchen environment.

Our Top 5...

If you have already decided that our wooden block wood counters are the perfect surface for your new kitchen, you may have started to look at other solid wood furnishings to complete your kitchen.

If space allows, a solid wood dining table in the same type of timber as your chosen worktop will give your kitchen design a degree of aesthetic continuity. Today on the blog we have rounded up our top 5 favourite wood worktops for you:

Vince Round Walnut Dining Table

If you are limited for space in your kitchen, then consider this round Vince dining table from Habitat.

This solid walnut table comes pre-oiled and at 120mm in diameter, can comfortably sit four adults.

The design is ever so slightly retro, and of course would be ideal for combining with any type of walnut worktops.

£395 from

The Oak Brunel Dining Table

Modest in form yet with an elegant full stave oak top, the Oak Brunel dining table from Indigo Furniture sits atop of a steel base and legs, available in a robust specialist coating in either cool Anthracite Grey or Ivory tones.

Available in sizes ranging from 6 to 8 foot in length, this table can comfortably seat at least six, and is also available with matching benches or chairs.

from £999 from

Lichfield Extending Dark Walnut Dining Table

If you like to entertain but don’t permanently have the space for a large table, this Lichfield Extending Dark Walnut dining table from Top Furniture could be ideal for your solid wood kitchen.

Made from black American walnut, this table seats four as standard, and six when extended, and comes in a hard-wearing oiled finish.

£439 from

Somerset Dark Oak Dining Table

If you are looking for a traditional yet chunky kitchen table, this Somerset Dark Oak dining table from The Great Furniture Trading Company could be ideal – especially if your kitchen features our black oak worktops or wenge worktops.

Constructed from a combination of solid oak and veneer, this table manages to look considerably more expensive than its price tag.

£319 from

Worktop Express Solid Oak Table Tops

If you have purchased oak worktops from us, and would like a matching kitchen table top, consider our oak replacement tabletops.

As standard you can choose from circular, square and rectangular options with either 20mm or 40mm wide stave constructions, starting at only £45. Simply add the base of your choice to create a beautiful kitchen table.

Thanks to our bespoke cutting service, custom sizes and shapes can be catered for, too.

From £40 on Worktop Express

If you have purchased a kitchen table to match Worktop Express worktops, we would love to see it! Why not upload a photo to our Facebook page, or send it to us on Twitter?