Worktop Express Blog

Real wooden worktops are unsurpassed by veneered imitations in both strength and beauty – and our Deluxe Sapele worktops are no exception. Indeed, these kitchen surfaces – which are perfect for infusing your space with an innate sense of warmth – have been awarded the accolade of ‘Worktop of the Month’. Read on to learn more!

Deluxe Sapele countertops are crafted from only the highest-quality raw materials, producing a work surface that is both beautiful and robust. Deeper in colour than iroko and warmer than black American walnut, sapele starts out pale but develops rich chestnut hues soon after installation.

October’s Worktop of the Month – Deluxe Sapele worktops with 90mm wide staves.

Sapele boasts a wavy grain and an even texture, with a notable lack of knots; furthermore, it’s extremely hard-wearing – even denser than oak.

The Deluxe worktop configuration incorporates extra-wide, 90mm staves, which are perfect for displaying the timber’s attractive grain pattern to the fullest effect. Each of these staves is finger-jointed and glued under high pressure, creating durable, long-lasting worktops that measure up to 4M in length.

Complete the look of your Deluxe Sapele worktops with coordinating Deluxe Sapele worktop upstands – an elegant finishing touch that will disguise the expansion gap at the back of the counter. If you would like to balance the look with matching plinths, we also supply full stave sapele plinths that will coordinate beautifully.

Order your worktop sample today to discover the true charm of solid sapele worktops in person. These representative samples cost just £5 each, the cost of which can be redeemed when you go on to place a full order with Worktop Express®.

Our talented team of craftsmen have had a busy month producing stunning hardwood work surfaces to match the precise specifications of our customers. Indeed, a range of characterful timber species and luxurious exotic variants have passed through our hands over the last few weeks: keep reading to learn more about our favourites!

Full Stave Zebrano

Bespoke full stave zebrano worktop with a circular sink cut-out.

One of our most strikingly exotic wood surfaces, our full stave zebrano worktops are truly stunning. With 90mm-wide staves that run the entire length of the work surface, the distinctive grain and golden colouration of these worktops are shown off to their best.

This bespoke zebrano worktop has been purchased for use in a bathroom. It has been cut to size and a circular cut-out was added to create space for a large drop-in sink.

European Walnut

Made to measure European walnut work surface with an irregular cut, undermounted sink cut-out, tap hole and drainage grooves.

European walnut worktops are well-known for their characterful grain pattern and beautifully contrasting colouration. The colours featured in these popular worktops range from honey to chocolate, making this the ideal surface for bringing warmth and cosiness to any kitchen.

This particular custom worktop has had a number of bespoke cuts made. First, an irregular cut was added to provide this diagonal edge. Then, a sink cut-out was created to make space for an undermounted kitchen sink. Around the sink cut-out, we have added a tap hole cut-out and six angled drainage grooves. As an elegant finishing touch, a pencil edge profile has been added to the front edge of the worktop.


Custom wood worktop made from solid wenge with a sink cut-out, a large hob cut-out and drainage grooves.

This impressive wenge worktop is our favourite piece from October. Measuring four metres long, the large swathe of dark and sumptuous timber is especially dramatic. Exotic wenge wood is 50% more dense than oak, earning itself the reputation of being ‘the timber equivalent of granite’; robust and luxurious, this really is a surface that you can prize for many, many years.

The stylish surface was made to measure by our experienced fabrication team, who tailored the worktop to feature an undermounted sink cut-out and a large hob cut-out. Drainage grooves were added to the surface, making it easy to wipe water off the surface and into the sink in future (thus ensuring that the wood will never be impaired by standing water).

If you are considering ordering kitchen worktops with bespoke features, we are pleased to offer a professional wood worktop cutting service and laminate cutting service. Wooden worktops can also be designed, priced-up and ordered online using our Online Bespoke Worktop Tool.

To get in touch and order with a member of our helpful sales team, please telephone us on 0345 22 22 644 or email .

Martyn and Will Rees founded Direct Online Services Ltd in 2009.

Martyn and Will Rees, Co-Founders of Worktop Express

Direct Online Services Ltd is the online retailer behind prominent kitchen worktops brand Worktop Express and oak kitchen supplier Solid Wood Kitchen Cabinets (as well as a number of other acclaimed brands). We are pleased to announce that the company has just secured an investment of £3 million from the Business Growth Fund to support further expansion.

Founded by father and son team Martyn and Will Rees in 2009, one of the company’s primary aims is to supply high-quality, sustainably-sourced kitchen components at truly affordable prices. The company already operates in the UK, Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland, and is excited to have secured the funds to expand further into Germany and launch a new operation in France.

‘The business has grown rapidly in the past seven years and we have continued to make investments in our team, infrastructure, operations, sales and marketing,’ commented Martyn Rees.

Will added: ‘With this substantial investment, we plan to expand our product range as well as our presence in the UK and overseas, and hope to become the leading online worktop retailer in Europe’.

The Business Growth Fund was formed in 2011 to provide long-term growth capital for fast-growing SMEs in the UK. Backed by five of the nation’s most prominent banking groups – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered – the independent organisation helps ambitious businesses reach their full potential.

Direct Online Services Ltd now employs almost 200 people and predicts turnover to exceed £25 million this year. You can find out more about our flagship brand on the Worktop Express ‘About Us’ page.

Ecosia is a search engine that uses its advert revenue to plant trees.

Anyone who is a fan of our hardwood worktops will know about our passion for sustainable and ethical sourcing, and that we are strongly committed to our rigorous environmental policies. But did you know about this one easy change you can make to minimise your own carbon footprint?

Ecosia is a search engine company based in Berlin, Germany, which donates 80% of its surplus income to not-for-profit organisations with a focus on conservation. Launched in December 2009, its current emphasis is on tree planting, whilst it ensures all of its business operations are C02-neutral and all its financials transparent.

Powered by BING, a search engine owned and run by Microsoft, Ecosia displays adverts on its search results pages. The company is paid for every click on a sponsored advert, an amount which varies depending on the search term. If a web user clicks on an advert after searching for what is categorised as a higher-value search term, the advert revenue from this one click could pay for a number of trees.

Within two years, the search engine raised more than €250,000, and 116,000 seedlings were planted thanks to Ecosia’s donations. Today, the figure stands at more than 5,337,000 trees planted in total – and around €2,886,000 donated – so you can see how far the project has come. The company aims to plant one billion trees by 2020.

We strive to become ever-more sustainable in all our processes and have collaborated with the International Tree Foundation (ITF) for several years to support tree-planting projects across the UK and Africa. Find out more about our pro-environmental endeavours in our recent project update.

Beautiful worktops are an intrinsic aspect of any kitchen design. If you’re looking for a little something extra to help with your everyday culinary tasks – or to give to a friend to show off on their work surfaces – we have searched the web to find the perfect kitchen accessories for you, and none of them cost more than £20. If you’re an owner of solid wood worktops and are committed to perfecting the fine art of hosting, these excellent gadgets and utensils are just what you need:

The Obsessive Chef Chopping Board, made entirely from bamboo.

The Obsessive Chef Chopping Board – £20.00

Perfect for the truly conscientious chefs among us, the Obsessive Chef Chopping Board features markings that will help you cut and dice with the utmost precision. There are also angled lines that assist in cutting to 30°, 45° and 60°.

If you pride yourself on fastidious food preparation, why not treat yourself to this bamboo chopping board? Just £20 from Waitrose!

Five-piece bamboo utensil set from Mason Cash.

Mason Cash Elite 5-Piece Bamboo Utensil Set – £10.00

This five-piece utensil set from Mason Cash is the ideal complement to our impressive bamboo worktops, and features the same distinctive node markings. This environmentally-friendly kit of utensils includes a range of slotted and solid spoons and turners.

A useful kitchen starter kit, the Mason Cash 5-piece set can be purchased from a range of high-street and online retailers for around £10.

A ceramic and wood olive dish with olive picks and four compartments.

Ceramic and Wood Olive Dish with Picks – £12.99

If you love entertaining, this ceramic and wood olive dish is a must. Incorporating ceramic surrounds and a wooden centre, the dish also includes handy olive picks to save your fingers from getting oily.

You need not limit your tasty treats to olives, however. With four compartments, you can delight guests with a range of salamis, stuffed piquant peppers and other such nibbles. This elegant dish looks great on wood worktops, and can be purchased from for £12.99.

This wooden chopping board features a useful conversion chart.

Oak Floating Shelf – £20.00

If you’re seeking a solid wood storage solution to match your hardwood work surfaces, look no further than this 300mm oak floating shelf from Worktop Express®. Made from the same timber as our solid oak worktops, these shelves create an impressive floating effect, and are very hard-wearing.

If you have opted for a worktop of a different timber, you can visit our floating shelves page to discover a wide variety of choices. These popular shelves are easily installed and start from just £20.


Kitchen Conversions Chopping Board – £11.99

Ever followed a recipe that instructs you to pre-heat your oven at Gas Mark 4 and find yourself scratching your head as you look at the ‘degrees Celsius’ markings on your cooker? This multi-purpose chopping board is a convenient solution to many common kitchen conversions, providing a wide variety of equivalent measurements including dry measures, liquid measures and temperatures.

This wooden chopping board is an excellent accessory for timber countertops, and you can find it on for just £11.99.

If you love the look of these accessories but have yet to purchase your worktop, why not request some worktop samples to help you select your favourite timber? Samples cost just £5 and can be refunded against your worktops on a one-for-one basis.

You may already know that a few months ago we launched a brand new range of laminate worktops; what you may not know is that this new collection of low-maintenance kitchen worktops has proven to be extremely popular – so much so that we’re now delighted to announce its expansion to include a variety of attractive new styles and finishes!

This exciting new product launch includes laminate worktops with wood-effect, granite-effect and marble-effect designs. You will also find cutting-edge AEON™ worktops in our latest offering: this is a brand new way of making laminate worktops, using enhanced-performance technology to produce surfaces that have three to five times the resistance to wear, scuffs, and scratches when compared to the industry standard. These premium surfaces are extra resilient, and are designed to look new for longer.

Marble-effect surfaces have rocketed to the top of the list when it comes to current interior trends, and we are delighted to now offer a beautiful selection of Calcutta Marble laminate worktops, which are part of our hard-wearing AEON range.

Colmar Oak - oak effect laminate worktops.
Calcutta Marble – marble effect, AEON laminate worktops.
Winter Carnival – Brazilian granite effect, AEON laminate worktops.

Other styles – such as our Winter Carnival granite-effect worktops, which features a large-scale Brazilian granite design – have a high-definition ‘mirage’ finish that combines matt and gloss finishes for an even more realistic effect.

If you fancy updating your kitchen with a wood-effect work surface, our beautiful Colmar Oak worktops and Coco Bolo worktops leave nothing to be desired – they are very durable, and feature a high-definition wood-grain design.

Like our existing collection of laminate surfaces, all new styles are available with a 900mm-wide breakfast bar option and are supplied with two coordinating edging strips. We have also launched a laminate worktop cutting service, allowing our customers to order their laminate kitchen surfaces with customisations such as cut to size, hob cut-outs, sink cut-outs and tap holes.

Don’t forget, this fresh collection of quality laminate surfaces are all made with FSC-certified chipboard and have been awarded FIRA Gold certification for product excellence.

If you simply can’t decide which style is your favourite, why not order our laminate worktop sample pack?

Fireclay ceramic is a hard-wearing, scratch-resistant material that is full of traditional charm. Ceramic sinks look incredibly characterful alongside solid wood worktops, creating a beautiful contrast of textures. Our extensive collection of kitchen sinks includes a range of overmounted ceramic sinks; elegant, durable and very easy to install, it’s no wonder these sinks are among our best-sellers.

Our overmounted ceramic sinks are made with versatility in mind, and incorporate a reversible design so our customers can choose between a left-hand and right-hand draining board. Made with resilient natural materials, these sinks are available in white and black. Both colour options feature a luxuriously glossy glaze and come in single-bowl and 1.5-bowl designs; this offers the choice of either one spacious basin or the flexibility of an additional ‘half’ bowl (perfect for accessing the tap when the primary bowl is full).

Overmounted kitchen sink in glossy white ceramic
Inset kitchen sink in glossy black ceramic.

The white overmounted sink is best suited to traditional oak worktops, and also looks stunning with striking full stave black American walnut worktops. Contemporary black sinks look magnificent with our exotic zebrano worktops and Black Andromeda laminate worktops; or – for a high-contrast effect – we recommend pairing with a beautifully pale maple work surface.

If you’ve selected your sink but have yet to decide on your work surfaces, why not order a sample today? This handy service offers both wood worktop samples and laminate sample sets, and allows you to redeem the cost when you purchase your kitchen worktops.