Worktop Express Blog

Here at Worktop Express, people use our worktops for kitchen work surfaces, in bathrooms, and even for desks in offices. Did you know though, that our worktops can even be used to create wooden workbenches for workshops? Our worktops are sturdy and thick enough to stand up to the trials of a busy workshop whilst the textured grain and flat surface gives a good amount of grip and stability. In this post, we show you how to use our worktops to create wooden workbenches.

Our worktops are ideal for using as wooden workbenches

Credit : Pinterest


Before you even buy you worktop and other materials, you need to establish the length, width, and height of your workbench.

Length – Length is completely up to you but consider accessibility. Will the length of your worktop impede doorways, windows, or walkways? The longest wooden worktops in our collection are 4m long, but you require more length we are able to create bespoke surfaces in larger sizes.

Width – If your workbench is going to be free standing and not positioned against a wall, there needs to be enough space for you to walk all the way around – we suggest at least 31”, but if it is possible 41” is ideal. Also, consider how far you can reach. You need to be able to easily get at things in the centre of the workbench and for that reason, a workbench that is placed against a wall is often narrower than that which is freestanding.

Height – Your workbench needs to be a comfortable working height. Avoid a low height that forces you to stoop and conversely you also do not want it too high either. As a rough guide, most workbenches are between 33″ and 36″.

Once you have all of these measurements, note them down and calculate the cost and quantity of your materials.

Find a Worktop

The most important factor of a wooden workbench is that it is flat and sturdy, and our worktops meet both of these requirements as they have been made by our team of experts. They also need to be hardwearing. According to the Janka hardness test, the hardest wood that we have on sale is wenge, followed closely by Zebrano and sapele. Ash, which is our hardest non-exotic wood, is a more affordable choice.


There are many ways that you can construct your workbench – either by building a frame or using cabinetry. Buying a cabinet with draws, definitely saves you time and gives you the added bonus of storing your nuts, bolts and other workshop miscellany, and although building a frame takes a longer time, it can be a much cheaper method.

Adding Accessories

Building wooden workbenches has its advantages. For example, you can fit it with accessories. No workbench would be complete without a vice and there are many different types to choose from. The first choice is the type that clamps on to the edge of the worktop – the benefit being that it can be removed and repositioned. Our worktops come in thicknesses of 22mm, 27mm, and 40mm so make sure that the clamp is compatible with these sizes before you buy. The alternative is a permanent clamp which is fixed directly onto the worktop using screws – some people think that this type is more stable but both options are equally sturdy when used correctly.

Have you built your own wooden workbench using one of our solid woodworktops? We would love to hear your thoughts and advice in the comments below. Head on over to our Facebook and Twitter pages to share your pictures.

We provide a number of worktop alteration options so you can be sure that when your work surfaces arrive they are ready for installation. Previously we have spent time with the sales team who make sure bespoke orders go through smoothly. This week, we spent some time with Marcin – who oversees our fabrication department as the Director of Technical and Quality – to see how the worktops are customised before being sent out to customers. Each member of the fabrication team has a station and the worktops move between them.

6:03 am

The worktops arrive in our warehouse and each one is quality checked as it is unloaded from the forklift. As they are checked, each of the worktops is assigned a number so we know which surface corresponds with which CAD drawing. This helps us make sure the right alterations are made to the right worktop. The fabrication department is completely paperless so we use tablets to match each worktop up with the design to be used.

8:17 am

We have finally finished checking and labelling each worktop and we can now start working on the alterations needed. We have a programme that takes our CAD drawings and uses them as a plan to machine cut the worktops accurately. Some of the worktops only need very basic alterations – these will go straight through here and will then be taken on to be sanded.

9:45 am

This worktop requires some alterations using our CNC machine. The drawing specifies that we need a radius corner on this particular surface – our CNC machine is also used for holes and profiling too.

10:22 am

Our worktop has its radius corner so it now transferred to the sanding area for finishing. We use a hand-held power sander first, then follow this with a dry belt sanding machine which is how we achieve our 180 grit standard finish.

11:07 am

The worktop is oiled by machine and this is then finished off by hand – then we leave to dry, which takes approximately an hour.

12:39 pm

With the worktop finally dry, we can put it through our last quality checks. We do this to ensure that everything we send out meets our high standards, and there are some defects that will only be visible after oiling. Luckily, this one is fine, so we can go ahead and wrap it ready for transport. If there are any defects we pick up in this final check, we carry out any minor repairs before packing for delivery.

1:27 pm

Our worktop is packed and ready to be loaded onto one of our vans for transportation. We have completed 39 fabrication orders so far today – with a few more hours to go we are likely to finish between 50 – 60 by the time we go home!

This video gives you a behind-the-scenes look at our fabrication department, showing the skilled team and state-of-the-art technology that makes our bespoke worktop cutting service possible. Stay up-to-date and find out about the next part in our Forest to Front Door series and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Grey might not be the most obvious colour choice for a kitchen, but it is a useful colour to use as it provides a neutral foundation. Although you might not want a completely grey kitchen, installing a realistic laminate grey granite worktop definitely has its advantages. We associate grey with industrial or utilitarian situations but in reality, it is a colour that takes a step back, allowing the rest of the kitchen to speak for itself. It does not take centre stage but rather accentuates the other details in the kitchen.

We think of grey as being dark, however, this imitation grey granite worktop is a much lighter shade. It has been used in this kitchen alongside a traditional wooden cabinet to introduce a variety of textures. The variations of grey in the worktop give it a lovely depth and makes the perfect centrepiece when used on an island.

Lighter Shades of Grey

Using grey granite worktops in a light kitchen.

Credit : homedesignlover

This grey granite worktop is a much lighter shade and has been used in this kitchen to brighten up the space. There is very little colour in this kitchen but the subtle variations of grey give it depth and because the kitchen is light and airy, any darker colours, such as the chair legs or kettle really stand out. There are also plenty of textures such as the mosaic tile backsplash, the shiny stainless-steel oven, and the matt grey kitchen wall cabinets. Instead of using expensive granite, our Grey Granite Laminate Worktops – Dolomite would work equally as well.

Solid Grey Granite Worktop

mid-grey granite worktop atop dark wood cabinets.

Credit : homedesignlover

From a distance, this grey granite worktop looks like it has a uniform colour. But on closer inspection, you will see the subtle patterns that are characteristic of granite. This kitchen island surface has more of a matte finish rather than a reflective surface and so blends in better with the rest of the kitchen. The dark wood cabinets compliment the colour of the granite whilst the white wall cupboards help to lighten the kitchen. Although the granite in this kitchen works well, our lighter grey granite laminate worktops would have introduced a little more light, making the kitchen feel even more welcoming.

Highly Patterned Grey Granite Worktop

Highly Patterned Grey Granite Worktop

Credit : homedesignlover

This kitchen island worktop is probably the closest to resemble our grey granite effect worktops. With its highly patterned grey, it is atypical of most grey designs because it actually draws the eye. The striking grey pattern is a theme that is continued throughout the kitchen and can be seen on the wall and even to some extent in the chairs. The dark wood of the cabinets and the stainless-steel appliances, taps, and handles bring everything together.

Light Grey Granite for Traditional Kitchens

A traditional kitchen with Light Grey Granite Worktop

Credit : homedesignlover

This light grey granite worktop has been used here in this kitchen to create a traditional feel and you can see how a grey granite laminate worktop could work in the similar way. Cup Handles have been used on the cabinet doors which further adds to the traditional feel plus the floor is a darker colour which helps to highlight the white cabinets and pale grey granite worktop.

Are you considering having a grey granite worktop in your kitchen? We hope these ideas have inspired you. Perhaps you have one in your kitchen already. Why not share your thoughts and advice in the comments below, or head over to our Facebook and Twitter pages to share your pictures?

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Earlier this month, Adrian, our Social Media Specialist, took a trip to London to visit an organisation that we have been donating timber to. Goldfinger Factory, based on Golborne Road, is an award-winning social enterprise who fabricate sustainably designed and built bespoke pieces and commercial fit-outs. We cut down any wood we have that is unsuitable for worktops, producing smaller items like chopping boards – nothing is wasted as we fuel our heaters using timber that would otherwise be wasted. Last year we started donating some of this timber and Adrian met with Marie, the CEO and Co-Founder of Goldfinger Factory, to find out how they use this wood.

Hi Marie. Could you tell me a little bit about Goldfinger Factory?

We’re a social enterprise that designs and fabricates furniture from reclaimed materials, sourced from a variety of partners like Worktop Express. We also help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds become self-sustaining through craft be providing them with a variety of training programmes.

Your products look great! What are you working on at the moment?

We’ve got our head of design and operations fabricating furniture for a variety of different clients – he can be working on as many as 10 projects at a time! Right at this moment, he’s working on a huge table. We also have a trainee working with us – he’s been training with us for two years under one of the master carpenters but now does it all himself. At the moment he’s working on office desks for a big client, which is a great outcome for him and for us.

What do you do with the wood we provide for you?

First of all, we are very grateful for Worktop Express’ support. The wood we receive from you is a really fantastic change to our operations. The consistent flow of high-quality wood, although useless to you, is all perfectly usable for us and still encapsulates our “waste to gold” philosophy. We piloted it last year when we launched a very exciting range of cute desk tidies that combine plastic from Arup and the wood that you supply, which we turn into the lids. The lids are made from walnut and oak. That’s just one way we use your donated timber to showcase how tactile and beautiful it can be. It really shows people that reclaimed doesn’t mean inferior – it doesn’t mean sub-standard. We believe strongly that waste is a resource in the wrong hands.

What is your process for creating something new?

Alex, the head of design and operations for Goldfinger Factory, has a very multifaceted role that requires him to wear many hats. He’s basically involved throughout all of the stages of a project, from conception to delivery. When a client comes to us with a proposal, it’s his job to consider how to use the recycled materials that we receive. He’s always thinking of ways to use the Worktop Express table tops and benches for large and small projects. When we get the wood in, he’ll have a look and see where it’s most useful. A great example is when we used your wood in a café in South Ealing that provides a place for people with trauma to go for treatment. That’s one place the wood has been used extensively.

Apart from sustainable design and build what else do Goldfinger Factory do?

Our kitchen was the first thing that we started way back in 2013. We had the vision to provide reasonably priced food and drink in an approachable space where communities felt welcome. Our start-up chef is a real food entrepreneur. We provide a fully serviced kitchen space for peppercorn rent in exchange for providing service to the community in the form of a people’s kitchen. Food is a real passion of mine. The Italian chef, Giuseppe, gives us his surplus food every 3rd Sunday and volunteers cook up a beautiful feast. At 6 pm anyone is welcome to drop by for a free meal.

Could you explain a little more about the social aspect of Goldfinger factory?

Using the resources that Worktop Express can’t use gives us the opportunity to create products, which in turn creates jobs and training opportunities. It completes the cycle and makes our socio-economic model possible. More importantly though, it really makes young people feel empowered, giving them the confidence to turn waste into gold!

If you would like to learn more about Goldfinger Factory or perhaps pay them a visit, you can find all the information on their website. What do you think of the work that they do? Share your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

With the launch of our new solid laminate kitchen worktop range, we thought we would explore some of the colour combinations that complement and enhance their aesthetics. Copper worktops are incredibly popular at the moment, and our Rouille Zenith Worktop exhibits the complex range of shades that make copper so appealing. It gives depth and texture to a kitchen, creating a different atmosphere depending on which colour it is used alongside – we have compiled a few options for you to consider pairing with your copper worktops below.


Bold and with a timeless appeal, navy is a great choice if you want to introduce a distinct colour to your kitchen without it being too dynamic. As it is dark, it absorbs the light allowing the lighter shades in copper worktops to pop out. Our Rouille Zenith Worktop is a deep copper colour so it has enough strength to be coupled with the rich tones of navy blue. Combining the calm and cooling colour of navy with the energetic and warm colours of the copper creates a perfect balance resulting in a harmonious and comforting ambiance.


There are endless shades of pink, and, whilst any can work with copper, we think that pale pink with copper worktops is a winning combination. Much like navy, it is a calming colour and often associated with romance, giving it a feminine quality that can be combined with copper to create a beautifully elegant room. Hot pink can also work but is best used in moderation as the bright shade can be overpowering.


Cool and calming tones tend to complement the warmer shades in copper worktops, which makes turquoise a great option. When combined, turquoise and copper have a naturalistic, almost earthly quality – perhaps as it is the colour that copper turns when it oxidises – that creates a grounding tranquillity. Lighter shades, such as aquamarine, offer a more refreshing feeling whereas darker shades like teal impart opulence. By utilising the full turquoise colour palette alongside a Rouille Zenith Worktop, you can create a blend of textures that will bring a kitchen to life.


Black, grey, and white can be used exclusively with copper worktops to great effect. A fully white kitchen has an airy feel that highlights the rich, dark shades in copper, whereas an entirely black kitchen will deliver an industrial or moody vibe. Whilst solely using a monochrome palette is effective, applying it along with the colours already mentioned can be much more dramatic. As there are elements of black and white in every shade of colour, monochrome is a useful design tool to bring everything together. It is also a valuable method for introducing another “colour” without detracting or distracting from your main colour scheme.

There is no doubt that copper worktops work well with a wide range of colours, hues and shades. We have only described a few here so why not experiment with your own colour combinations, just remember to go with calming tones for the best effect. Leave your suggestions in the comments below or head over to our Facebook and Twitter pages for even more inspiration.

Here at Worktop Express, we are constantly expanding our range. We are excited to introduce our beautiful range of new laminate worktops. A total of three have been added and all of them reproduce the exquisite grain patterns and colours of popular solid wood – Arlington Oak, cherry block, and black walnut block. They have been manufactured to that same exacting standards as all of our products and for your convenience are available in different sizes. Furthermore, we have also added matching upstands and splashbacks to help you complete your dream kitchen. Let us take a closer look at each of the new laminate worktops in more detail.

Arlington Oak Laminate Worktops

The lightest of our three new options, Arlington Oak laminate worktops offer a timeless elegance that can be effortlessly incorporated into a traditional style kitchen. Compared to standard oak, which has a deeper shade, Arlington oak has a paler colour which is almost white in parts – somewhere between maple and standard oak. This more muted tone makes it compatible with a wider range of cabinet colours, integrating perfectly to create a welcoming feel within your kitchen. Available from £105.00, our Arlington oak laminate worktop has a textured matt finish, with a squire edge and comes in two sizes – 3m x 600mm x 38mm or 3m x 900mm x 38mm.

Cherry Block Laminate Worktops

With a variety of rich reds and pinks, our cherry block laminate worktop perfectly captures the unmistakable character of its solid wood counterpart. The warm and welcoming tones make it ideal for using in a traditional design such as the ever-popular farmhouse kitchen. The cherry block laminate worktop has a standard, semi-gloss finish to imitate the effect of an oil solid wood worktop. Available from £77.50, our cherry block laminate worktop has a 6mm post-form edge and comes in three sizes – 3m x 600mm x 38mm, 3m x 900mm x 38mm, and 3.6m x 600mm x 38mm.

Black Walnut Block Laminate Worktops

This black walnut block laminate worktop is arguably the most opulent-looking of our new laminate worktops. Deep browns and chocolate colours combine to create a luxurious worktop with plenty of character and can be used atop lighter coloured cabinetry for a contemporary kitchen. The textured matt finish adds to the realistic appearance of solid wood. Available from £80.00, our black walnut block laminate worktop has a 6mm post-form edge and comes in three sizes – 3m x 600mm x 38mm, 3m x 900mm x 38mm, and 3.6m x 600mm x 38mm.

All of our new laminate worktops are made in the UK and are FSC and FIRA Gold certified. If you are undecided whether an Arlington Oak, cherry block or black walnut block laminate worktop would suit your kitchen, why not order a sample pack which includes all of our laminate finishes? Comment below with your questions or head over to our Facebook and Twitter pages.

We have a number of showrooms throughout the country, each with friendly, knowledgeable staff on hand to help you bring your perfect kitchen to life. Our showroom team are at the forefront of the latest trends, so we have decided to catch up with Lauren, our showroom manager in Gloucestershire, to find out what she would include in her dream kitchen!

So, Lauren, how long have you been at Worktop Express?

L: I have been here for 3 years and I love that I am still learning new things every day – variety is one of the things that makes me enjoy my job so much!

Blogger Kezzabeth's kitchen features dark cabinets and an ash worktop from Worktop Express for a look that is very close to Lauren's dream kitchen!

Credit : Kezzabeth

There must be a lot to keep up with, especially with ever changing trends! In your three years, you must have designed and redesigned your dream kitchen several times over. What is your favourite kitchen trend right now?

L: I really like dark kitchens, so I would go for Farrow & Ball’s Stiffkey Blue on my cabinets, with copper handles and accents. For me, balance is one of the most important aspects in a kitchen, so with such a rich, dark colour for the units, I would want a paler worktop. I love ash because of the unusual grain pattern it has, and as one of our lighter timbers, it would look great with navy blue cabinets.

Those are the colours and materials you would use for your dream kitchen – what is the most important aspect of a good kitchen design in your opinion?

L: The most important thing is making sure the storage works for you and that the space is utilised to its full capacity. This is essential in smaller kitchens but would arguably still the highest priority for me in a larger space. It is so easy to get caught up in the way a kitchen looks without fully considering how it will work in your home, and I think this is something people struggle with the most – especially in the very early planning stages!

And the kitchen planning – you must have some top tips! Do you have any advice for people looking to plan their own kitchens rather than seeking out the help of a designer?

L: Every kitchen and every home is different, and the best advice I think I can give is to really think about how practical each aspect of your kitchen is. Worktops make a huge impact on the overall appearance of a kitchen, so it is important to consider the practicalities, not just the aesthetics. If, for example, you do not have time to maintain a wooden surface but really want the look – consider a realistic wood-effect laminate top. Small children? Think about having the edges rounded off on a timber worktop to make them less sharp if little ones are likely to injure themselves! If you love a farmhouse look but frequently bake you may need to invest in a granite board – kneading and rolling do not combine well with wooden worktops.

We share our showrooms with our sister brand – Solid Wood Kitchen Cabinets – so we often have people who are looking to purchase a full kitchen from us, and my tip for them is to start from the corners and work towards the middle of each wall. It is much easier to add a pilaster or wine rack along a wall than trying to reshuffle everything because your cabinets fall short of your corners.

Some great tips there, thank you Lauren!

Does your dream kitchen sound like Lauren’s? Let us know in the comments below or start a conversation with us on Facebook or Twitter.