Worktop Express Blog

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.