Ash is the newest timber type to be included in our acclaimed collection; it is a tree full of character with a long history, which is ideal for kitchen worktops. In this information guide you will find everything you may need to know about the ‘full stave’ variant of this beautiful timber, including its history, science, sourcing and manufacture.
Like all of the timbers used to construct our wide variety of worktops, ash makes a hard-wearing and exceedingly durable work surface. Full stave ash worktops certainly don’t disappoint in terms of appearance, either; they are light in colour with a caramel-coloured, stripy grain running throughout. Sometimes this grain can be straight and uniform, whilst other pieces have a curly grain that adds a wonderful sense of character.
We also stock a standard form of ash with 40mm staves rather than the more lavish 90mm staves of our full stave & Deluxe worktops. Wide board ash worktops look extremely elegant and would make excellent dining table tops or breakfast bars.
To see more examples of our product, take a look at our Worktop Image Gallery. We will continue to update this with new imagery on a regular basis, so do check back!
TYPE OF WOOD AND GRAIN STRUCTURE
Worktop Express® offers a collection of worktops made from the highest quality hardwoods. Although the name might suggest otherwise, some softwoods are in fact as ‘hard’ as hardwoods. It is the unique cell structure of hardwood that is the distinguishing factor, and this plays a great part in creating the beautiful grain patterns in our worktops.
Prior to manufacture, the timber has a coarse texture that is quite similar to oak, featuring a relatively linear grain and large, open pores. Timber that exhibits a curly grain is also commonly available, so we expect to find a combination of the two in the solid wood sections that make up our traditional plank ash worktops.
Ash is one of the toughest species and its timber is a natural shock absorber. The wood is resistant to impact without splintering, and is also flexible to work with, making it an ideal natural material for wooden worktops.
SOURCING AND MANUFACTURE
Worktop Express® takes great pride in offering a variety of worktops that are made from the finest quality timber we can sustainably source, whilst also offering them at unrivalled prices compared to high-street retailers.
The form of white ash used in our worktops is native to Europe, Asia Minor and North Africa, and prefers well drained and fertile soil, with plenty of depth to allow its long roots to reach into. It often grows best along northern and eastern hillsides in cool, moist climates.
The timber used to manufacture our full stave ash worktops is sourced from Ukraine, and manufactured in Europe to strict certifications. By meeting strict environmental standards and using sustainable timber, we have been able to lessen our environmental impact at a local level, whilst reducing carbon footprint.
We take great precaution to make sure that the timber we source is not only aesthetically pleasing and hard-wearing, but also includes environmental credentials to match. We only choose to source from well managed forests that have established replanting schemes. We use no middle-men anywhere in our chain of manufacture, so as to ensure we can maintain high standards at every step of worktop production.
Since inception, Worktop Express® has supplied over 240,000 orders to more than 50,000 customers, positioning us as industry experts in solid wood worktops. We only offer products of the highest quality, whilst maintaining unrivalled prices.
We take the time to visit our suppliers every three months – or more frequently where possible – to check that our regulations are being enforced. We are very proud of our environmental credentials, which you can learn more about on our Environmental Policy page.
Further information regarding the sourcing and manufacturing process can be found in our ’Sourcing and Manufacture’ guide.
Whilst our standard ash worktops are constructed from a variety of 40mm staves, our full stave variety features 90mm wide staves that run the full length of the worktop, creating a surface of matchless quality. Each stave is bonded under pressure using high quality glues that can easily withstand the installation process and the day-to-day stresses a wooden worktop is subject to.
We have worked closely with our manufacturers to ensure that full ash planks of only the highest quality are chosen, prioritising aesthetic continuity and exquisite grain pattern and colour.
For more details on the construction of our worktops, read our ’Construction Types Explained’ information guide.
- Tree Size: 20-30m tall, up to 1.5m trunk diameter
- Density: 700 * 750 kg/m3
- Average Dried Weight: 675 kg/m3
- Janka Hardness: (5870 N)
- Modulus of Rupture (bending strength): 103.5 MPa
- Elastic Modulus (‘stiffness’ of wood): 12 GPa
Ash timber has been used in a variety of situations for many hundreds – if not thousands of years -because of its hard-wearing and elastic properties. Contemporary uses include a wide range of ash furniture and sporting equipment such as hockey sticks, tennis racquets and cricket stumps, as well as handles found on tools, walking sticks. In the early years of the 20th century ash was commonly used for making automobile and cart wheels, and is still used to manufacture the chassis in cars produced by Morgan in Worcestershire’s Malvern Hills.
Until the 18th century, elements of the ash tree was used in traditional medicines, with the bark once used to treat fevers, buds employed as a slimming aid and its leaves as an apparent treatment for gout; ash’s sap was also used as a remedy to treat earache and warts. Ash shavings were also commonly used as an addition to cattle fodder in England, as well as Scandinavia in a medicinal capacity.
Old journals covering medicinal practices, state that a common practice in Hampshire, England was to pass a child suffering from fractured bones through the split trunk of an ash. The tree’s trunk was then bound back together with rope and the addition of clay-heavy soils, and if the tree grew back together, they believed the child would be cured.
Ash is also the sole material used to manufacture ‘hurleys’, a wooden bat similar to a hockey-stick that is used in Irelands’ traditional game of hurling. Whilst the most sought-after hurleys are still produced in the traditional Irish way, the lack of locally-grown ash means that many are – like our worktops – now imported from Eastern Europe. Ash is considered so important and symbolic within the sport of hurling that it is often referred to as “The Clash of the Ash”.
Worktop Express® has taken great strides to become an industry leader: we are currently the largest importers of solid wood worktops to the UK, and will be expanding into other European markets in 2014. We strive to deliver high quality wood worktops (visiting suppliers ourselves every three months without the involvement of third party agents) at a very economical price whilst offering excellent customer service, too.
At any one time we have over 7,500 worktops in stock in our nationwide warehouses, which allows us to deliver directly to the public along with many trade customers through our speedy 2man delivery teams.
Online stock ordering systems enable us to be increasingly efficient by dramatically reducing the potential for ‘dead stock’. Our ‘direct-to-public’ e-commerce business plan also means we maintain considerably lower overheads than our competitors.
Our full stave ash worktops are available from £260 for a 2m x 620mm worktop, with matching 3M upstands for only £55.
Combining light colour and distinctive grain, our full stave ash worktops are a fantastic alternative to oak, whilst possessing our own unique character and other fantastic qualities that make it ideal for wooden worktops. Consider pairing ash plank worktops with bright whites, greys and greens in a traditionally styled kitchen for a classic, elegant look.
If you are interested in one of our full stave ash worktops, or would just like to know more about the various options available, please visit our full stave ash worktops page.