Sapele worktops are one of the more recent additions to our range, with standard and Deluxe variants now joined by the most opulent form of this African timber – full stave sapele worktops. With extra-wide staves that run the entire length of the worktop, these full stave worktops accentuate sapele’s unique figuring and vibrant colour. This guide has all the information you might want to know about this beautiful timber, including the appearance, manufacture, origin and history.
With distinctive rosy hues and a grain figuring that is similar in appearance to iroko timber, sapele (or “sapelli” as it is often called) also darkens over time into a rich chestnut colour after regular oiling and exposure to natural light.
This full stave variant is constructed from extra-wide 90mm staves that run the entire length of the worktop, making it appear even more luxurious than our Deluxe option. It’s an ideal choice for both modern and traditional kitchen themes, and is especially suited to kitchen islands.
We don’t currently have a wide selection of photos of this worktop choice, as it is such a new timber. Over time, new images will be added to our – already comprehensive – worktop gallery.
TYPE OF WOOD AND GRAIN STRUCTURE
Sapele is a durable African timber, making it an ideal component for busy kitchens in bustling households. This hardwood is denser and heavier than oak, and can be sanded to an incredibly smooth finish.
Sapele combines a wavy grain structure with a uniform texture, and boasts an attractive natural lustre. The distinctive character of this timber stems from the large pores that occur sporadically throughout. Unlike European wood species, knots are uncommon, though natural mineral deposits can occasionally occur in the form of pale brown marks.
Though marginally less dense than fellow exotic timbers zebrano and wenge, sapele is still incredibly hard-wearing. Even better, it experiences minimal shrinkage in the drying process, making it easy to work with and the perfect choice for worktops and other wooden furniture.
SOURCING AND MANUFACTURE
At Worktop Express®, we take huge pride in sourcing only the highest-quality timbers for our solid wood worktops, ensuring they are sustainably sourced and available at unbeatable prices. Our worktops are incredibly affordable, and by selling straight to our customers we can offer significantly better prices than high-street retailers.
These full stave worktops are constructed from fine sapele (Entandrophragma Cylindricum), one of the most popular African exports. Commonly found in tropical areas such as The Republic of Congo and Cameroon, we always ensure that the wood we purchase is sourced only from legal, verified suppliers, who can guarantee that the most sustainable raw materials are used.
African timbers are not currently not certifiable by bodies such as FSC or PEFC, therefore we have devised our own stringent protocols and specifications for the sourcing of all timbers, and demand a fully documented chain of custody. We have strict environmental policies in place, and only ever deal with suppliers who work ethically and promote extensive replanting schemes. We only deal directly with our suppliers, and visit them every three months to monitor practices and ensure they are adhering to our exacting standards.
You can discover more about these processes by reading our ‘Sourcing and Manufacture’ information guide.
Worktop Express® has supplied over 285,000 orders in the UK as well as various other parts of the world, which we believe makes us industry experts in the field of wood kitchen work surfaces.
Our standard worktops are constructed from staves averaging 40mm, although we also offer Deluxe and full stave worktops with a wider 90mm stave. In the case of our full stave sapele worktops, the individual planks of timber run the full length of the worktop, creating a remarkable appearance that shows off the beauty of this unique material.
We work closely with our European manufacturers to ensure that the staves chosen are of the highest-quality possible, whilst being aesthetically consistent, giving the surface an attractive, unblemished finish that is free from natural defects.
To find out more about how our worktops are constructed, visit our ’Construction Types Explained’ guide.
- Tree Size: 30-45m tall, up to 1.5m trunk diameter
- Density: 640 kg/m3
- Average Dried Weight: 670 kg/m3
- Janka Hardness: (6280 N)
- Modulus of Rupture (bending strength): 110 MPa
- Elastic Modulus (‘stiffness’ of wood): 12 GPa
Sapele wood is used for a wide range of furnishings, flooring and veneers and – of course – our wooden worktops. The timber was first imported from tropical regions in Africa as a substitute for mahogany, and – amongst other uses – has become a very popular choice for creating musical instruments.
This vibrant timber is often used to manufacture the back and sides of acoustic guitar bodies, as well as the solid wood bodies of some electric guitars. Due to its stiffness and rigidity, it is also used in the manufacture of frames of harps, the neck pieces for ukuleles and aspects of a number of percussion instruments.
In the 1980s and early 1990s sapele veneer was a fashionable choice for interior doors throughout the United Kingdom, which though widely adopted at the time, is less common now.
Sapele trim is also used in a variety of high-end applications, such as in luxurious Cadillac cars and on very expensive Forte Audio headphones.
At Worktop Express we hold more than 7,500 worktops in stock at our UK depots at any one time, which allows us to guarantee speedy delivery to both public and trade customers via our own 2Man delivery service. Great care is taken to ensure that our worktops are of the highest quality, whilst still being offered at extremely competitive prices. We use advanced online ordering systems that allow us to monitor supply closely and minimise the amount of ‘dead’ stock on hand, keeping wastage and costs low.
We visit our European suppliers every three months or more, so that we are able to see the product and manufacturing process for ourselves, and ensure that suppliers adhere to our high standards.
Worktop Express is the largest importer of solid wood worktops into the UK, and we have now branched out into European markets with the aim of becoming Europe’s leading online wooden worktop specialist, too.
Full stave sapele worktops are available from just £315 for a 2m x 620mm x 40mm worktop.
Full stave sapele is an exotic timber that is a great alternative to our full stave iroko worktops. It features an unmistakable rich red hue, which is more vibrant than full stave black walnut, and not as dark as full stave wenge. This timber is an ideal choice in a variety of kitchen designs, and looks particularly stunning alongside brightly coloured cabinet frontals and kitchen accessories.
You can find out more on our full stave sapele worktops page, where there are further details on the variety of sizes available and their stock status.
Buy Full Stave Sapele Worktops
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