All About Deluxe Ash – A Worktop Express® Nutshell Guide
Our Deluxe Ash worktops are made from characterful European ash timber, which is ideal for wood worktops. Keep reading this information guide to find out everything you might ever need to know about this stunning wood, including the science, history, sourcing and manufacture.
The surface of a Deluxe Ash worktop is light with a strong caramel-coloured, stripy grain running throughout. Though it is often straight and uniform, some pieces have a curly grain that adds great character. Like all of the timbers used to construct our range of worktops, ash timber is very hard-wearing and exceedingly durable, which makes it an ideal choice for Deluxe kitchen worktops.
Ash is a fabulous alternative to oak worktops, making it ideal for traditional kitchen settings. To see some beautiful examples of Deluxe Ash, head over to our worktop gallery.
TYPE OF WOOD AND GRAIN STRUCTURE
Worktop Express offers a wide selection of wooden worktops made of the finest quality hardwoods. Whilst the name might suggest otherwise, some softwoods are in fact as ‘hard’ as hardwoods. It is the unique cell structure that is the distinguishing factor that sets the two types of wood apart, which is what creates the beautiful grain patterns exhibited in our worktops.
Ash wood has a relatively straight grain and large, open pores, with a coarse texture similar to oak. Timber with curly grain is also commonly available, so expect to find a variation of timber in our solid Deluxe Ash worktops.
Its timber is one of the toughest and is a natural shock absorber. The wood resists impact well without splintering, whilst being flexible to work with, making it a perfect material for our kitchen worktops.
SOURCING AND MANUFACTURE
At Worktop Express we take a great deal of pride in offering high-quality timber that we can sustainably source, whilst offering them at unrivalled prices when compared to any high-street retailers.
The white ash used to create our worktops is native to Europe, Asia Minor and North Africa, and prefers to grow in well drained and fertile soil, with plenty of depth for its long roots to reach into. These trees tend to grow best along northern and eastern hillsides in cool and moist atmospheres.
The timber used to manufacture our Deluxe Ash worktops is sourced in Ukraine, and manufactured in Europe to meet the necessary certifications. By only using the most sustainable timber and meeting strict environmental standards, we are able to minimise our impact on the environment at a local level, whilst also reducing air miles (and thus reducing our carbon footprint).
We take all necessary steps to ensure that the wood we source is not only hard-wearing and aesthetically pleasing, but also has the environmental credentials to match. We only source timber from well-managed forests with established replanting schemes and there are no middle-men in our chain of sourcing and manufacture, which ensures that we are able to maintain high standards at every step of the way.
We are able to offer products of the highest quality, whilst maintaining unbeatable prices. Since inception, Worktop Express® has supplied in excess of 240,000 worktop orders, making us experts in solid wood worktops.
We take the time to visit our suppliers every three months – or more – in order to check that our very high standards are being unilaterally enforced. We are very proud of our environmental credentials, so if you would like to know more, please read our Environmental Policy page.
Additional details regarding our sourcing and manufacture process can be found in our ’Sourcing and Manufacture’ guide.
CONSTRUCTION & TREATMENT
Whilst our range of standard worktops are manufactured from 40mm wide staves, our Deluxe Ash worktops are constructed from a number of much wider 90mm staves, which beautifully shows off the wood in an unrivalled manner. These extra-wide staves are jointed together to create a larger plank of wood suitable for the construction of our wood worktops.
Working to our own rigorous specifications, our European manufacturers are closely guided by us to ensure that the highest quality staves are chosen for each of our worktops, with care taken to prioritise consistent and aesthetically pleasing staves that are free of manufacturing defects.
To join the staves together in the most elegant and stable way, each stave is finger jointed with the addition of a small amount of glue to securely hold the joint in place during fabrication. Finger joints are chosen not only because they are aesthetically pleasing, but because they are also capable of withstanding the day-to-day stresses that kitchen worktops must go through.
To find out further information about our worktop construction, visit 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
Due to the hard-wearing and elastic properties, European ash timber has been used for many hundreds, if not thousands of years. Common modern-day uses include a wide variety of sporting goods, such as tennis racquets, hockey sticks and cricket stumps, as well as tool handles, walking sticks and ash furnishings.
Earlier in the 20th century ash timber was commonly used for constructing wheels, and to this day, is still used to make the wooden chassis for cars manufactured by Morgan in Worcestershire’s Malvern Hills.
Until the 18th century, ash wood was also used in traditional medicines, with the bark widely used to treat fevers; the buds used as a slimming aid; and its leaves to treat gout. Even the sap was used as a remedy to treat earache and warts.
According to old medicinal practice journals, it was a common practice in Hampshire, England to pass a child with broken bones through the split trunk of an ash. The trunk was then bound back together with the addition of clay-heavy soils, and if it grew back together, it was believed that the child would fully recover.
Ash is also the only timber used to manufacture ‘hurleys’, a wooden bat that is used in the traditional Irish game of hurling. Although the most sought-after hurleys are still produced in Ireland in the traditional way, the lack of locally-grown ash means that most are now imported from the same eastern European sources as our worktops. Ash is of such importance within the game of hurling that it is often referred to as “The Clash of the Ash”.
At Worktop Express® we go through great lengths to ensure that we can offer Deluxe Ash and other A-grade hardwood worktops at the most competitive price possible. We have over 7,500 worktops held in stock at any one time, which means we’re able to deliver directly to the public and trade swiftly and efficiently using our own in-house delivery service.
We have integrated specialist online stock ordering systems that assist us in reducing the quantity of dead stock and wastage (which also reduces overheads). Using our ‘direct-to-public’ e-commerce business model, we’ve been able to drastically reduce costs compared to some of our competitors.
Our team has worked incredibly hard to bring a number of industry firsts to the market, and are always striving to have the most up-to-date products possible, backed by first-rate customer service.
We make trips to our European suppliers at least once every three months. We don’t use any agents or third parties to make these trips as we believe it’s very important to see the products and manufacturing processes first hand.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to see our worktops in person, then why not visit one of our showrooms? We’re open 7 days a week and have a variety of our worktops and other solid wood products on show. Alternatively why not order a sample (or two)? Our samples are manufactured from actual worktop stock and unwanted offcuts that are sanded and oiled to give you a good indication of the finished product. Head over to our sample ordering page to pick up some for yourself.
Our Deluxe Ash worktops are available from £195 for a 2m x 620mm worktop, with matching 3M upstands for only £55.
Blessed with an attractively light colour and distinctive grain, Deluxe Ash is a fantastic alternative to Deluxe Oak: an ideal choice if you’re looking for bags of character and rustic charm. Consider pairing ash with bright whites and greys in a traditional-style kitchen to recreate a classic, elegant look.
If you are interested in one of our Deluxe Ash worktops, or would just like to know more about the options available, please visit our Deluxe Ash worktops page.