All About Ash Worktops: A Worktop Express® Nutshell Guide
The newest species in our collection, ash is a characterful tree with a long history – and it’s perfect for wooden worktops. In this information guide you’ll find everything you should need to know about this glorious timber, including its history, science, sourcing and manufacture.
Like all of the other timbers used to construct our wide variety of worktops, ash produces a hard-wearing and exceedingly durable work surface; but its aesthetic qualities might be the real reason to choose this worktop over any other. Fortunately, ash doesn’t disappoint in this department; it’s a light worktop 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 tremendous character.
To see more examples of our worktops, take a look at our Worktop Image Gallery. Further examples of ash will be available soon.
TYPE OF WOOD AND GRAIN STRUCTURE
At Worktop Express®, we offer a variety of worktops made of the finest quality hardwoods. Although the name might suggest otherwise, some softwoods are in fact as ‘hard’ as hardwoods. The distinguishing factor that sets the two types of wood apart is the unique cell structure, which plays a great part in creating the beautiful grain patterns exhibited in our worktops.
Ash wood has a coarse texture similar to oak, with a relatively straight grain and large, open pores. Timber with curly grain is also commonly available, so expect to find a combination of the two types in our solid ash worktops.
Its timber is one of the toughest and is a natural shock absorber. The wood resists well to impact 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 great pride in offering worktops that are made of the finest quality timber we can sustainably source, whilst offering them at an unrivalled price compared to any high-street retailers.
This form of white ash is native to Europe, Asia Minor and North Africa, preferring to grow in well drained and fertile soil, with plenty of depth for its long roots to reach out into. It tends to grow best along northern and eastern hillsides, where cool, moist atmosphere is most common.
All of the timber used to construct our ash worktops is sourced in Ukraine and manufactured within Europe to meet the correct certifications. By using sustainable timber and meeting strict environmental standards, we’re able to lessen our impact on the environment at a local level, whilst also reducing air miles (thus reducing carbon footprint).
We go through great lengths 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 from well managed forests with established replanting schemes, facts that we verify through frequent visits to site and a plethora of documentation. There are no middle-men anywhere in our chain of sourcing and manufacture, to ensure that we can maintain our high standards at every step. Since inception, Worktop Express® has supplied in excess of 150,000 orders to over 50,000 customers, firmly staking our claim as the experts in solid wood worktops. We’re able to offer products of the highest quality whilst maintaining unbeatable prices.
Every three months – or more regularly where possible – we take the time to visit our suppliers to check that our rigorous standards are being enforced. We’re very proud of our environmental credentials, so if you’d like to know more, read our Environmental Policy page.
Further details of our sourcing and manufacture process can be found in our ’Sourcing and Manufacture’ guide.
Our ash worktops are constructed from a variety of 40mm staves. These ‘staves’ are the individual sections of timber that make up the worktop, and are chosen from the best parts of the tree to ensure consistent grain and colouration, though – being a natural product – it can still vary, which only adds to its character. The staves are joined together to create a large plank of wood that is ideal for worktops, using ‘finger’ joints. These joints are not only strong but also aesthetically pleasing. The joint gets its name because it looks similar to two interlocking hands; this structure allows it to hold together well with friction and a small amount of high-quality waterproof glue.
For further information on the construction of our worktops, please refer to 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
Because of its hard-wearing and elastic properties, ash timber has been used in a variety of situations for many hundreds (if not thousands) of years. More common contemporary uses include a wide range of sporting goods, such as tennis racquets, hockey sticks and cricket stumps, as well as handles for tools, walking sticks and ash furniture.
Earlier in the 20th century it was commonly used for wheel-making and to this day, is still used to make the chassis in cars manufactured by Morgan in Worcestershire’s Malvern Hills.
Up until the 18th century, ash was also used in traditional medicines, with its bark once used to treat fevers, buds used as a slimming aid and its leaves to treat gout. Even ash’s sap was used as a remedy to treat earache and warts. They were also commonly used in a medicinal capacity as an addition to cattle fodder in England and Scandinavia.
According to old journals covering medicinal practices, a common practice in Hampshire, England was to pass a child suffering from 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 be cured.
Ash is also the sole timber used to manufacture ‘hurleys’, a wooden bat similar to a hockey-stick, which is used in the traditional Irish game of hurling. Although the most sought-after hurleys are still produced in the traditional way in Ireland, due to the lack of locally-grown ash, most of them are – like our worktops – now imported from eastern Europe. Ash is so important and symbolic within the game of hurling that it is often referred to as “The Clash of the Ash”.
At Worktop Express® we have gone through great lengths to become industry leaders. Our prominent position allows us to deliver worktops at a very competitive price and offer excellent customer service, too.
We usually have over 5,000 worktops in stock at any one time, allowing us to deliver direct to the public in extremely short time-frames (next-day delivery on a nationwide basis) as well as our trade customers with our efficient 2man delivery teams.
Online stock ordering systems enable us to dramatically reduce the amount of dead stock we hold, and through our ‘direct-to-public’ e-commerce business plan, we maintain much lower overheads than some of our competitors. The result is a swift, high-quality service at a low price.
Our ash worktops are available from £130 for a 2m x 620mm worktop, with matching 3M upstands for only £25.
With its light colour and distinctive grain, ash is a fantastic alternative to oak and beech. Consider pairing it with bright whites and greys in a traditional-style kitchen for a classic, elegant look.
If you’re interested in one of our 40mm ash worktops, or would just like to know more about the options available, please visit our solid ash worktops page.
Buy Ash Worktops