All about Black Oak Worktops: A Worktop Express® Nutshell Guide
The latest addition to our range comes in the form of our black oak wood worktops. The following information guide has everything you should need to know about this beautiful surface, including the timber’s history, the science behind the ‘blackening’ process, as well as information on the sourcing and manufacture of our oak timber.
Our black oak worktops undergo a special treatment that creates a luxurious dark version of the classic oak kitchen surface that is a great alternative to black American walnut or wenge worktops. Oak timber is incredibly hard-wearing and strong, with a unique grain pattern that looks beautiful in its natural form, and even more eye-catching in this lavish, dark alternative.
To see more examples of our worktops, take a look at our Worktop Image Gallery. Examples of a black oak worktop will be available soon.
TYPE OF WOOD AND GRAIN STRUCTURE
As with all the worktops available from Worktop Express®, our black oak worksurfaces are made from hardwood. Contrary to what the name might have you believe, some softwoods are as ‘hard’ as hardwoods; it is more down to the unique cell structure of hardwoods which creates a beautiful grain pattern.
Oak has large, open pores, with a moderately straight grain that gives the surface a more textural quality, whilst adding to the traditional charm of oak surfaces.
Its timber is one of the hardiest and is naturally resilient, making it an ideal choice for kitchen worktops. The naturally occurring features make oak ideal for creating contrast in bright ‘country kitchens’, or combine it with sleek dark colours in a contemporary design scheme.
SOURCING AND MANUFACTURE
Worktop Express® takes great pride in offering solid wood worktops made of the highest quality sustainable timber, which we then offer to the general public at a very competitive price (when compared to any high-street retailers).
The oak used to create our black oak kitchen worktops is sourced and manufactured solely within Europe, from sustainable sources with established re-planting schemes. This gives us the advantage of reducing our carbon footprint through reduced air miles, and promoting sustainability, whilst providing a truly robust, attractive timber.
Measures are taken to ensure that the wood we source is both hard-wearing and aesthetically pleasing, with the environmental credentials to match. There are no middle-men anywhere in our chain of sourcing and manufacture, which ensures that we can maintain our high standards every step of the way, and keep our prices low.
Since inception, Worktop Express® has supplied in excess of 240,000 orders throughout the UK, allowing us to stake the claim of ‘experts in the field of solid wood worktops’. Unlike other, less experienced retailers, we are able to offer products of the highest quality, whilst maintaining unbeatable prices.
We take the time to visit our suppliers every three months – or more regularly where possible – to ensure that our high standards are being adhered to throughout the manufacturing process. We are rightly very proud of our environmental credentials, more about which can be found by reading our Environmental Policy page.
For further information regarding our sourcing and manufacturing processes, read our ’Sourcing and Manufacture’ guide.
CONSTRUCTION & TREATMENT
Black oak worktops are created with a number of 40mm wide ‘staves’. Staves are the individual timber sections that make up the worktop, which are chosen from the best parts of the tree’s trunk to ensure consistent grain, though as with all natural products, it can still vary, which only adds to its character.
Each stave is joined together using ‘finger’ joints, in order to create a larger timber plank that is ideal for worktops. Finger joints are not only an aesthetically pleasing choice, but are also very strong, too. The joint is named as a result of the similarity between itself and two interlocking hands . These are held together naturally by friction, and a small amount of high-quality waterproof glue to seal.
To create the unique aesthetic of our black oak wood worktops, each section of timber undergoes a special chemical treatment that turns the timber almost black throughout. This means that when the worktops are fabricated or have any adjustments made, the timber is still dark throughout its cross-section, rather than just the surface – as is the case with smoked oak worktops or stained oak worktops.
Each timber stave undergoes the treatment process prior to worktop manufacture, so that the manufacturers can choose staves of equal colouration and quality. Once the staves are treated, they are left to fully dry so that the wood is not susceptible to movement once a worktop is constructed.
To read more about the construction of our wood worktops, read our ’Construction Types Explained’ information guide.
- Tree Size: 24-35 m tall, 1-1.5 m trunk diameter
- Density: 720 kg/m3
- Average Dried Weight: 680 kg/m3
- Janka Hardness: (4,980 N)
- Modulus of Rupture (bending strength): 97.1 MPa
- Elastic Modulus (‘stiffness’ of wood): 110.60 GPa
Without doubt, oak is one of the world’s most recognisable trees. It is internationally renowned, because of its combination of natural beauty and hard-wearing resilience. Perfectly versatile for woodworking, oak has long been a staple of carpenters and builders since medieval times.
Fresh oak timber, commonly referred to as “green” oak – was most in demand immediately after felling. This allowed it to be better manipulated into a wider array of shapes and angles to fit the requirements of the time.
After the Great Fire of London in 1666, building bylaws were established that prohibited the use of wood for constructing inner-city buildings. The widespread destruction would have been avoided if more houses were made of brick and mortar, so this was the building style of choice going forward.
Carpenters and joiners adapted to this change, which lead to a rise in popularity of both solid oak flooring and furniture, which continued to evolve in the centuries that followed.
In the modern day, plastics and metal have taken president, whilst solid wood has become somewhat of a statement of unique quality. Thanks to superior standards and sustainability programs, it has never been a better time to experience everything that oak worktops can offer.
Worktop Express® has taken great strides over the last few years to become prominent industry leaders, which enables us to deliver wooden worktops at the most competitive prices whilst providing an excellent level of customer service, too.
At any one time we hold over 7,500 worktops in stock at our depots around the country, which allows us to deliver quickly and directly to the public as well as our trade customers with our growing in-house 2man delivery service.
By using online stock ordering systems, we are able to dramatically reduce the amount of dead stock we hold, whilst our ‘direct-to-public’ e-commerce business plan means we can maintain much lower overheads than our competitors.
With a combination of deep colour and distinctive grain, our solid black oak worktops are suitable for a range of kitchen themes – from contemporary to classic. Why not consider pairing it with bright whites for a clean, modern aesthetic, or with deep greens or blues for something a little more luxurious and unique.
If you are interested in our black oak worktops, or would just like to find out more about the options available, simply visit our black oak worktops page.