All About Cherry Worktops: A Worktop Express® Nutshell Guide
Forgive us for feeling a little watery-mouthed, but we’ve finally gotten to the timber whose tree provides the tastiest of fruit. With warm, vibrant colour and an intricate patterned grain, cherry makes a versatile timber, perfect for worktops that suit a variety of kitchen designs. Carry on reading to find out all you’d need to know about the wood’s history, manufacture and more.
Cherry is a timber with quite a different look to some of the more traditional varieties we sell. Its honey hues, caramel accents and detailed grain look splendid in a traditional kitchen setting, suiting the ‘farmhouse’ look that so many strive for. It has a soft feel, and a sheen that reflects light beautifully once finished with a coating of Danish oil.
Unlike many of the other wood species we feature, we don’t offer a Prime, Deluxe or full stave variant of cherry as the tree itself is relatively small compared to some of our other timbers.
If you’d like to see further examples of this beautiful timber in worktop form, head over to our Worktop Image Gallery.
TYPE OF WOOD AND GRAIN STRUCTURE
Our cherry worktops are constructed from what’s known as the ‘Wild’ or European cherry, which is endemic to Europe and parts of Asia.
Cherry has a relatively close grain that can vary between being very straight and quite curly. Usually timber with a more curly grain is reserved for furniture, whilst that with a straighter grain is commonly used for instruments as well as veneers. Pores are very small, which makes for a very fine, soft texture.
SOURCE AND MANUFACTURE
Hailing from the same genus as apricot and pear trees, there are a variety of different cherry trees throughout the northern hemisphere. The most famous are undoubtedly the Japanese, who are famous for the tree’s spring blossom, but cherry trees span from Britain and Norway in the north, all the way to the north-western African countries of Morocco and Tunisia. It’s believed that the species originated in Europe, thanks to stones from the fruit being found at archaeological sites throughout Britain and Europe, with one specimen in Italy dated back as far as 2077BC.
Cherry is usually cultivated for its beautiful flowers that to many signify the start of spring, leading to celebrations including ‘Blossom festivals’ around the world – with the largest being in Washington DC. Learn more about celebrations of cherry and its blossom on our blog: ‘The Cherry Blossom Festival – Welcome Spring with Cherry Worktops‘.
The wood is widely used for woodturning, making a variety of furniture as well as musical instruments. The odourless timber is also used in smokerys in Northern America as well as the UK, because as it burns, it adds a distinctive and pleasant flavour to meat, fish and other products.
All of the cherry trees used in the construction of our worktops are sourced from Europe, and this timber is not in danger of short supply. Moreover, our timber only comes from sustainable, well-managed forests. For further information on our environmental policies and accreditation visit our Environmental Policies page.
We’ve delivered well in excess of 150,000 worktops over the last few years. This experience, coupled with our years of general experience in the timber industry, has allowed us to build up a host of experts across our sourcing, fabrication and delivery departments. A strong team is crucial to our success, and allows us to deliver products and services of an extremely high quality.
We’re proud to say that we only deal directly with the manufacturers of our cherry wood kitchen worktops, cutting out the requirement of any middlemen. We also take regular trips to our manufacturing facilities and the forests from which our timber is sourced, which means we’re easily able to ensure that our environmental practices are being adhered to, and also allows us to identify exactly where our timber has come from.
To find out more, have a read of our Sourcing and Manufacture guide.
Like all other worktops in our collection, a cherry wood worktop is constructed from solid sections of wood that are known as staves. These staves can vary in length, but are no more than 40mm wide in our cherry worktops, and are specifically chosen to ensure that our worktops look attractive and consistent.
The staves are joined together under high pressure using a strong and environmentally sound glue, whilst finger joints and a small amount of glue are used to hold each stave end-to-end. The finger joint not only looks attractive, but is also very strong. As its name suggests, finger joints look similar to a pair of interlocking hands, and are incredibly stable and hard-wearing.
To find out more about the construction of our worktops, head over to our Construction Types Explained information guide.
- Tree Size: 10-20m tall, .3 – .8m trunk diameter
- Density: 560 kg/m3
- Average Dried Weight: 620 kg/m3
- Janka Hardness: (5120 N)
- Modulus of Rupture (bending strength): 103.3 MPa
- Elastic Modulus (‘stiffness’ of wood): 10.55 GPa
Cherry trees have been cultivated for their sweet fruit for many hundreds of years, and prior to this, were found growing wild throughout Europe and Asia. Not all types of cherry are sweet, with the sourer variant only finding its use in cooking. The largest colonies of cherry trees outside of Japan can now be found in France.
Cherry trees were first imported to America for their fruit with early settlers in the 1600s, but more recently the planting of these trees has become symbolic in the United States, in the form of a gift from the people of Japan. The beauty of cherry blossom is potent in Japanese tradition as a symbol of human life and transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages. Japan has been gifting trees to the U.S. since way back in 1906, and ever since Americans have celebrated with festivals spread throughout America, featuring tree planting by celebrities, and – more notoriously – the First Lady.
Cherry timber has been used by wood turners and furniture makers for hundreds of years because it can be easily worked, has a beautiful colour and distinctive grain. It is made more durable after felling, through an alternating process of drying and adding moisture. After this process it becomes nearly as hard-wearing as oak.
Worktop Express® has made great strides in reducing the price of oak and other hardwood worktops through high-volume purchasing and efficient processes. We hold over 5,000 worktops in stock at any one time in our various depots throughout the UK, enabling us to deliver directly to the public and trade, through our own in-house delivery service.
Our advanced online stock ordering systems minimise the amount of wastage and dead stock, which in the long-run reduces costs. With these efficient processes and our ‘direct-to-the-public’ e-commerce model, we have been able to drastically reduce overheads to allow us to market up-to-date products at lower rates than any other solid wood e-tailer.
We take pride in the fact that we are considered leaders in our field of solid wood specialists. By cutting out the middleman and building a network of expert internal support at every level of the business, we are able to deliver high-quality timber to our customers at an extremely competitive price. We visit all suppliers at least every three months ourselves to ensure our high standards are maintained, and we don’t use agents. All this expertise enables us to currently be the largest importers of solid wood worktops to the UK, and we will be expanding further in to European markets throughout 2014.
If you’re in need of further convincing that cherry is the right wood for your kitchen, why not make use of our sample service. We can provide a section of worktop that is oiled on one side to provide you with a true impression of the fantastic quality of our timber. A cherry wood sample is priced at just £5 including delivery, the cost of which can be deducted from your first order.
Available from only £165 for a 2m cherry worktop, with matching upstands from £30.
We often see cherry in traditional kitchen themes, as the colour works exceptionally well with country styling, pastel coloured cabinets and vintage accents and accessories. Don’t let this put you off trying it in a more contemporary kitchen, though: cherry’s colouration and interesting natural grain make it suitable for high-contrast, modern designs.
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