How to choose a solid wood worktop: traditional vs. exotic
Choosing the right worktop is very important: it can be the most valuable component within a kitchen. Moreover, kitchens now play a much more varied role in the home; rather than simply being a place to cook in, we now relax, dine and entertain within this room, so comfort and satisfaction is vital. This information guide aims to distinguish the differences between our exotic and traditional solid wood worktops, helping to make your decision making process as smooth as possible.
Though we don’t categorise the worktops as such on our website, we tend to think of our European timbers as ‘traditional’ – simply because these are not exotic in the strictest sense of the word, and so have been popular in households for many years. There are a huge range of classic timbers to choose from, from beech to cherry to walnut and of course, oak; so many so that we can’t discuss all here! Here are some pointers on two of our most popular ‘traditional’ timbers.
Oak worktops are blessed with a rustic and charming appeal, but can be suitable in both traditional and modern interiors. For example, our standard oak worktops contain lots of beautiful natural features such as knots, and when combined with the strong overall grain pattern and rich colour variation, make a lovely choice for a country style kitchen. However our prime oak – still classed as a traditional timber – is a sleeker, more uniform worktop and as such is more fitting with a modern kitchen (prime oak worktops have minimal colour variation and a delicate grain pattern). Oak is a brilliant example of how one natural material can be suitable for any interior design.
Another favourite from the ‘classics’ collection is European walnut. The wavy grain pattern makes it an attractive, characterful wooden worktop, with a strong colour variation that is attributed to the high presence of heartwood within the timber. An elegant choice, European walnut is guaranteed to bring warmth to any room.
Why to choose traditional: if your look is clean, classic, and versatile. Traditional worktops are very ‘yielding’ in a design sense, and can easily be the star of the show or complement a variety of colours, appliances and accessories. The choice is yours!
Our ‘traditional’ timbers may be seen as mellower than their dramatic ‘exotic’ companions. Sourced from further afield, our exotic range includes some of our most interesting and visually appealing worktops: zebrano, wenge and black American walnut, to name but a few.
A toffee coloured surface interlaced with dark brown grains gives zebrano its exciting, stripy appearance (and indeed its name). These worktops are a striking statement; ideal for adding a little extra spice or a hint of modern flair to your kitchen.
Another one of the exotics – hailing from Africa – iroko is an extremely popular timber. Durability, natural hygienic properties and water resistance (due to a high oil content) make iroko worktops ideal for use in the kitchen. The colour naturally darkens over time, changing from a pale yellow to a rich bronze shade; this distinctive worktop is a stylish and classy kitchen addition, we’re sure you’d agree.
Eye-catching properties, exciting colour variation and the rise of bold colours in the kitchen means that the demand for exotic timbers is on the increase. We stock a large selection of such timbers in our UK warehouse, so if you’re considering moving away from a classic aesthetic, look no further than Worktop Express®.
Why to choose exotic: if your look is one that demands attention. Exotic timbers always make a statement, and can complement a generally striking design scheme or create an eye-catching centrepiece in a more subdued aesthetic. The choice is yours!
Ultimately, there is no hard and fast rule to choosing a solid wood worktop; the beauty of solid wood is that it is totally unique – no two timbers are alike. As such, you must choose a worktop that truly reflects your character and style.
However, no matter what kitchen design you decide on, investing in a solid timber worktop is sure to bring warmth, value and character into the room. Our sample service is a useful tool when it comes to making your choice, so please do take advantage of it; for a small sum (£5 per sample including VAT and delivery) you will receive a small piece of your selected timber(s) – which serves as a great example of the full-size worktop – allowing you to make an informed decision.
Why not take your samples into your room of choice, line them up, and let your imagination run wild? Finding your perfect timber has never been easier!