All About Rubberwood Kitchen Work Surfaces: A Worktop Express® Nutshell Guide
Rubberwood surfaces are the most recent additions to our range of kitchen work surfaces. In this information guide we have collated all the information (and history) you should need to know about this unique timber, along with details of its sourcing and manufacture.
This unusual hardwood timber comes from the same trees that are tapped for resins that create natural rubber – hence its name. It is a relatively light timber, with similar colouration to cherry worktops, but with a unique spotted grain pattern that is reminiscent of fine leopard print.
Along with cherry, rubberwood is a great alternative to beech worktops, whilst having sustainable qualities that are equal only to our bamboo or caramel bamboo worktops. An environmental treat if there ever was one!
To see more examples of our worktops, visit our updated Worktop Image Gallery. We hope to have further examples of rubberwood worktops soon.
TYPE OF WOOD AND GRAIN STRUCTURE
Like all the worktops in our range, rubberwood is a resilient hardwood that is perfect for withstanding the wear and tear of a busy kitchen. Despite its name, this timber is not any more elastic or soft than hardwoods of a similar density.
Rubberwood has relatively large pores which cause the speckled appearance. Though knots are uncommon in most of the staves used to construct our rubberwood worktops, sometimes natural mineral deposits can be present which show up as light brown marks.
Though it is lighter than and not as ‘hard’ as some of the wood species in our range, rubberwood is still considered ideal for wood worktops and other furnishings as it experiences very little shrinkage in the drying process and can also be easily worked.
SOURCING AND MANUFACTURE
At Worktop Express® we take great pride in providing wooden worktops that are made of the highest-quality timber we can sustainably source, whilst offering our products at an affordable price when compared to high-street retailers.
The timber used to construct our rubberwood worktops is sourced from lumber that was previously used in plantations where the trees have been tapped for latex. These trees are harvested at the end of their useful life cycle (commonly around thirty years) and replaced with young specimens.
We take great care to ensure that the timber we source is very hard-wearing and aesthetically pleasing (and we also ensure that there are comprehensive environmental credentials). We do not use middle-men anywhere in our supply chain, which enforces our high standards – we make certain that our regulations are upheld at every step of the way.
Since 2009, Worktop Express® has supplied in excess of 240,000 orders throughout the UK and other parts of the world: indeed, we are proud to be experts in the field of solid wood worktops.
Every three months – at least – we take the time to visit our suppliers in Europe and other parts of the world, ensuring that our high standards are being closely adhered to throughout each stage of the supply and manufacturing process.
Our impressive environmental credentials can be viewed on our Environmental Policy page, whilst further information about the sourcing and manufacturing process can be found in our ’Sourcing and Manufacture’ guide.
CONSTRUCTION & TREATMENT
Each of our rubberwood worktops is constructed using a number of 40mm wide ‘staves’. These staves are individual sections of timber that together make up a larger work surface. Each stave is hand-picked from the best parts of the tree to ensure a consistent grain, although as with any organic product there is still a degree of variation that adds to the worktop’s natural character.
The individual staves are joined together using a small amount of high-quality waterproof glue and ‘finger’ joints which are both aesthetically pleasing and very strong. This joint gets its name because of the resemblance it bears to two interlocking hands that have a tight grip caused simply by friction. The staves combine to create a larger timber plank that is then cut to size to create a variety of different-sized worktops.
To learn more about the construction of our wooden worktops, please consult our ‘Construction Types Explained’ information guide.
- Tree Size: 23-30m tall, up to 1m trunk diameter
- Density: 640 kg/m3
- Average Dried Weight: 595 kg/m3
- Janka Hardness: (4280 N)
- Modulus of Rupture (bending strength): 71.9 MPa
- Elastic Modulus (‘stiffness’ of wood): 9 GPa
In the past, rubberwood -which is native to Brazil – tended to be used on a small scale for furnishings by locals.
Despite the fact that primitive rubber manufacture (using latex-producing trees) was recorded as early as 3500 years ago, the discovery of rubber vulcanization in 1839 meant that demand for the rubber tree’s sap boomed.
The rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis, was only successfully cultivated outside Brazil in the late 1800s, with plantations established in Java, Malaya and – more recently – other parts of Southeast Asia and tropical West Africa.
In the last few years we have taken great strides to become industry leaders, helping us to deliver solid wood worktops at incredibly competitive prices whilst providing an excellent level of customer service.
We hold over 7,500 worktops in stock at any one time in depots across the country. This allows us to deliver our worktops directly to the public quickly and with care using our in-house 2Man delivery service.
Through the utilisation of advanced online stock-ordering systems, we are able to dramatically reduce the amount of unallocated stock we hold. As a result, our direct-to-public business model means that we can maintain much lower prices than our competitors.
Available from only £105 for a 2m rubberwood worktop.
Rubberwood’s light colouration and distinctive grain makes it an ideal surface for either contemporary or traditional kitchen settings. Consider pairing with bold pastels or darker greys and greens to accentuate the vibrancy of this unique timber.