Wooden Countertops for Kitchen: Properties, Pros, Cons & Maintenance
Only the types of hardwood are used for wooden countertops.
A wooden countertop fits perfectly in a sleek design kitchen and a kitchen with a rural atmosphere. The wood is used for a kitchen worktop because it brings warmth and coziness.
Due to the wide choice of wood types, beautiful, contrasting combinations are possible between the countertop and the kitchen cabinets.
A wooden countertop gives your kitchen a uniquely warm look.
Classic or modern: with the right wood type and finish, wood fits into any kitchen, and It is excellent to combine with other materials.
Yet you don’t see a wooden kitchen top very often, and there is a good reason for this.
Wood requires a lot of maintenance even though it is not the most suitable material in the kitchen. We will explain the most important advantages and disadvantages of wooden worktops, with handy maintenance tips.
Advantages of Wood Countertops
Unique: every wooden worktop is different thanks to the unique grain structure. It is a natural product with a uniquely warm appearance.
Because no piece of wood is the same, a wooden kitchen top gives a unique and individual twist to every kitchen.
There are many types of wood: which are its characteristics in terms of color, texture, and robustness.
Luxurious look: wooden countertops are exclusive; you rarely see them.
Shallow scratches and minor damage are easy to sand off: As a result, if properly maintained, a wooden countertop will remain beautiful for years to come.
The wooden kitchen Countertop can be used in many kitchen styles: It can be locally touched up in case of damage by finishing with oil.
Certain types of wood can be treated with lacquer or stain, allowing you to coordinate the color with the rest of your kitchen.
Disadvantages of wood countertops
Sensitive to scratches: so be careful with knives and heavy pans.
Not waterproof: moisture is easily absorbed. In addition, due to the open structure, a wooden worktop is more sensitive to water and stains than other countertops (composite, stainless steel).
Wooden countertop prone to stains: Wood is porous to absorb liquids and the like, which makes a wooden countertop prone to stains. It can also quickly become unhygienic if food residues get into it.
A wooden worktop is exclusive: this is reflected in the price. Compared to other materials, the wooden countertop is the most expensive to maintain.
Your wooden kitchen worktop should be oiled regularly. Despite the oil, you should always dry water spots immediately.
Wood is a natural product in which a wooden worktop will shrink or expand, causing it to lose its original shape mainly depending on the relative humidity.
The wood will expand in environments with humidity above 60%.’ At less than 50% humidity, the countertop will shrink. Relative humidity of 50 to 60% is therefore ideal.
In general, wood is not scratch, heat, and moisture resistant.
This can be prevented by using a protective top layer and a wooden kitchen top that requires much maintenance, rubbed with oil at least twice a year.
Cutting boards and coasters are needed to protect your wooden worktop from scratches and heat.
Your wooden countertop does not tolerate concentrated or abrasive cleaning agents, alkalis, acids, and metals.
Maintenance of wooden countertops
If the wood has been treated with oil, it can be sanded in minor damage or stains.
Then it must be treated with oil again. It is wise to treat a wooden worktop at least twice a year with a mineral maintenance oil.
It is best not to leave damp dishcloths or towels on a wooden worktop for too long. Avoid using strong alkaline cleaning agents (chlorine, bleach, drain unblocker, etc.).
Clean your countertop with a mild detergent and dry the worktop well after cleaning. Moisture quickly absorbs into the wood.
Be careful with spilled liquids such as wine: they cause stains and cause severe discoloration in the worktop.
You can also choose to varnish the wooden countertops instead of using oil.
However, get good advice for this, as there are different types of lacquer, each with its characteristics and effect. Lacquer often changes the look of the top, as it gives a shiny finish.
What is the suitable wood types for Countertops
A worktop in the kitchen must meet high requirements such as maintenance-friendly, hygienic, heat-resistant, and resistant to daily use, stains, acids, and scratches. For this reason, a hardwood type such as oak, beech, mahogany, or teak is usually chosen.
Which type of wood is best depends on your taste. If you want a worktop with a light color, you can choose oak or ash wood.
If you want a somewhat darker wood with a red tint, then Iroko, cherry, or mahogany wood is possible.
Natural materials such as wooden worktops contribute to a unique atmosphere, warm appearance, coziness, and comfort.
A wooden kitchen top can be used in many kitchens, from classic to romantic to rural to timeless.
If you go for warmth and a natural appearance, you will opt for the wooden worktop rather than a granite worktop, despite both being natural products.
Oakwood is yellow-brown to dark brown. The wood quality depends on the type of oak. European oak is usually used for countertops.
These trees have grown slowly, giving the structure an excellent density to serve as a kitchen worktop. For a rustic look, an oak kitchen top is a good choice.
Cherry wood usually comes from the United States. It has a reddish-brown appearance and has a fine structure. It has a beautiful flamed pattern which gives a luxurious look to the worktop.
Mahogany is a very robust type of wood that is particularly suitable as a worktop. It has a beautiful pink to red-brown appearance and will look great in an exclusive interior.
Various types of mahogany differ from each other in structure. For example, Sapele mahogany has a more delicate appearance than Sipo mahogany.
Any Real hardwood is also suitable for wooden kitchen countertops, and you can check an article about the hardest wood and type of hardwood in the US.
Thanks to the wide choice of types and sizes of wood, each wooden countertop is unique.
Do you prefer a robust, solid wooden worktop or a modern beech top?
Prefer a rural atmosphere in your kitchen? Then choose a tree trunk or hardwood countertop. Even an industrial kitchen can be enriched with a wooden worktop, such as a walnut kitchen top.
Combining wood with other colors
Wood is a timeless material with a natural, lively character. Due to the various types of wood, colors, and finishes, a wooden top fits many kitchen styles, and you can easily combine it with other materials and colors.
Do you like peace in your kitchen? Then combine beech wood with a white kitchen for a soft look.
Would you prefer a sleeker look? Then a black kitchen with a solid wooden worktop may be of interest to you.
Think of the warm color of a solid wooden worktop in a modern white, high-gloss kitchen or black, matt kitchen.
An oak top with visible knots complements your country kitchen nicely. You can even create an entire wooden kitchen to bring nature into your home.
How much do wooden kitchen countertops cost? Is it expensive compared to other materials?
The price strongly depends on the type of wood chosen. From $150 per meter, you will find an oak worktop for the kitchen.
IKEA, for example, sells ‘solid wood’ worktops for $70 per sheet. These tops consist only of a solid wooden top layer, with chipboard underneath. You can’t call that ‘solid wood.’
Depending on the type of wood, treatment, and desired recesses, that amount can quickly add up. Wood is, therefore, a relatively expensive type of kitchen worktop.
It would be best to consider additional costs because the dimensions and thickness mainly determine the price of a kitchen worktop.
If you opt for a somewhat thinner sheet, you will be able to buy a beautiful sheet with most materials for a low price.
Of course, there are still the necessary costs. Think, for example, of the assembly and finishing, the sink, and matters such as call-out costs and VAT on the assembly costs.
What is the ideal height of wooden countertops?
When buying your new kitchen or wooden countertop, the countertop must be placed at the correct height. A countertop that is too low or too high can cause neck and back problems over the years.
A deeper countertop is also often more functional in use. Go to the nearest showroom to easily experience what the ideal height and depth of the wooden countertop are for you.
Determine the most ergonomic ratio in your kitchen by yourself.
Cleaning of wooden countertops
The harder the type of wood for a wooden countertop, the easier it is to clean and maintain it. Daily cleaning is easy with a damp cloth and a cleaning solution.
With this, you can easily remove stains and food residues. Dry these spots immediately with a cloth.
Also, do not leave damp dishcloths or wet dishes on the countertop for a more extended period!
It is best to remove spilled water or other liquids as soon as possible to avoid permanent stains on the wooden countertop.
If permanent staining does occur, you can lightly sand these spots with sandpaper. Then put the wood in the oil.
This wooden maintenance countertop is essential. With proper maintenance of wooden kitchen worktops, they retain their beautiful shine and are the most practical to work with.
Daily Cleaning Tips:
First, remove all loose dirt with a damp cloth. Then wipe the blade with soapy water with a mild cleaning product, such as a little washing-up liquid.
To remove any residue and the remaining detergent, wipe it with a damp clean cloth.
For extra thorough cleaning, you can use a mixture of apple cider vinegar and almond oil.
Finally, always dry when you have finished cleaning. Moisture that remains can irreparably damage wooden countertops.
What you should always avoid
Never use harsh chemicals or corrosive cleaning agents, such as oven cleaners, bleach, or chlorine. Also, avoid acidic agents, such as white wine vinegar or abrasives.
Be careful with sharp objects and always use a cutting board. Wood scratches quickly. Over time, you can sand down the blade to remove scratches and stains.
If the wood comes into contact with one of the above products, rinse the leaf immediately with enough water, and then pat dry well.
A wooden countertop cannot withstand heat. Therefore, always use coasters and avoid hot water. Wood also does not tolerate moisture well. Therefore, never leave liquids for too long.
It would be best if you never place hot pans directly on a wooden worktop; this can cause permanent burn marks on the worktop.
Always use a trivet for pans, but also be careful with, for example, laptops and kitchen appliances that can get hot. The heat can cause the wood to dry out or even crack.
Also, be careful with hot steam from, for example, a dishwasher. In extreme cases, moisture can warp or tear the wooden worktop.
Different variants of wooden kitchen Countertops
Wood is available in a rich color palette that ranges from light to deep, dark colors. In addition, you can choose from different hardnesses that require further maintenance.
For example, if you opt for teak, you will benefit from a soft, relatively maintenance-free type of wood available in various colors.
Iroko is hardwood in a dark color that is also relatively maintenance-free.
The light-colored hardwoods of beech and oak are durable and sturdy but require more maintenance with oil than the other woods to keep the top in optimal condition.
Do you still need a kitchen supplier when changing your countertop?
It would be best if you still had a kitchen supplier who supplies you with the cupboards and equipment. Whether that is IKEA or a luxury kitchen specialist, you can order your kitchen without a countertop at almost all kitchen stores.
If you then indicate that you will choose solid wood for your countertop, most kitchen stores will find it no problem to assemble that worktop for you when they install the kitchen.
Do you want to know more material for the kitchen countertops?
Many people also do the placement themselves, and it is not that complicated.