Why Choose a Wooden Kitchen Worktop
The variety of kitchen worktops available now makes a design led concept for a kitchen much easier to achieve than ever before. The old worktop standard of granite has fallen from fashion, in favour of much more edgy composites like corian, concrete, stainless steel, slate and even glass. However new oiling technologies combined with advanced high tech manufacturing techniques, have fueled the strongest move in the market, which is towards wooden worktops. Clearly wooden worktops have always been at the very top of any ecological assessment, however not until recently has this played such a definitive role in a purchasing decision. A reasonable size kitchen fitted with oak worktops locks in a positive carbon value of around 200 kg, compared with a negative carbon impact of 1400 kg for steel, 900 kg for concrete, or even 450 kg for granite, which is staggeringly high for a natural material that only requires cutting, polishing and sizing.
However environmentally friendly a product is though, it has to be the part to make such an important impact on the market place. This is where wooden worktops have really taken off in recent years, thanks to oiling technology, enabling the timber to be so well protected that the old concerns about staining and marking have been all but eliminated. Oddly enough, despite this technological advancement, the techniques required to complete the effect are strangely reminiscent of timber treatment stretching back 300 years. A look around a stately home quickly proves the point.
Having eliminated longevity concerns, to the point where the effective lifespan of a wooden worktop can be measured literally in decades, or even hundreds of years, the real selling point for wooden worktops is the aesthetics. Nothing seems to dull man's affinity for wood. Leave a lovely piece of wood at hip height in a house somewhere, and it's almost impossible for someone to walk past without touching it. Bringing this deep seated connection into a kitchen environment has exactly this effect. Unlike granite which is cold, hard and unforgiving, wood is more in touch with human warmth and fallibility, being such a forgiving surface. Simply put, it's just nicer to be around. Advances in modern machinery have led to the creation of all manner of timber surfaces, from end grain to modified timbers which enhance not only the natural physical properties of the wood, but also can create an edgy, designer look that would be impossible to replicate with any man made material. Nimbus timber is one of these new materials which is making a huge impact with designers and architects alike.
Not forgetting the ultimate beauty of woods like American Black Walnut, possibly one of the most beautiful woods in the world. An expanse of American White Oak in a kitchen creates such a strong clean look, that for the money nothing can get close. The list can then go on according to taste and budget; Black Cherry, Glacial Maple, Bird's Eye Maple, Pippy Oak, Green Ash, Cypress, Kari, moving in to the new enhanced timbers like Nimbus Tempest or Sandstorm.
Add in the workability of a wooden worktop, its almost infinite capacity for being one long length, pretty much any size and shape you could possible imagine, its environmental credentials and aesthetic appeal to the eye and the heart, and it is easy to see why wooden worktops are on the march.
Wooden worktops are not just back in the designer's portfolio, or even on the front page. Mostly they're on the cover.