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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    Best wood for worktops? Oak? Beech? Alternative?
    • CommentAuthorBeau
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2014 edited
    Hard wearing, tight grained so hygienic and more stable than beach.
    Posted By: VictorianecoIroko?

    Agree - 30 years ago I bought a plank of iroko 10ft x 2ft x 2in for a work surface, the off cut 3ft long has been with me since looking for a home:confused:. It has been stored in terrible conditions, damp and occasionally flooded cellars or out side and is still as flat and straight as the day I bought it! The only issue is that it can be difficult to work and needs v. sharp tools.
    Yeah it seems well priced too. I guess linseed oil would be the preferred oil?
    • CommentAuthordb8000
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2014 edited
    Any oil that is non toxic would do. Avoid boiled linseed oil as all but the best stuff contains additives.
    I bought a chopping board done just in rapeseed oil, looks good.
    Companies like osmo do specific oils for worktops.
    or just go for laminate and avoid all the maintenance?
    • CommentAuthorWeeBeastie
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2014
    I've had reclaimed iroko. Didn't need much maintenance, just a very occasional oiling. Personally I wouldn't use wood, even iroko, around a sink. The one thing I didn't like about it was the dark colour as it was in a room with poor daylight.
    • CommentAuthorSimon Still
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2014 edited
    Second the comments on wood around a sink - you need to be really dilligent with maintenance, and wiping up, to keep it looking good.

    I've seen some impressive high end laminates in the past and some which appeared to be a thin layer of 'solid surface' (ie Corian type stuff) which can be refinished.

    Google produced this range which looks like it could be interesting at £180 for a 3m length
    Similar to my current kitchen which is bushboard vanilla quartz. I'm thinking more along the line of a wood work top and shaker style units
    Any other decent work tops? Tempted to just get a laminate now but will consider all sorts
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2015
    Not sure on the embodied energy in Corian but it's the best worktop I've ever used (installed before I caught the green bug). Very smart and durable.
    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2015
    Does corian cope with hot pans and red wine stains etc?

    (I need to find someone for a up market rental, but we all know what tenants can be like....)
    If its for tenants then I would put in a work top that destroyed knives when something is cut on it without a cutting board rather than the knife destroying the work top e.g. tiles with epoxy grout or stone composite slab (tiles would be the cheaper option).
    • CommentAuthorjwd
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2015
    I used the osmo top oil on an oak worktop from worktops direct with an additional waterproofing liquid - also from osmo - as an " undercoat". That was 4 years ago and I haven't had to re oil it until now.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2015
    I never really tested the Corian but the small mishaps we did have were easily rectified - scratches just rubbed out our seemed to disappear with time.

    AIUI you could just cut away any bad bits and melt in new sections... Not sure if that works replacing old with new.
    • CommentAuthorRedDoor
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2015 edited
    I have seen a wood block worktop survive ten or so years but the lady lives on her own and is fastidious about wiping it down and it's regularly re-oiled.
    Duropal from Llandaff Laminates has worked for a couple of installs for us. However, the quality of the fitter is very important in our experince
    Hi, newbie here. We have used laminated* bamboo worktops successfully as bar tops and sink surround with osmo as protection. 3 years coming up with one re-seal. So far so good. Great enviro. cred. relative to some hardwoods and smells sweet when cutting...
    *vertical laminations are sandwiched between two horizontal layers to create a hard-wearing surface with a nice edge detail
    How about stone worktops? I'm after a black and a whiteish work top. Is it only granite that is suitable in a kitchen?

    Although I have found two worktops from duropal which will work but not sure whether to pay extra and try and find a solid stone worktop
    • CommentAuthorthe souter
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd 2015
    Op is headed 'Wood Worktops'- if you are now looking at stone, I would say granite is great for wear but poor carbon footprint. There is some native stone you can use, some nice dark green slate from oop north say, coupled with indigenous sycamore which would meet your requirements and keep it local?
    Any idea on sources?
    • CommentAuthorthe souter
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2015
    Search on 'saddleback slate' from Cumbria, 'Berwyn slate' from Wales- depends a bit how local you want to go- we like Cumbrian slate as it's near Scottish Borders. Any half decent woodshop can join up sycamore boards - pretty much as tough as maple...
    We went for laminate in the end, Duropal

    However, the girlfriend has now decided 'we' want to switch to wood...

    the positive is my mum can have my odl worktops in her new house so he ywill be reused.

    Is there a preferred supplier for wodden worktops? Preferably cheap?
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2017
    Have you looked at these for supply, there are a couple of other, cheapish, suppliers. James Latham's also do narrow,( 40-50 mm ), stave worktops.

    We had wood worktops fitted with our new kitchen and it was one of the worst mistakes we made. We drenched them in oil but it's still a mess of water stains around the sink and taps. We have a belfast sink and the taps come out of the top of the worktop, so maybe that makes it worse, but we never had any issues in our last kitchen with the granite worktop.

    We also have all sorts of scratches and pan burns on it now. Wood looks great in a magazine and when it's first fitted but it soon deteriorates in a family kitchen.

    Annoyingly, I asked a friend who had solid wood for advice and he said to stay clear. I ignored him and said "ho, I'm handy and will keep that worktop well oiled'. Well, he was right and I should have listened to him. Hey ho. :(
    +1 for that. We don't have much in the way of burn marks, but it's very 'chewy' round the sink. 90+% of the w/t looks fantastic (it still had bark on when I first saw it!), but apart from fitting a bigger sink every year (to get rid of the 'edge of the hole') it is significantly let down by the wet bits.
    I've told the gf this, but she still wants wood...

    Sometimes we just have to please them, a happy wife is a happy life
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2017 edited
    Posted By: Nick Parsons+1 for that. We don't have much in the way of burn marks, but it's very 'chewy' round the sink. 90+% of the w/t looks fantastic (it still had bark on when I first saw it!), but apart from fitting a bigger sink every year (to get rid of the 'edge of the hole') it is significantly let down by the wet bits.

    Have you thought of removing a (significant), chunk of stained wood worktop and replacing with stone, with appropriate new sink cutout. The contrast of wood and stone can look good, and, as much of the stone stuff is 20 or 30mm you could even have the new stone insert lower than the wood, (40mm??). Many stone yards have lots of offcuts so it needn't cost the earth.
    • CommentAuthorCerisy
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2017
    We went for IKEA solid oak for the island worktop - beautiful - and engineered oak for the worktop around the sink and hob. Finished them with OSMO hard wax oil (other hard wax oils available!). It's a finish that is used on commercial wood floors and takes a heck of a hammer. Allow some time for each coat to dry and use chopping boards of course, but ideal around the sink. I can see we will re-coat after a couple of years to hide the unavoidable scratches. Jonathan
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