Using natural timber for your worksurfaces can be a great way to add warmth to a space, and can work particularly well as a contrast against colder tones, and stone surfaces. They can also help define an area, for example used as an end grain chopping area for food prep, or as a breakfast bar or seating area. A wide plank hardwood work surface can also help to create a farmhouse table feel to a kitchen island, making it a more welcoming area to go and sit at.
But wooden worktops do not have to be synonymous with classic country styling, it can be just at home in a contemporary setting, amd there are plenty of choices. Most people think of the typical narrow staved oak worktop when they think of timber options, but although a staple of mainstream kitchen design it is by no means the only choice.
Popular modern options include wenge, maple and prime beech. These timbers offer clear grain, with a clean crisp figure that works perfectly with the simple lines of contemporary kitchen designs. There are also less common options such as sycamore, bamboo, sapele and American black walnut. All of these options can work great for both modern and traditional kitchen designs.
Some people are put off of using timber as it requires some maintenance, such as occasional oiling. But this is one of its greatest strengths, it can be rubbed back down and re finished many times throughout its life, giving it a fresh new look. It can also be finished in multiple different products to change the tone of the timber and make it work with the space better.
For a traditional kitchen, there are even more options such as the classic oak (or maybe pippy oak for those who are more adventurous). English Ash is another under rated and beautiful option, and walnut is a classic which never dissapoints.
A sample of some beautiful oiled English ash, with warm tone, and flowing grain.
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