Choosing the finish for your kitchen worktops offers a plethora of decisions to be made; from granite to concrete, from marble to laminate, the variety is vast. But if you’re looking for a timeless top that complements every kitchen, you may be attracted to wooden worktops. There are a number of different types of wood that are used for this purpose and beech is making a statement time and time again. We’re looking at why beech might be your go-to choice for a wooden worktop.
Beech trees, also known by their species name as Fagus Sylvatica, are often found on the mountain slopes of Europe. Enduring changeable weathers, including severe weather, they develop a strong resistance to such stresses. This makes the wood fibres harden, increasing its durability and making it very hard wearing. This combination makes beech trees a top choice for your kitchen.
Beech has a beautiful light colour which will brighten your kitchen. It has golden hues and a freckled grain pattern that is instantly recognisable. It doesn’t take too much imagination to see how it can work with different styles of kitchen – it isn’t just aesthetically pleasing, but its toughness and practicality will make it a winner every time.
Functionality and care
Wooden worktops, including beech, will require some TLC. Wood needs to be re-oiled to ensure that it doesn’t absorb liquids, swell and blacken. You should regularly check if your worktops need re-oiling by performing a simple water test; drip water onto the surface and if it forms a bead, it is fine. If the water sits flat, then the top is ready to be re-oiled. Another care tip is to sand them down with an electric sander. If you get any scorch marks on the wood, you will need to do this to remove them and then re-oil afterwards. The beauty of wooden worktops is that the wood can be sanded in this way and will come up new again! When applying the oil, use a lint cloth and linseed or Danish oil. When the oil is poured directly on top, you can then rub it out with the lint cloth, ensuring you have a thin and even layer across the beech. After 8 hours, a second layer of oil will ensure it is completely sealed. Remember to try the water test again to be sure it is sufficiently oiled!
It is also best advised that you don’t place hot objects straight onto the beech in order to avoid scorch marks. Using a trivet or heat-resistant mats will ensure that your worktops are protected. Equally, avoid chopping food directly on top of your work surface as it could score or scratch the wood. Using a chopping board is a simple and easy way to prevent this from happening. Also, remember that the area around your sink is a key place for your beech to become wet. Dry the surface regularly and keep your sink dry to avoid this from happening.
Beech is a tough and attractive material that will offer a timeless finish to your kitchen. With a little bit of TLC, you can have a fantastic and functional material that should turn heads whenever a guest enters the room.