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There is no doubt that a wooden worktop
can be the heart of a stunning kitchen. Deciding on the specifics of a wooden
worktop, however, can be a daunting experience. Types of wood, edging profiles,
cut outs and kitchen layout all make a complex jigsaw puzzle that can leave you
feeling a little overwhelmed.

When it comes to the purely physical
manufacturing level though, you’ll be glad to know that the choice is a lot
simpler. In hardwood worktops you can choose from butcher’s block or a fullstave worktop (narrow or full width). They each have their uses, along with
their pros and cons, and once you know them your choice might not seem so
difficult after all.
Block Worktops

Made from small blocks off wood that are
often offcuts from other products. Each of these pieces will be the same width
but their length will differ,giving the classic butchers block pattern. They
are glued together to make the required shape.

Depending on the grain and colour of the
wood that is used, the pattern can stand out or meld together. Lighter grained
woods like maple will make a less standout pattern than a wood with widely
differing grain patterns.
Since butchers block is often made of
offcuts it is the lowest cost option for a hardwood worktop. The pattern will
not suit every kitchen style and does not show off the natural beauty and
warmth of wood. Despite this however, it remains a popular choice for those on
a budget.
Width Full StaveWorktops

Here long strips of differing grained
wood are used in long runs. Since they have to be cut to length and require a
better quality board these tops will be more expensive than butcher’s blocks.
They therefore offer the perfect compromise between quality and cost. Since the
grain patterns are mis-matched this type of counter top does not offer a
premium look but can look great in narrow runs where there is a main surface
like stone or marble to offer a counterpoint.
Width Full StaveWorktops
Here the entire board is cut so that the
maximum amount of useable wood results. This type of worktop will show off the
beauty of the chosen timber and creates a premium looking worktop. Because of
the quality of the boards and the need for good timber, full stave worktops are
the most expensive type of worktop; more so if in exotic hardwoods. Look for a
manufacturer that hand matches boards so that that luxurious run of timber is
even easier on the eye.
Wood makes a fantastic surface for kitchen
worktops and if you’ve decided on wood for your own kitchen then the time it
takes to understand all the options is time well spent. While it may be
tempting to bring down the cost by selecting a cheaper worktop, the finished
effect of a full stave worktop is often more than worth the extra spend.
the Author:
Jon Buck is managing director
at Bordercraft,
a family owned business that has been producing fine hardwood furniture from
their workshops in the Welsh borders since 1972. All of the timbers they use
are sourced from sustainable managed forests and everything they sell is made
by their experienced craftsmen in the UK. You can connect with Bordercraft on Facebook.