How Heat Resistant is it ?
A properly oiled hardwood worktop is tolerant of heat, however, we would recommend putting any hot pans onto a trivet or better still one of our end grain chopping boards. Alternatively, we can machine in stainless steel heat bars for this purpose.
Is it Hygienic ?
Independent research carried out by Professor Dean Cliver at the University of Wisconsin Food Research Unit has shown that wooden chopping boards are as safe, if not safer, to use in the kitchen than plastic boards.
Professor Cliver carried out experiments designed to emulate conditions in a domestic kitchen. He found that wooden chopping boards absorbed bacteria which could not be retrieved from the wood and would therefore not present a health hazard to foods later prepared on the board. Professor Cliver found that once the plastic boards were knife scored, the bacteria would “hide” in the scores and the boards would be very difficult to clean, although this did not represent a significant health hazard.
Professor Cliver thinks that more work should be done on the merits of wooden boards as the research so far shows that wood is hygienic to use in the kitchen.
Will it Stain?
With a properly applied oil finish, the short answer is “no”. However, in the first few weeks of service some caution must be observed to prevent worktops becoming stained before they have built up sufficient protection. In particular, water should not be allowed to lie on the surface but wiped off immediately with a cloth – Oak, in particular, is prone to acquire a black stain which is very hard to remove if any iron utensil is in contact with it in the presence of water for any period of time – overnight for example.
Can I Design in Non-Standard Details ?
No material is more “designer friendly”. Each top can be personalised with limitless detail. The brochure illustrates some of the options, but you are welcome to think up your own.
What Sort of Oil Should I Use ?
It depends on the type of wood. For Iroko, we recommend vegetable oil – sunflower is ideal. For Maple, Oak, Walnut, Ash and Cherry we recommend Danish oil (a trial can is supplied with each worktop) and further supplies can be obtained direct from us.
Can I mix Bordercraft worktops with other materials in the same kitchen?
In designing a layout using timber tops it is important to respect the structural qualities of the material if movement or cracking in use is not to develop. The direction of the grain is most important. However, almost any shape is possible if the right techniques are used. It is important, thus, that we know the location of all cut-outs and adjacent appliances which generate a high level of heat (Agas in particular) – even if you intend to make the cut-outs yourself on site. When we receive your dimensioned sketch plan of the layout required, we will – except for the simplest runs – make a scaled computer drawing showing all proposed cut-outs, joints and decorative detailing. This will be sent to you before work starts to ensure that what we make is exactly as you want it.
Can I install the worktops next to an Aga?
Yes, simply let us know the location and we can machine the adjoining end with a cleat. This is a piece of timber that runs in the opposite direct. This sits on a loose tongue which allows it to move with changes in heat. This protects the end grain of the wood and thus prevents splitting.
Where else can I use the worktops?
The worktops are suitable for use in bathrooms, bedrooms and anywhere else in the house that you may need a worktop, shelf or window cill.
How do I machine the worktops?
We offer a full bespoke service that includes all cut-outs and joints. However, if you would prefer to do these yourself, then that’s fine. Wooden worktops should be butt-jointed with a loose tongue and worktop connector bolts. Do not glue the join, apply a thin bead of silicone sealant between the two worktops to provide protection against water ingress. When machining the worktops yourself, it will be necessary to use trade grade jigsaws and routers as the wood too hard for most DIY grade machines.
How do I clean my wooden worktop?
Simply wipe clean with a damp cloth that has been immersed in a mild solution of washing up liquid. small amount of washing liquid. More stubborn build up can be removed using the oil you’ve already applied to the top and a green nylon scouring pad. Never use wire wool as the fibres will break off and rust in the surface when wet.