Kitchen Worktops: How to Plan for Your Hardwood Kitchen Worktop

If you’re planning a kitchen with a hardwood worktop then our guide will help you plan the kitchen to make sure you’ve thought of everything.

Planning a new kitchen is an exciting time. You get to ensure everything is ‘just so’ and exactly the way you want it. The worktop you choose is a big part of that, so doing some research beforehand is a great idea. Our ultimate guide to planning a hardwood worktop is the perfect place to start.

We’ll look at your overall kitchen design and how worktops fit into that. You’ll see our thoughts on everything from the choice of wood to the placement in the kitchen. In our 50 years in the hardwood worktop industry, we’ve learned how to balance aesthetics and practicality.

Oak Island Worktop

From form and function to perfection.

When planning a kitchen, the first step is always deciding on a design. This can be anything from a sleek, modern space to a more traditional feel. Once you know the overall style, it’s time to start thinking about practicalities – like your worktop. Hardwood worktops will fit in any kitchen, but you have some decisions to make first.

Type of wood
Worktop thickness
Placement in the kitchen
Accessories and detailing

These might seem nebulous concepts initially, but they’ll make a big difference to your worktop’s looks and functions. So, let’s take a closer look at each one.

Bring your design to life with a Bordercraft worktop

Type of wood

When choosing a hardwood worktop, there are two main things to think about; the type of wood and the thickness. The wood you choose will depend on the overall style of your kitchen. A light-coloured wood, like Maple, will work well in a contemporary kitchen, while a dark wood, like walnut, will add warmth to a more traditional space. However, the choice is more than just aesthetic; it’s practical too. Some of the key differences are:

Iroko worktops: A deep-coloured wood that’s also great at resisting water.
Hard Maple worktops: This creamy white wood is dense and durable.
White Oak worktops: Aesthetically rich colours and wonderful fine grain but can react with iron tools, especially when wet.
Black Walnut worktops: A good hard-wearing choice that offers a colour and grain pattern that really stands out.
Cherry worktops: Another choice that brings its unique colour and grain patterns to your kitchen, but a softer wood that needs care when placing heavier items onto it.
White Ash: A strong, elastic, versatile wood with a medium-coarse texture and consistent straight grain.

Walnut Circular Chopping Block
Kitchen in Black Walnut

Worktop Thickness

As for thickness, that’s entirely up to you. Thanks to our superior timber selection and production, Bordercraft hardwood worktops are available in thicknesses ranging from 30mm to 80mm. The thicker the worktop, the more substantial it will look and feel. If you’re looking for a real statement piece, go for an 80mm worktop.

However, if you’re working with a smaller budget or want a more understated look, 30mm can be a fine-looking and perfectly solid option that matches the thickness found in granite and Corian. From a practical perspective, you’ll need to consider cabinetry, fittings and installation. If you plan on having integrated appliances, ensure your worktop is thick enough to accommodate them. And if you’re not sure, our team of experts will be happy to advise you. Likewise, a Belfast sink, for example, can be under-mounted or flush-mounted, so you’ll need to consider how you want your worktop to fit in with that. Depending on thickness, placement and the environment, you may need to batton your worktop; we can advise on this when placing an order.

Placement in the kitchen.

The first is the layout of your kitchen. The most popular option is an L-shaped layout with the worktop running along two walls. This gives you plenty of space for food preparation, cooking and entertaining. However, if you have a smaller kitchen or want a more intimate feel, you could opt for a U-shaped layout with the worktop surrounding you.

The second thing to think about is where your appliances will go. If you have integrated appliances, ensure your worktop is thick enough to accommodate them (see above).

Lastly, think about islands if you’re planning on having one. An island can be a great addition to any kitchen, providing extra storage, prep space and a place to eat. Make the worktop wider than the island and you get a breakfast bar too. Make sure you have enough room for it and that your kitchen layout can accommodate it. Bear in mind you can use another timber from the leading worktop, combine it with another material or go for an accent end-grain butcher’s block.

Maple worktop with waste chute
Curved Front Oak Worktop
80mm Thick Oak Island Worktop

Accessories and Detailing

Once you’ve decided on the type of wood and thickness, it’s time to start thinking about the accessories and detailing. This is where you can begin to personalise your hardwood worktop and make it your own.

There are a few things to think about when it comes to accessories and detailing. The first is what kind of finish you want. Oiling is an important part of keeping your new worktop in good condition, creating a changing look over time. There is also the option of adding a lacquer finish to customise the look further.

You don’t have to follow the line of the cabinets, either. You can accentuate curves, angles and other features to create a unique look. And if you want something special, we can create bespoke shapes and sizes to suit your kitchen.

The last thing to think about is the edging. Hardwood worktops can be left natural or finished with various edge profiles, from square to round and everything in between. Plus, it’s possible to inlay in different woods and styles. It’s your worktop, so the sky’s the limit.

If you’re looking for a truly unique hardwood worktop, then Bordercraft is the perfect choice. We have a wide range of woods to choose from, and our team of experts can help you create a bespoke worktop perfect for your kitchen.