A solid timber benchtop can be a striking feature in your kitchen. There are several important considerations when you are planning the perfect kitchen benchtop including the design, timber species and finish.

But how do you determine the most suitable timber species for your benchtop?

The kitchen is one of the busiest spaces in the house, which means you need a robust timber species that can stand up to the environment. A hardwood makes for the most appropriate timber when it comes to the kitchen.

There are several options when it comes to hardwoods including several Australian native species and a few non-native species too. When making your choice, do consider the colour tone, grain pattern, durability and cost.

Australian native timber species

Australia is home to a wide variety of beautiful timber species. Your choice of hardwood will most likely come down to the colour to match your kitchen decor theme and palette.

Timber species that can be categorised as Light Brown include Victorian Ash, Blackbutt, Tasmanian Oak, Tallowwood, White Mahogany, Wormy Chestnut, Jarrah, Red Mahogany, Turpentine, Blue Gum, and Brushbox.

Hardwood species in the Brown – Dark Brown spectrum include Spotted Gum and Ironbark.

Non-native timber species

Imported timber species that are fit for benchtops include European Oak, American Oak and European Beech Joinery (BauBuche).

Protect your benchtop for the long term

So that your timber benchtop lasts the test of time, you have to ensure the wood is treated before and after installation.

To protect the benchtop, a coat of food-safe oil or polyurethane should be applied. Reapplication may be required every year or two. While polyurethane coats last longer, recoating involves sanding back the benchtop each time. Day-to-day care requires you to keep the benchtop clean, while ensuring spills are cleaned up quickly.

Cost of timber benchtops

The price of your solid timber benchtop will depend on the species you choose. Although timber benchtops are usually a lot cheaper than quartz or stone benchtops, they will still be more expensive than laminate options. Custom designs will also cost more.

Environmental benefits of timber benchtops

Contrary to popular thinking, timber benchtops actually have a lower net environmental impact than other building materials. Timber is a carbon bank for life and the production process also has a lower carbon footprint. Solid timber can also be recycled and repurposed, adding to its sustainable qualities.

Get in touch with Market Timbers if you need advice on choosing the right solid timber benchtop for your project.