The kitchen is often one of the busiest parts of the family home and, therefore, the surfaces in this room are used for a variety of purposes and are in constant use. Food preparation, storage of utensils , serving a meal or enjoying a drink all mean wear and tear on a worktop and so regular maintenance and care of a beech worktop or iroko worktop is essential to keep them in great condition. As both of these materials are natural products, some colour change is to be expected – iroko is often yellow to begin with and deepens to a richer colour over time. This hardwood provides both a durable and attractive work surface within the home. Beech wood has proved to be popular due to its attributes of being dense, odourless and hard-wearing. This is an important feature in the kitchen as beech worktops can take a great deal of pressure and resist chipping and marking better than other, similar, materials making it an ideal choice for surfaces that will get a lot of use.
Over time, unlike other worktop materials, wood becomes deeper and richer in colour and develops character as an ever changing aspect of the room. Should the wood become marked or dented in some way, it is possible to remove this by gently sanding the area to reveal new surface. As iroko worktops and beech worktops are natural products, the best way of caring for them is to use oil. This natural lubricant is easy to apply and adds a natural, water resistant finish. The oil absorbs into the worktop over a period of time penetrating the wood fibres and providing long lasting protection. It is recommended that iroko worktops and beech worktops, along with other wood surfaces, are coated every three to six months.
If the kitchen worktop is subject to heavy usage, it may be necessary to re-apply the oil more regularly. This maintenance will keep the worktop’s ‘’sheen’’ finish and ensure it looks good for longer. Due to the water resistant properties of the oil, any spilt liquids should cluster together and form small drops, much like the effect of rain running off a newly polished car. When the liquid does not ‘dot’ together like this it is a sign that a coat of oil is needed.