Is a beech worktop right for your kitchen? Your top 5 FAQs about beech answered

When you are deciding to refurbish your kitchen and have chosen to use a wooden worktop, you will probably have a few questions.

Of course, the primary queries will probably revolve around cost, but when it comes to choosing the perfect wooden worktop, there is a compare and contrast exercise that needs to be undertaken, so you can choose the perfect wood for your kitchen.

While not as well known as oak, a beech worktop from the UK may be just the wood you are looking for. Its golden honey colour makes it easy to contrast with other designs, and its price can make it more practical if you are wanting to makeover your kitchen on a budget.

But how does it compare to more traditional materials, such as oak or walnut worktops? Here, some of the most commonly asked questions about beech countertops are answered, to help you determine if they are the right accompaniment to your kitchen design.

Is it durable?

Even if you are not a chef in the kitchen, you will want a worktop that can handle pressure, water, wine spills and of course, heat.

And if it is maintained correctly, beech is indeed a durable wood. In fact, many experts refer to it as a hard-wearing wood, meaning that it doesn’t lose its strength with repeated use and ensuring it will be as strong 15 years from now as it was when it was first installed.

Is it rot-proof?

No wooden worktop is completely rot-proof and in order to keep your beech countertop in workable order, you need to take good care of it.

This will include keeping water and spills to a minimum and ensuring that the surface is sealed with an antimicrobial and antibacterial varnish.

Is it as antibacterial as oak?

Yes, it is.

Like any tree that is native to the UK, beech has evolved to be resistant to humidity based bacteria or water-based microbes. However, in a kitchen, it will be exposed to higher levels of humidity and a denser concentration of water than it would be in its natural environment, making it more susceptible to these problems. And so, in order to keep it bacteria resistant, it will need an antibacterial varnish applied to it every 6-8 weeks.

How do I maintain it?

Like many other wooden based worktops, beech is best maintained by keeping it dry, varnishing it every 6 weeks with Danish oil and applying some regular buffing!

If you notice a scratch or dent in your beech countertop, simply use a handheld sander to buff out the imperfection, and then apply varnish to the area. If you wish, you can stain the beech, but be sure that the staining agent used is compatible with this wood type or it may appear blotchy, spoiling the finish.

How long will a beech work surface last?

With the aforementioned maintenance tips (and any others as recommended by the supplier), your beech countertop can last well over 30 years. Just be sure to keep it varnished!

Looking for family solicitors in Portsmouth

Being in a family environment can prove difficult at times, there are periods where the pressure may seem never ending and there may be other times that require legal intervention. This means that you will need to search forfamily solicitors Portsmouth who are ready and able to help you and your family.

When looking for a solicitor in Portsmouth you must find one who you feel you can trust and has your best interests in mind at all times. It is a good idea to find a well-established practice with a strong history of success for their clients, this can be gauged using online reviews or word of mouth recommendations.

It is important to remember that although you may have engaged the services of a family solicitor yourself, meaning they have been hired to represent your interests; where children are involved in any legal situation your solicitor will act in their best interests first.

What are the areas of law covered by a family solicitor?

Divorce

When a married couple feel that their marriage has come to an end, they may decide they need to seek a divorce.  One part of the couple will then seek the services of a family solicitor and instruct them to file for divorce via the court system.

Your solicitor should show sensitivity towards you and your need for a divorce, they should show a willingness to listen in a non-judgemental way. Any solicitor engaged for divorce should always seek to offer accurate legal advice, they must seek to act in your best interests and obtain the best result possible for you.

It is important to remember that issues such as child custody and financial arrangements are treated as separate topics to the divorce itself.

Children

When a solicitor is asked to act in cases involving children by their clients, they will always seek to act in the best interests of the children first. While warring parents may each believe they know what is in the best interests of the children, a family solicitor may not necessarily agree, as their job is to act within legal restraints and apply the law correctly.

In cases of child custody, you solicitor must assess which parent is in the best position to provide the correct type of care for any children involved. Factors that are taken into account include financial, social, housing and those around personal stability.  The opinion of any older children may also be sought, this will only happen in cases where the older children are capable of expressing a clear opinion.

Financial agreements

After a divorce there may be a need to put a financial agreement in place, this should be agreed via the legal system using solicitors. This agreement commonly involves one party agreeing to give a fixed amount to another party regularly, with some clear understanding around what any money given is to be used for.

An example would be a payment made for one parent to another to provide for the needs of any children involved, this could include clothing, food, housing and holidays. The expected usage will be stated within any agreement.

What next?

If you feel you need to consult with family solicitors you should contact a solicitors office directly.

A kitchen for the ages with an oak worktop

England was built on oak, they say. Being the national emblem of the country, it is a very symbolic and patriotic element to bring into the home, but the history of this 300,000-year-old wood aside, there is so much more that it can bring into a kitchen. An oak worktop in the UK has been the choice of designers and builders for centuries and has been tested over time as being the most durable and arguably the most beautiful of all the timber species, giving an element of nature to even the most modern of kitchens. There is also a large degree of hygiene that these worktops can offer when compared to stone or steel.

Why oak?

Unique and beautiful

No two oak trees in this beautiful country are the same, and no piece of wood collected from any oak tree is like any other, which means that the collected staves of wood that make up oak worktops produce a surface that is wholly unique in its appearance with the familiarity of this gorgeous timber. Oak tells the story of England and each tree is affected by the environment around it, causing marks and growth fluctuations that affect its appearance.

This story can be seen in each worktop oak, making for that extra bit of history added to any English home. A personal element will be added over time as each oak work surface will collect more stories as it is oiled, has wine spilt on it, and shows the marks of use over the years. It will develop a character reminiscent of those old English kitchens that no other work surface can manage.

Matching – There is nothing that doesn’t match with oak, any colour or texture can go with it from white walls to bevelled gloss tiles, clients choosing oak worktops can easily match it with their style of home whatever it may be.

Timeless – If we are talking about timeless style then the best choice is always going to be oak as it never goes out of style and will still be fashionable and functional for generations to come.

Functionality

Putting the romantic history and beauty of oak aside, there has to be a strong element of functionality that comes into play. There is a reason that bakers and chefs alike use oak worktops as their first choice when it comes to cooking and this is for a number of reasons.

Durable – Some of the oldest kitchens in the UK still sport their original oak worktops that were set in place when the properties were built. These are still functional today and have a certain nostalgic element about them as they have developed their own character with time and use.

Hygienic – Wood in general, including oak, is naturally antimicrobial and hygienic which is another reason that it is the prime choice for cooks all over the world as it is easy to clean and all the maintenance needed is an oiling every 6 months to stop cracks that could cause food to collect and rot.

Cooking and Cleaning Tips: Renovating In and Around Your Kitchen

If you spend a lot of time cooking, then you know how important it is to have the best available area in your kitchen and then by extension in your dining area. If you feel like your kitchen area isn’t as good as you want, or maybe that the energy and there is static, it might be time for some cooking and cleaning tips, and it might be time for doing a little bit of renovating.

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How investing in new windows can save your family money

No, really, investing in new windows can save you money in the long run. The average home can lose a third of its heat through poor windows, regardless of the season! Those cold drafts that you feel during winter are still there – they’re just far less noticeable during the warmer summer months. And that cool air you’re trying to pump through your home to counter those warmer temperatures? That’s also going straight out of the window.

Continue reading “How investing in new windows can save your family money”